KVM virtualization with Qemu and Aqemu

Down in the Kernel

Article from Issue 204/2017
Author(s):

KVM and Qemu provide a fast and powerful alternative to VirtualBox for virtualization in Linux.

Linux users often equate virtualization with VirtualBox, a versatile virtualization app that Oracle has maintained for several years [1]. VirtualBox is a favorite with both beginners and power users because of its convenient installation and simple configuration.

With all the recent attention to VirtualBox, many users don't realize that a fully developed virtualization alternative is already built into the Linux kernel. Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) has been part of the kernel since Linux 2.6.20 and is developed by a team at Red Hat [2]. Combining KVM with the Qemu hypervisor system and the Aqemu graphical interface can lead to greater flexibility and significantly faster virtual machines (VMs) than a solution based around VirtualBox.

Operating Principle

KVM is actually a kernel module that acts as an operating system interface and, therefore, relies on a virtualization environment. Qemu [3], which is available in all major distributions, adds the necessary application-level virtualization features and is the perfect complement to KVM.

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