KVM Overview

KVM is the #2 ranked solution in our list of best Server Virtualization Software. It is most often compared to Oracle VM VirtualBox: KVM vs Oracle VM VirtualBox

What is KVM?
KVM (for Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is a full virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions (Intel VT or AMD-V). It consists of a loadable kernel module, kvm.ko, that provides the core virtualization infrastructure and a processor specific module, kvm-intel.ko or kvm-amd.ko.
KVM Buyer's Guide

Download the KVM Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: July 2021

KVM Customers
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Pricing Advice

What users are saying about KVM pricing:
  • "This solution is an open-source, free platform with paid support."
  • "The price is fair compared to others. But in our local market, it's a problem to get budget approval from management. That's why they are trying to get those products so we can give them the price benefit. But if you consider the international market or other products, it's sometimes better than their price."
  • "It is free for everyone."

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Buddy Parker
Founder at Element Flux
Real User
Top 5
Stable, easy to set up, and very easy to use

What is our primary use case?

I've used it a little bit for virtualization. I've been messing with it for the past month and a half, in an actual environment that goes to the outside world, anyway. I have a cloud server running. I also have a web server. I'm using it mostly for hosting websites and basically having a cloud service, such as OneDrive or Google Drive.

Pros and Cons

  • "If you prefer command-line, there are all kinds of command-line options."
  • "One thing that maybe could be improved is making it easier to scale. It needs to be more clear on how to scale the storage space for virtual machines."

What other advice do I have?

I'm just a customer and an end-user. I don't have a business relationship with KVM at this time. I'm using what should be the latest version of the solution right now. I would advise other organizations that this solution is definitely a good choice. It's definitely something that's easy to use, however, you can have it on a fully functioning operating system that you're familiar with. Or, if you have a little less experience, it's something that you can get up and going really quickly. That said, it is still a type 2. That is a great thing. It functions, and it's under two pounds. It's…
MahdiBahmani
Solution Architect, IT Consultant at Merdasco - Rayan Merdas Data Prosseccing
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Good performance, but better management features and integration are needed

What is our primary use case?

We are a consulting company and I work with a lot of solutions to compare them and find out which ones are good for my customers. The primary use case for this solution is virtualization. I use this solution in on-premises data centers.

Pros and Cons

  • "The GUI interface makes the management of KVM easier than ever before."
  • "Business continuity features need to be added."

What other advice do I have?

I have been using this solution since before it was owned by Red Hat, when it was community-based. It is easier to manage than ever before because you used to have to use the command-line interface, instead of the GUI. I do not recommend this product for those looking for a stable and scalable virtualization solution because they will ultimately have problems in their data center. Just two weeks ago, I helped a friend of mine to migrate from KVM to VMware. I think that if Red Hat worked on some business continuity features and add them to KVM then it would receive a better grade and be a more…
Learn what your peers think about KVM. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2021.
523,372 professionals have used our research since 2012.
VascoCampos
System Engineer at NoBoring Lda
Real User
Top 20
Open Source Virtualization that works with Linux

What is our primary use case?

I am using this solution in my home lab because I don't know this solution well enough to put it into production. I have many clients, and by putting KVM into production it would require several changes, which would require more experience. In the meantime, I will continue to use VMware and ESXi. I use both on-premises and cloud-based deployment models. I typically use this solution on the cloud because I have many dedicated servers. However, I also use it on low-powered hardware machines, like old laptops, to create a firewall, access the router, or use as an access point.

Pros and Cons

  • "I like that this is an open-source solution. It is very powerful, and it's easy."
  • "The virtual manager and the graphical QEMU for KVM need some improvement."

What other advice do I have?

You can virtualize anything now, but in my experience, they are good for Linux and Unix systems. I have also used Windows. Even if you are using another platform hypervisor, as I do with VMware, you may get yourself in a situation where you want to install the KVM or at least the key tools. You can access RAM drives, or broken virtual hard drives, or migrate them to another type of hard drive. KVM is very complete, it is very powerful, but people are used to graphical QEMU and that is an issue. The solution performs well and has many tools. It offers everything that all other paid versions…
Ernesto HernáNdez
Project Leader at Logicalis
MSP
Top 20
Easy to manage with a central interface, but the setup process can be improved

What is our primary use case?

We are an integrator and this is one of the solutions that we implement for our clients. I have more than twenty years of experience working with these kinds of technologies. We are using this solution for virtualization on IBM servers.

Pros and Cons

  • "The KVM service is well managed with a central policy interface."
  • "The initial setup of this solution is more difficult than some of the competing products and it could be improved."

What other advice do I have?

The most important thing for people to do when they are researching this kind of solution is to try and understand the main reason and concerns behind virtualization. They should learn the strong points and weakness of this technology, and try to have a base knowledge to understand the concept and how it can be used and managed on a daily basis. I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.
Muhammad Harun-Owr-Roshid
CEO at BRIGHT-i SYSTEMS LIMITED
Real User
Top 20
An affordable open-source virtualization technology that's easy to manage

What is our primary use case?

We're a system integrator company, and we implement solutions in these categories based on the requirements and related solutions. Sometimes our logic and security concerns are feature-oriented. Due to that reason, we're working on a case-to-case basis, and we use KVM for some clients.

Pros and Cons

  • "I like that it's easy to manage. It's also more powerful when it comes to security than others. That point of view is the one consideration. The other consideration is that it's cost-effective."
  • "Technical support could be better. In the next release, I would like to see an improved user interface and dashboard. This type of improvement will make it easy or help our engineers understand the solution from a requirement point of view."

What other advice do I have?

I recommend this solution, especially for the banking sector, hospitals, and NGOs. On a scale from one to ten, I would give KVM an eight.
Georges ESSOMBA
Business Engineer and Consultant at All-Tech
Real User
Top 20
A solution with an easy initial setup that's scalable and stable

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use it to write the payroll solution fort Windows Server 2012 and 2018.

Pros and Cons

  • "Scaling the solution is easy. You just have to add more hardware."
  • "The solution should be more user friendly. We are struggling with the command lines."

What other advice do I have?

We're using the on-premises deployment model. We're using the community version of the solution. I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.
MK
Senior Linux System Administrator at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Very easy to configure, stable and open source

What is our primary use case?

I'm a senior Linux system administrator and we are customers of KVM.

Pros and Cons

  • "This solution is open source and easy to configure."
  • "There are some issues with the graphics and some software that is very complex."

What other advice do I have?

KVM is good and I recommend it. In the future, containers will be substituted by virtual machines and KVM need to adapt to be able to support that. I rate this product an eight out of 10.
ST
Founder at a retailer with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 5
Free, easy to use, stable, and mature

What is our primary use case?

It is useful for everything for which you would use VirtualBox. It is the kernel virtualization model in Linux. I am using the 5.10 kernel. It comes with the Linux operating system.

What is most valuable?

It is easy to use, stable, and flexible. It is a pretty mature product, and it is faster than VirtualBox.

What needs improvement?

Its resource usage can be improved. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for several years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable.

How are customer service and technical support?

There is no support for it except in the community. If you want support, you have to pay a company that provides support for this platform.

How was the initial setup?

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