I want to configure KVM with a Windows XP install, can anyone please guide me?

The only virtualization solutions I've ever used are VirtualBox on Ubuntu and Windows 7, and VMware on Windows 7.

Additionally, I'm unaware if I've to install any components on a vanilla install to use KVM.

  • Using qemu + kvm is really not that simple. Why don't you stick with VirtualBox?
    – loxs
    Feb 25, 2011 at 21:14
  • @loxs, hardware resources is a precious commodity on my system, the more lean, mean and efficient, the better!
    – Oxwivi
    Feb 25, 2011 at 21:18
  • I think that you are not really going to save any big amount of resources by using kvm. You will only suffer :). Kvm-qemu don't support nice things like seamless mode and mouse pointer integration (i may be wrong for the latter). Kvm is any good only if you are going to use your hardware as a VM farm. Then the pain is worth the gain.
    – loxs
    Feb 25, 2011 at 21:26
  • @loxs, me don't need fancy stuff - skeleton FTW!
    – Oxwivi
    Feb 25, 2011 at 21:42

2 Answers 2


I have a Windows-XP partially converted. Runs fine, but I haven't converted the drivers. This is a disk image from a dead PC. Some things that will help you.

  • Install the ubuntu-virt-server package. This will install the KVM environment.
  • Install the ubuntu-virt-mgmt package. This will install management tools.
  • Use the program virt-install to do the initial install. You can either load the CD in the CD-ROM drive, or create an ISO image and boot from that.
  • 1
    So no KVM-related packages are installed by default? And is ubuntu-virt=mgmt required for a virtual session to work? And is it a GUI? As long as I can install and boot-up Windows, I don't need to configure anything.
    – Oxwivi
    Feb 26, 2011 at 6:52
  • The thing is that you can't "just" run Windows without configuring anything. That's what I tried to tell you several times, but you won't hear. There is no "easy and simple" way to do what you want. At least not with KVM/QEMU. VirtualBox is the software designed for your use case. Really, consider using it.
    – loxs
    Feb 26, 2011 at 8:26
  • 1
    @loxs, I'm pretty stubborn, so lemme learn from experience.
    – Oxwivi
    Feb 26, 2011 at 8:49
  • I believe ubuntu-virt-mgmt loads both the command line and GUI configuration tools. virt-install is command line. Options are available using man virt-install and includes some options for configuring Windows.
    – BillThor
    Feb 27, 2011 at 0:00

Ubuntu is one of the distros that have a better environment (and documentation) for using it as a kvm host.

Your question is really too broad, so I can't really help you any more than giving you the link to the official kvm documentation:


It's one of the best available, and ubuntu is one of the easiest kvm hosts to configure. Good luck, and come back with more specific questions, so that you can get real answers :).

  • Broad, is it? I simply want to virtualize Windows XP on Ubuntu using KVM...
    – Oxwivi
    Feb 26, 2011 at 6:50
  • It doesn't matter whether you want to install windows, amiga OS, minix or linux. Configuring the VM host is the same. And it is not as easy as you think it is (or should be). KVM is designed with the idea of using it as a VM farm. It's not your "easy-setup-home-VM" to run windows on it. If you want that, use VirtualBox, as I advised you in the comment. Your performance won't really suffer, as VirtualBox too uses virtualization acceleration processor instructions.
    – loxs
    Feb 26, 2011 at 8:13

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