Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) is a virtualization infrastructure for the Linux kernel that turns it into a hypervisor. It was merged into the Linux kernel mainline in kernel version 2.6.20, which was released on February 5, 2007. KVM requires a processor with hardware virtualization extensions.
KVM is a full virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions. 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.
Using KVM, one can run multiple virtual machines running unmodified Linux or Windows images. Each virtual machine has private virtualized hardware: a network card, disk, graphics adapter, etc.
KVM is open source software. The kernel component of KVM is included in mainline Linux, as of 2.6.20. The userspace component of KVM is included in mainline QEMU, as of 1.3.