Virtualization is a hot topic in operating systems these days. It is useful in many scenarios: server consolidation, virtual test environments, and for Linux enthusiasts who still can not decide which distribution is best. Recently, hardware vendors of commodity x86 processors have added virtualization extensions to the instruction set that can be utilized to write relatively simple virtual machine monitors.
The Kernel-based Virtual Machine, or kvm, is a new Linux subsystem which leverages these virtualization extensions to add a virtual machine monitor (or hypervisor) capability to Linux. Using kvm, one can create and run multiple virtual machines. These virtual machines appear as normal Linux processes and integrate seamlessly with the rest of the system.