K Virtual Machine: Definition, Examples


The K Virtual Machine (KVM) is a software tool used primarily for running multiple operating systems on a single machine. It operates in a Linux environment and is built into the Linux kernel, enabling it to provide virtualization services. KVM turns Linux into a hypervisor, an entity that can allocate resources for other software systems known as ‘guest’ operating systems.


The phonetics for the keyword “K Virtual Machine” would be: “Kay Vurt-chu-uhl Muh-sheen”

Key Takeaways

  1. K Virtual Machine (KVM) is an open-source virtualization technique that makes use of the Linux kernel as a hypervisor to run multiple virtual machines simultaneously. It provides each virtual machine with private virtualized hardware so it can run different operating systems independently from one another.
  2. KVM is capable of supporting a wide range of guest operating systems, from Linux and Windows, to macOS and many others. Its flexibility and versatility makes it a preferred choice for many organizations looking to efficiently manage their resources.
  3. Key features of KVM include live migration, which allows users to move running virtual machines from one physical host to another without downtime. It also supports overcommitting of system resources, meaning it can allocate more virtual CPUs or memory than available, relying on the assumption that not all VMs will be fully utilizing these resources at the same time.


K Virtual Machine (KVM) plays a significant role in the field of technology, especially in the realm of virtualization. It functions as a kernel-based virtual machine that converts the primary OS, typically Linux, into a hypervisor. This allows multiple, independent virtual machines (also known as guest machines) to run concurrently. The KVM enables efficient system resource utilization as it allows these guest operating systems to execute their tasks on the host machine without the need for extensive physical resources. By facilitating the running of multiple OS environments on the same hardware, KVM contributes to cost reduction, greater flexibility, and enhanced operational proficiency. Thus, its importance lies in its capability to drive efficiency and flexibility in data center operations, development, testing, and application deployment.


The K Virtual Machine (KVM) serves a critical role in the field of virtualization technologies, particularly because of its use in functions like running multiple, isolated virtual environments on a single physical machine. It’s a part of Linux kernel and allows the host machine to simulate the operating system of the guest machine. Principally used in server environments, KVM helps businesses by enabling them to run numerous virtual machines, each with independent guest operating systems concurrently on a single hardware platform or machine. It can significantly reduce the requirement for physical hardware and improve resource management, reducing overall operational costs.KVM does more than just simulating the hardware. It significantly increases performance by providing direct access to the physical machine’s resources like memory, CPU, and storage following the virtue of its design. It also maintains the principle of isolation between different virtual machines running on the same physical machine. This prevents faults from propagating from one environment to another, hence ensuring stability and reliability. It also enables a more effective division of resources between active processes, ensuring one application’s heavy usage doesn’t imperil another application’s performance.


1. J2ME Mobile Applications: The K Virtual Machine (KVM) technology is extensively used for the functioning and development of J2ME (Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition) mobile applications. The small-sized applications, particularly designed for the mobile and embedded devices, utilize KVM that offers a self-contained operating environment to run Java applications. 2. Embedded Systems: Due to its compact nature, KVM is frequently used in embedded systems, which are computer systems with a dedicated function within a larger mechanical or electrical system. The KVM can help in smoothing and enhancing the performance of these systems due to its ability to provide a midway layer of software abstraction.3. Internet of Things (IoT) Devices: Many IoT devices depend on KVM to run Java applications due to its ability to run these applications with limited resources. For example, smart home devices, wearable tech like fitness trackers, and other connected devices like smart grid systems all may use KVM for smooth and efficient operation of Java applications.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

**Q1: What is a K Virtual Machine?****A1**: The K Virtual Machine (KVM) is a software application that allows multiple operating systems to share a single hardware host. It is a virtualization feature available in the Linux kernel, ensuring these guest operating systems run simultaneously, each at their top speed.**Q2: What are the advantages of using K Virtual Machine?****A2**: A KVM provides several benefits including cost-efficiency, resource optimization, isolated environments for each operating system, and swift provisioning for new applications. It allows users to run several virtual environments on a single machine, thus saving resources.**Q3: Is there any difference between KVM and other virtual machines?****A3**: The difference lies in the performances and the underlying architecture. KVM is part of the Linux kernel which makes it more streamlined, efficient, and better capable of directly interacting with the hardware.**Q4: Can I run a K Virtual Machine on any operating system?****A4**: No, KVM is directly integrated into the Linux kernel. While virtualization software can be used on other operating systems to create virtual machines, the K Virtual Machine is specific to Linux.**Q5: Is K Virtual Machine free to use?****A5**: Yes, since it’s part of the open-source Linux Kernel project, KVM is free to use.**Q6: How secure is K Virtual Machine?****A6**: KVM inherits the security features from the Linux kernel which has a robust and widely tested security structure. Additionally, it has its own security mechanisms to isolate guests and host systems, offering a high level of security.**Q7: How many virtual machines can I run with KVM?****A7**: The number of virtual machines that can be run on KVM primarily depends on the hardware resources, particularly RAM and CPU, of the host machine. Theoretically, you can run as many as your hardware can support.**Q8: Can I run Windows on K Virtual Machine?****A8**: Yes, you can run Windows and many other operating systems as guest on KVM, provided the appropriate driver support is available. **Q9: What is the difference between KVM and a container?****A9**: KVM is a type 1 hypervisor that runs directly on the host’s hardware to control its resources and manage guest operating systems. Containers, on the other hand, are an OS-level virtualization method for deploying and running applications without launching an entire virtual machine for each one. **Q10: Are there any limitations to using K Virtual Machine?****A10**: While KVM is resource-efficient, the number of virtual machines you can run concurrently is limited by your server’s available CPU power and RAM. Sufficient network bandwidth is also critical for optimal KVM performance.

Related Tech Terms

  • Java Virtual Machine (JVM)
  • Mobile Application Development
  • Java Runtime Environment (JRE)
  • Concurrency
  • Embedded Systems

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents

More Terms