In this article, we will delve into the process of enabling nested virtualization in Ubuntu for KVM testing. Nested virtualization refers to the capability of a virtual machine to host other virtual machines within it. This feature is particularly useful for developers and system administrators who need to test applications in a multi-layered virtual environment.
To enable nested virtualization in Ubuntu for KVM testing, you need to power off all running virtual machines, unload the KVM module specific to your CPU architecture, reload the KVM module with the nested feature enabled, and make the changes permanent by modifying the kernel module configuration file. Reboot your system for the changes to take effect.
- Understanding Nested Virtualization
- Enabling Nested Virtualization
- Making Nested Virtualization Permanent
Before we begin, it’s important to note that you should have the following:
- A system running Ubuntu
- KVM installed on your system
- Basic knowledge of Linux commands and text editors
Understanding Nested Virtualization
Nested virtualization allows you to run a virtual machine (VM) inside another VM while still using hardware acceleration from the host. It’s particularly useful for running software that requires hardware virtualization, such as a hypervisor.
Enabling Nested Virtualization
Step 1: Power Off All Running Virtual Machines
Firstly, ensure that all running virtual machines are powered off. This is because the KVM module cannot be unloaded if there are running VMs.
Step 2: Unload the KVM Module
Next, you need to unload the KVM module specific to your CPU architecture. For Intel CPUs, use the following command:
sudo modprobe -r kvm_intel
For AMD CPUs, use:
sudo modprobe -r kvm_amd
modprobe -r command removes the module from the Linux Kernel.
Step 3: Reload the KVM Module with Nested Feature Enabled
Now, you need to reload the KVM module with the nested feature enabled. For Intel CPUs, use the command:
sudo modprobe kvm_intel nested=1
For AMD CPUs, use:
sudo modprobe kvm_amd nested=1
modprobe command adds the module to the Linux Kernel. The
nested=1 parameter enables the nested feature.
Making Nested Virtualization Permanent
To enable nested virtualization permanently, you can modify the kernel module configuration file.
Step 1: Open the Module Configuration File
Open the module configuration file using a text editor. For Intel CPUs, run:
sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/kvm_intel.conf
For AMD CPUs, use:
sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/kvm_amd.conf
nano command opens the specified file in the Nano text editor.
Step 2: Modify the Configuration File
Add the following line to the file:
For Intel CPUs:
options kvm_intel nested=1
For AMD CPUs:
options kvm_amd nested=1
options keyword is used to specify options for the module.
Step 3: Save and Exit
Save the file and exit the text editor. In Nano, you can do this by pressing
Ctrl + X, then
Y to confirm saving changes, and finally
Enter to confirm the file name.
Step 4: Reboot Your System
Finally, reboot your system for the changes to take effect.
reboot command restarts the system.
After enabling nested virtualization, you should be able to run KVM inside your guest machine. You can verify this by running the following command:
The output should be
1, indicating that nested virtualization is enabled.
Nested virtualization is a powerful feature that allows you to run a virtual machine inside another virtual machine. This guide has shown you how to enable this feature in Ubuntu for KVM testing. Remember to always power off all running VMs before attempting to enable or disable nested virtualization. Happy testing!
Nested virtualization refers to the capability of a virtual machine to host other virtual machines within it. It allows running a virtual machine (VM) inside another VM while still using hardware acceleration from the host.
Nested virtualization is particularly useful for developers and system administrators who need to test applications in a multi-layered virtual environment. It allows them to run software that requires hardware virtualization, such as a hypervisor, within a virtual machine.
Nested virtualization requires hardware support from the CPU. Not all CPUs support nested virtualization, so it’s important to check if your CPU supports this feature before attempting to enable it.
You can check if your CPU supports nested virtualization by running the following command:
grep -E 'vmx|svm' /proc/cpuinfo. If the output includes "vmx" for Intel CPUs or "svm" for AMD CPUs, then your CPU supports nested virtualization.
Yes, you need to have KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) installed on your system before enabling nested virtualization. KVM provides the necessary infrastructure for running virtual machines on the Linux Kernel.
No, enabling nested virtualization requires reloading the KVM module with the nested feature enabled, which requires a system reboot to take effect.
You can verify if nested virtualization is enabled by running the command
cat /sys/module/kvm_intel/parameters/nested for Intel CPUs or
cat /sys/module/kvm_amd/parameters/nested for AMD CPUs. If the output is "Y" or "1", it indicates that nested virtualization is enabled.
Yes, you can enable nested virtualization permanently by modifying the kernel module configuration file. By adding the appropriate options to the configuration file, the nested feature will be enabled every time the system boots up.
Yes, it is necessary to power off all running virtual machines before enabling nested virtualization. The KVM module cannot be unloaded if there are running virtual machines.
You can unload the KVM module specific to your CPU architecture by running the command
sudo modprobe -r kvm_intel for Intel CPUs or
sudo modprobe -r kvm_amd for AMD CPUs. This removes the module from the Linux Kernel.