How To Use Linux KVM To Optimize Your Windows 10 Virtual Machine

This tutorial will demonstrate that KVM and virt-manager are great tools not only to virtualize servers on headless hosts, but also for everyday desktop use. My job duties often require me to have a Windows 10 computer, in order to manage Microsoft specific tasks or software that runs only on Windows. However, I did not want install Windows on any of my hardware so the solution I came up with was to have a Windows 10 Virtual Machine that I can run on my main operating system. This Windows VM allows me to easily move it around differenct computers since…


I use Virtualbox since 2009 or so, but I’m looking at KVM and I recently run it in a Virtualbox VM to check the improvements in the GUI of virt-manager. I even run Windows Vista and Ubuntu 14.04 as guests on virt-manager/KVM. I did choose those, because I don’t have to worry about OS updates anymore.

I have moved my “work” to 5 main VMs, which incudes Windows 10 Pro. In total I have a set of ~50 VMs, but I do a weekly incremental backup/copy to my laptop, so I can run exactly the same software and VMs on my desktop at home and on my laptop on the road.

That copy operation is based on ZFS “send | ssh receive” and while ZFS is only copying the changed records and not the changed disk image files, that operation is efficient.


This was an amazing article! It gave me some ideas for optimizing my own Win10 VM. Great work!

Maybe for a follow up, you could show us how to present a graphics card to the VM?


I rely very little on Windows now and so have wondered if VM may be better for me than bare metal, especially given how unreliable I have found Windows update to be, including when dual-booting. Thanks for this guide!

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I’ve followed the tutorial and worked well… Now I’ll try to get the qcow2 disk for my work machine and use it on a Windows 10 VM here

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Thank you for this, @ilvipero - the timing is wonderful. Have been dual-booting for far too long and then, I read Tom Warren’s piece on Win11 requirements. I know I didn’t want a type 2 hypervisor, and after a little google-fu, found your article.