Virt-Manager KVM Beginners Guide

In this video I discuss QEMU/KVM and Virt-Manager for running your virtual machines over Oracle Virtualbox and I show you some basic installation and setup you can do to get the most out of your VM’s. We install Kali and discuss bi-directional copy and paste along with SSH’ing into your VM.


I used both, but I prefer Virtualbox, despite or because:

  • KVM is faster due to a faster disk driver.
  • VBox has better Windows driver support for the VM and all drivers of all OSes come integrated with the VBox install.
  • VBox uses the real CPU instead of trying to use another more or less compatible CPU. On my 4-core Phenom II, QEMU insisted to call it a 2-core Opteron.
  • One year ago in QEMU/KVM 3D acceleration for graphics did not work.
  • Some options in the QEMU menu do not work yet.
  • VBox enables to activate Windows using the activation code glued to the PC on which the VM runs. Over time I activated XP, Vista, 7 and 10 on ex-lease PCs using that original activation code. Afterwards you can use the VM on other PCs. I installed Windows XP in Virtualbox in 2011 and it has survived 3 desktops and 2 laptops.

I stick to Virtualbox, because I have 50 VMs including all Windows versions. VBox has a superior and RELIABLE GUI. I compensate for the disk IO speed by installing the 15 most used VMs on my nvme-SSD (3400/3000 MB/s) and by using ZFS with lz4 compression, reducing the number of IOs with almost a factor two.
My Linux VMs boot in ~10 seconds, booting from the ZFS RAM cache shaves off maybe 1.5 seconds, because the Ryzen 3 2200G CPU is the next bottleneck. My Host OS is a minimal install of Ubuntu 19.10, because Gnome has a great workspace GUI to run the VMs in full screen.

I moved all my activities to VMs and I use 5 VMs almost daily:

  • Xubuntu 18.04 for office, email, whatsapp, torrents etc. Loaded always.
  • Ubuntu 16.04 exclusively for banking and paypall
  • Ubuntu Mate 19.10 for trying out new apps and other stuff, using local VBox snapshots
  • Windows XP for playing my old CDs/LPs with WoW and TrueBass effects
  • Windows 10 for the Dutch TV viewer