Installation note for Windows 8 on KVM

Needing a moment of headspace I decided to spin up the latest Windows 8 Release Candidate on my KVM platform at home…

I pulled the image from:

Lets kick off the install:

I selected Windows 7 as Windows 8 is not yet an option.

I selected kvm and an x64 platform (the RC is a 32-bit) but it shouldn’t matter.



The first attempt failed rather miserably with a typical Microsoft style error of ‘limited’ usefulness:

Not exactly useful – but the error is actually trying to tell me I am using an unsupported CPU. Ok, so lets take a quick look at how the CPU is configured on KVM by default:

Notice how every single CPU feature is turned off by default …. Well, Windows 8 supposedly needs at least the following:

  • mmx
  • sse
  • nx
  • pae

So, quick fix – either set these manually or “Copy from Host”:

This applies the required bits.

Shut down the KVM and start it again:



So, short and sweet — setting CPU defaults on a KVM is a bloody useful thing to do!




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    • vr0 on Oct 13, 2012 at 19:43

    Thanks !

    I was starting to think the only way to virtualize Windows8 on Linux was VirtualBox or VMware…
    And that was so simple.

    • Maz on Jul 15, 2013 at 18:21

    Thanks for the tip.

    I wanted to add that it is also required by the SCCM 2012 WinPE.

    • hoang on Sep 10, 2013 at 03:31

    Hi, thanks for your tip.
    I am Debian, x86. The only option I have is kvm with i686. I configued the cpu as you said. After logo screen dispalyed, no more error showed up, however there was only black screen. How can I fix this? Does x86 and x86_64 matter?

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