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Kernel-based Virtual Machine

kvmbanner-logo2.pngDo a search for KVM on the web and you will get a pile of links to Keyboard/Video/Mouse multiplexers. This has nothing to do with that. The KVM we're referring to is the virtualisation technology of the Ubuntu platform: Kernel-based Virtual Machines. Quite frankly we think it's one of the greatest developments Linux has ever seen.

We remember what the definitive and venerable tome 'Running Linux' (O'Reilly Media, now in its 5th edition) said about the GIMP graphical editor that 'it was enough of a reason to run Linux in itself'. Well, we think KVM is on the same sort of level. No doubt we can have a huge technical discussion on the whys and wherefores of all the various competing virtualisation technologies, and there is no doubt that the proprietary offerings have some really neat tricks.

But that's also their drawback - they're all proprietary. For a free platform such as Ubuntu to come up with something as good as KVM is an amazing achievement, and it makes us glad we're around to witness it, download it, play with it, and watch it doing its stuff. We have no idea how it works (to our unending shame) but we're very pleased to report that it does.

It comes as no surprise to discover that KVM is at the root of the open-source Cloud Hosting platform Openstack, and to a large extent the two technologies are actually very similar. That gives us quite a bit of faith in it.