Install and Configure VM Acceleration on Linux

Yesterday i was re installing android studio due to a drive corruption on my new pc. At the end screen i saw a message that my computer supports vm accleration and i should configure that for better performance. Linux-based systems support VM acceleration (hardware virtualization) through the KVM software package. So in this post i will share my KVM installation experience.

I followed this post of android developers but it showed some packages were missing and errors occured.


If you are sure your device is capable then no need to read this section. For those who wondering how they know if their device is capable or not can continue.

To use VM acceleration on Linux, your computer must also meet these requirements:

Check CPU for HW Virtualization Support

egrep -c '(vmx|svm)' /proc/cpuinfo
sudo apt-get install cpu-checker

The output should look like below snippet:

$ egrep -c '(vmx|svm)' /proc/cpuinfo
$ sudo apt-get install cpu-checker
$ kvm-ok
INFO: /dev/kvm exists
KVM acceleration can be used

Install KVM

Here the android developers blog was a little bit outdated. There instructions were for ubuntu version lower then 18.10 in which some of the packages were removed & renamed.

For 18.10 or later:

sudo apt-get install qemu-kvm libvirt-daemon-system libvirt-clients bridge-utils

For 10.04 or later:

sudo apt-get install qemu-kvm libvirt-bin ubuntu-vm-builder bridge-utils

For 9.10 or earlier:

sudo aptitude install kvm libvirt-bin ubuntu-vm-builder bridge-utils

What are these packages for ?

  1. libvirt-bin provides libvirtd which you need to administer qemu and kvm instances using libvirt
  2. qemu-kvm (kvm in Karmic and earlier) is the backend
  3. ubuntu-vm-builder powerful command line tool for building virtual machines
  4. bridge-utils provides a bridge from your network to the virtual machines

For GUI i installed virt-manager using below command. Which looks like the screenshot attached below.

sudo apt install virt-manager


Add Users to KVM Groups

Note: For 9.10 and later but not for 18.10 and 14.04 LTS instead of libvirt use libvirtd.

sudo adduser `id -un` kvm
sudo adduser `id -un` libvirt

Verify Installation

To verify the installation use below commands (should output as shown):

$ virsh list --all
 Id   Name   State


Change Ownership

Now if you open virt-manager you should see an error. To fix this i changed my device’s group to kvm/libvirt (note that i am using Ubuntu 19.04, use libvirt or libvirtd as i mentioned the case above).

sudo chown root:libvirt /dev/kvm

Restart Kernel Modules

You can also signout or reboot but i prefered to restart modules:

rmmod kvm
modprobe -a kvm

Now the installation is complete and you should be able to open virt-manager (if installed) without any errors.

Thanks for reading the post ! See you in future posts …

o EOP o