Linux KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) driver


KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is a full virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions. To work with KVM, minikube uses the libvirt virtualization API


  • libvirt v1.3.1 or higher
  • qemu-kvm v2.0 or higher

Installing Prerequisites

Proper installation of KVM and libvirt is highly specific to each Linux distribution. Please consult:

Once configured, validate that libvirt reports no errors:



Start a cluster using the kvm2 driver:

minikube start --vm-driver=kvm2

To make kvm2 the default driver:

minikube config set vm-driver kvm2

Special features

The minikube start command supports 3 additional kvm specific flags:

  • --gpu: Enable experimental NVIDIA GPU support in minikube
  • --hidden: Hide the hypervisor signature from the guest in minikube
  • --kvm-network: The KVM network name


  • minikube will repeatedly ask for the root password if user is not in the correct libvirt group #3467
  • Machine didn't return an IP after 120 seconds when firewall prevents VM network access #3566
  • unable to set user and group to '65534:992 when dynamic ownership = 1 in qemu.conf #4467
  • KVM VM’s cannot be used simultaneously with VirtualBox #4913
  • On some distributions, libvirt bridge networking may fail until the host reboots

Also see co/kvm2 open issues


  • Run minikube start --alsologtostderr -v=7 to debug crashes
  • Run docker-machine-driver-kvm2 version to verify the kvm2 driver executes properly.
  • Read How to debug Virtualization problems
Last modified January 10, 2020: Update kvm2.md (bdc47d0f3)