Most newer processors from Intel (VT) and AMD (AMD-V) now come with hardware support for virtualization. Which makes using virtualization frameworks or hypervisors like KVM, XEN, etc. possible.

But before you jump into virtualization, how can you find out if your existing infrastructure/machines support it?

In Linux, you can do this by checking for the following flags in the /proc/cpuinfo file:

  • vmx (for intel)
  • svm (for amd)

Run the following command:

egrep '(vmx|svm)' --color=always /proc/cpuinfo

If your processors supports virtualization, you will see an output like the following:

flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe nx lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm lahf_lm tpr_shadow
flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe nx lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm lahf_lm tpr_shadow

Since I have 2 processors, the above output shows 2 “flags” section.

Note the above command only indicates that your processors support virtualization. You will need to make sure that it is not disabled in your machine’s BIOS.