KubeVirt is a virtualization add-on to Kubernetes and this guide assumes that a Kubernetes cluster is already installed.

If installed on OKD, the web console is extended for management of virtual machines.


A few requirements need to be met before you can begin:

  • Kubernetes cluster or derivative (such as OpenShift, Tectonic) based on Kubernetes 1.10 or greater
  • Kubernetes apiserver must have --allow-privileged=true in order to run KubeVirt's privileged DaemonSet.
  • kubectl client utility

Container Runtime Support

KubeVirt is currently supported on the following container runtimes:

  • docker
  • crio (with runv)

Other container runtimes, which do not use virtualization features, should work too. However, they are not tested.

Validate Hardware Virtualization Support

Hardware with virtualization support is recommended. You can use virt-host-validate to ensure that your hosts are capable of running virtualization workloads:

$ virt-host-validate qemu
  QEMU: Checking for hardware virtualization                                 : PASS
  QEMU: Checking if device /dev/kvm exists                                   : PASS
  QEMU: Checking if device /dev/kvm is accessible                            : PASS
  QEMU: Checking if device /dev/vhost-net exists                             : PASS
  QEMU: Checking if device /dev/net/tun exists                               : PASS

Installing KubeVirt on Kubernetes

KubeVirt can be installed using the KubeVirt operator, which manages the lifecycle of all the KubeVirt core components. Below is an example of how to install KubeVirt using an official release.

# Pick an upstream version of KubeVirt to install
$ export RELEASE=v0.35.0
# Deploy the KubeVirt operator
$ kubectl apply -f${RELEASE}/kubevirt-operator.yaml
# Create the KubeVirt CR (instance deployment request) which triggers the actual installation
$ kubectl apply -f${RELEASE}/kubevirt-cr.yaml
# wait until all KubeVirt components are up
$ kubectl -n kubevirt wait kv kubevirt --for condition=Available

If hardware virtualization is not available, then a software emulation fallback can be enabled using by setting in the KubeVirt CR spec.configuration.developerConfiguration.useEmulation to true as follows:

$ kubectl edit -n kubevirt kubevirt kubevirt

Add the following to the kubevirt.yaml file

          useEmulation: true

Note: Prior to release v0.20.0 the condition for the kubectl wait command was named "Ready" instead of "Available"

Note: Prior to KubeVirt 0.34.2 a ConfigMap called kubevirt-config in the install-namespace was used to configure KubeVirt. Since 0.34.2 this method is deprecated. The configmap still has precedence over configuration on the CR exists, but it will not receive future updates and you should migrate any custom configurations to spec.configuration on the KubeVirt CR.

All new components will be deployed under the kubevirt namespace:

kubectl get pods -n kubevirt
NAME                                           READY     STATUS        RESTARTS   AGE
virt-api-6d4fc3cf8a-b2ere                      1/1       Running       0          1m
virt-controller-5d9fc8cf8b-n5trt               1/1       Running       0          1m
virt-handler-vwdjx                             1/1       Running       0          1m

Installing KubeVirt on OKD

The following SCC needs to be added prior KubeVirt deployment:

$ oc adm policy add-scc-to-user privileged -n kubevirt -z kubevirt-operator

Once privileges are granted, the KubeVirt can be deployed as described above.

Web user interface on OKD

No additional steps are required to extend OKD's web console for KubeVirt.

The virtualization extension is automatically enabled when KubeVirt deployment is detected.

From Service Catalog as an APB

You can find KubeVirt in the OKD Service Catalog and install it from there. In order to do that please follow the documentation in the KubeVirt APB repository.

Installing KubeVirt on k3OS

The following configuration needs to be added to all nodes prior KubeVirt deployment:

  - kvm
  - vhost_net

Once nodes are restarted with this configuration, the KubeVirt can be deployed as described above.

Installing the Daily Developer Builds

KubeVirt releases daily a developer build from current master. One can see when the last release happened by looking at our nightly-build-jobs.

To install the latest developer build, run the following commands:

$ LATEST=$(curl -L
$ kubectl apply -f${LATEST}/kubevirt-operator.yaml
$ kubectl apply -f${LATEST}/kubevirt-cr.yaml

To find out which commit this build is based on, run:

$ LATEST=$(curl -L
$ curl${LATEST}/commit

Experimental ARM64 developer builds

Experimental ARM64 developer builds can be installed like this:

$ LATEST=$(curl -L
$ kubectl apply -f${LATEST}/kubevirt-operator-arm64.yaml
$ kubectl apply -f${LATEST}/kubevirt-cr-arm64.yaml

Deploying from Source

See the Developer Getting Started Guide to understand how to build and deploy KubeVirt from source.

Installing network plugins (optional)

KubeVirt alone does not bring any additional network plugins, it just allows user to utilize them. If you want to attach your VMs to multiple networks (Multus CNI) or have full control over L2 (OVS CNI), you need to deploy respective network plugins. For more information, refer to OVS CNI installation guide.

Note: KubeVirt Ansible network playbook installs these plugins by default.

Restricting virt-handler DaemonSet

You can patch the virt-handler DaemonSet post-deployment to restrict it to a specific subset of nodes with a nodeSelector. For example, to restrict the DaemonSet to only nodes with the "region=primary" label:

kubectl patch ds/virt-handler -n kubevirt -p '{"spec": {"template": {"spec": {"nodeSelector": {"region": "primary"}}}}}'