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KVM Update

How’s KVM going?

KVM became the default hypervisor for new Linode customers six months ago, and it’s been going great. Since KVM’s introduction last summer, customers have created over 500,000 KVM Linodes with over 3 million launches. It’s been very stable, it’s been very fast. Our service has improved reliability and uptime because it’s running a simpler stack. Overall the transition to KVM has been a huge success.

Since the launch, we also introduced Glish, the graphical console that allows you to view and interact with your virtual machine’s graphical output. This allows you to run a self-contained graphical environment within your virtual machine. Or, using the full-virtualization capabilities of KVM Linodes, to run alternative operating systems like Plan 9 or even Windows.

To give you an idea of our KVM fleet size: just about 50% of all Linodes are now running on KVM, with many of them being pre-existing Xen Linodes that migrated to KVM.

How do I upgrade a Linode from Xen to KVM?

On a Xen Linode’s dashboard, you will see an “Upgrade to KVM” link on the right sidebar. It’s a one-click migration to upgrade your Linode to KVM from there. Essentially, our KVM upgrade means you get a much faster Linode just by clicking a button.

Please note: Our Tokyo facility is currently sold out and does not offer an upgrade to KVM. We are looking into adding more capacity in Tokyo and will notify those customers once upgrades become available.

KVM will be the only option for new Linodes, starting May 1, 2016

If you are an older customer, new Linodes you create may still be getting placed onto a Xen hypervisor. You can change this default on your Account Settings page in the Linode Manager. However, coming May 1, 2016, the only option will be KVM. In other words, starting on May 1, it will not be possible to create a Xen-based Linode.

What will be the fate of existing Xen Linodes?

Existing Xen-based Linodes will be fine. However, in the near future we will begin to consolidate Xen Linodes onto fewer physical servers, which will mean scheduled migrations with periods of downtime. Don’t worry – if you will be affected, we’ll provide plenty of advance notice when those migrations are planned.

More information:

Comments (10)

  1. Author Photo

    Hi. I run a KVM Linode myself, and I have this very annoying issue: When I go to reboot, instead of rebooting it powers down the Linode and Lassie has to restart it.
    My Linode runs Ubuntu 64-bit on a raw disk with Direct Disk boot, using the Ubuntu provided kernel.

  2. Author Photo

    still not available in Tokyo..

  3. Author Photo

    Does this mean that linodes will eventually be able to support running windows as a virtual desktop replacement for normal desktops?

  4. Author Photo

    @Jon A There are unofficial instructions for creating a “Winode” at
    Haven’t tried it myself though; a 1GB VPS may be a bit small as the recommended minimum is 2GB RAM.

  5. Author Photo

    Right now I am using Xen if selected in the panel switch to KVM would lose my web data or change would not affect my website or my mail settings…. ???

  6. Author Photo


    Changing your hypervisor preference to KVM won’t modify your data, website or mail settings.

  7. Author Photo

    Really need more Tokyo Linode please! Any way of providing an ETA? For example, would it be in the next 3-6 months or later than that?

    If later, I will need to move to another provider.

  8. Author Photo


    I think changing from Xen to KVM, linode gets more stability in CPU benchmarks. Also KVM becomes a industry leader standart today.

    Alba García, Ceo of Besimple,

  9. Author Photo

    Does using KVM mean that in the future we would have server upgrades, without requiring a migration (assuming enough free disk space on the host)? What about dero-downtime upgrades, using memory balloon and cpu hotplug support?

  10. Author Photo

    Seams like migration so far has been smooth. Any note about the schedule for when migrations may be completed?

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