How to check KVM (qemu-kvm) version on Linux

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How do I check my KVM version on Linux operating system using the command line?

qemu-kvm is an open source and free virtualizer. It provides hardware emulation for the KVM hypervisor. qemu-kvm acts as a virtual machine monitor together with the KVM Linux kernel modules. It emulates the hardware for a full system such as a PC and its associated peripherals. KVM is an acronym for Kernel-based Virtual Machine. It is a full virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions from Intel VT or AMD-V. Using KVM, you can run multiple virtual machines running unmodified Linux or Windows operating system. Each VM has private virtualized hardware i.e. a network card, disk, graphics adapter, etc.

KVM support many guest operating systems. Almost all Linux distro. BSD family of operating system such as FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD and friends. Solaris, Windows, Haiku, ReactOS, Plan 9, AROS Research Operating System and more.

Emulated hardware limits under KVM

  • CPU : 1 to 160 vCPUs
  • Memory: Between 50 MB and 32 TB

How to find out KVM version in Linux

Type the following command as per your Linux distro.

Debian/Ubuntu Linux

$ /usr/bin/qemu-system-x86_64 --version
Another option is to use apt command:
$ apt show qemu-system-x86
Sample outputs:

Package: qemu-system-x86
Version: 1:2.8+dfsg-6+deb9u3
Priority: optional
Section: otherosfs
Source: qemu
Maintainer: Debian QEMU Team <>
Installed-Size: 22.0 MB
Provides: qemu-system-i386, qemu-system-x86-64
Depends: libaio1 (>= 0.3.93), libasound2 (>= 1.0.16), libbluetooth3 (>= 4.91), libbrlapi0.6, libc6 (>= 2.15), libcacard0 (>= 2.2), libfdt1, libgcc1 (>= 1:3.4), libglib2.0-0 (>= 2.31.8), libgnutls30 (>= 3.5.6), libjpeg62-turbo (>= 1.3.1), libncursesw5 (>= 6), libnettle6, libnuma1 (>= 2.0.11), libpixman-1-0 (>= 0.19.6), libpng16-16 (>= 1.6.2-1), libpulse0 (>= 0.99.1), libsasl2-2, libsdl1.2debian (>= 1.2.11), libseccomp2 (>= 2.1.0), libspice-server1 (>= 0.12.6), libtinfo5 (>= 6), libusb-1.0-0 (>= 2:1.0.19), libusbredirparser1 (>= 0.6), libvdeplug2, libx11-6, libxen-4.8 (>= 4.8.1), libxenstore3.0 (>= 4.1.0~rc6), zlib1g (>= 1:1.2.0), qemu-system-common (>> 2.0.0+dfsg-7~), seabios (>= 1.10.2-1~), ipxe-qemu (>= 1.0.0+git-20131111.c3d1e78-1~)
Recommends: qemu-utils
Suggests: samba, vde2, qemu-block-extra (= 1:2.8+dfsg-6+deb9u3), kmod, sgabios, ovmf
Breaks: libvirt0 (<< 1.2), qemu-system (<< 1.3.0+dfsg-5)
Replaces: qemu-system (<< 1.3.0+dfsg-5)
Tag: uitoolkit::ncurses, uitoolkit::sdl
Download-Size: 4,808 kB
APT-Manual-Installed: no
APT-Sources: stretch/main amd64 Packages
Description: QEMU full system emulation binaries (x86)
 QEMU is a fast processor emulator: currently the package supports
 i386 and x86-64 emulation. By using dynamic translation it achieves
 reasonable speed while being easy to port on new host CPUs.
 This package provides the full system emulation binaries to emulate
 the following x86 hardware:  i386 x86_64.
 In system emulation mode QEMU emulates a full system, including a processor
 and various peripherals.  It enables easier testing and debugging of system
 code.  It can also be used to provide virtual hosting of several virtual
 machines on a single server.
 On x86 host hardware this package also enables KVM kernel virtual machine
 usage on systems which supports it.

$ apt show qemu-system-x86

CentOS/RHEL/Fedora/Oracle Linux

$ /usr/libexec/qemu-kvm --version
Use yum command:
$ yum info qemu-kvm

Generic method to check KVM (qemu-kvm) version on Linux

$ kvm --version
How to find check KVM version on Linux

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.