How to install KVM/QEMU on Linux Mint 20.1

From time to time I want to run a virtual machine on my computer, a sandbox containing another operating system with some programs running in total isolation. Under Linux my answer for this need is a set of three components:

  1. KVMa virtualization module in the Linux kernel that allows the kernel to function as a hypervisor. (Wikipedia)
  2. QEMUa machine emulator and virtualizer that can perform hardware virtualization. It can cooperate with KVM to run virtual machines at near-native speed (Wikipedia)
  3. Virtual Machine Manager – a nice GUI to use above things as simply as possible.


How prepare all above components on a fresh installation of Linux Mint 20.1?


This solution is based on the article “Install KVM Virtualization on Linux Mint 20” with my additions.

First execute following commands:

sudo apt-get install qemu-kvm libvirt-daemon-system libvirt-clients bridge-utils virt-manager
sudo adduser $USER libvirt
sudo adduser $USER kvm
sudo adduser $USER libvirt-qemu

Here the above-mentioned article claimed everything is ready and working. But it wasn’t in my case. So just restart Linux now. Then proceed with verification steps:

virsh -c qemu:///system list

The output should be:

 Id   Name   State

Then execute:

systemctl status libvirtd.service

The output should start with following lines:

● libvirtd.service - Virtualization daemon
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/libvirtd.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
     Active: active (running) since Wed 2021-02-03 22:54:41 CET; 31s ago

Then start Virtual Machine Manager. It should show that it is connected to KVM/QEMU. It should look like this:

Now it’s ready.

About krzysztoftomaszewski

I've got M.Sc. in software engineering. I graduated in 2005 at Institute of Computer Science, Warsaw University of Technology, Faculty of Electronics and Information Technology. I'm working on computer software design and engineering continuously since 2004.
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3 Responses to How to install KVM/QEMU on Linux Mint 20.1

  1. Pingback: Off-line migration of QEMU/KVM virtual machine | The Art of Code

  2. Dero says:


    To share the libraries such as copy/paste, devices, folders, etc, from the virtualized machine wath the main system, what else should I do?


  3. Anonymous says:

    This works except all I had to do was “sudo apt install qemu-kvm libvirt-daemon-system libvirt-clients bridge-utils virt-manager”, reboot, and it just worked.

    @ Dero ; I had the same issue and while I suspect it’s possible to get other methods working I just setup a basic Samba share on the host Mint 20 machine and then from the Windows (Win10) virtual machine I just did the following (without the “) on the section you can type stuff in bottom left area of screen… “\\\” (or whatever is the IP of the machine running Samba) and it showed the folder name I was sharing and I select it and it just worked (since I did not setup any username/password stuff anyone on my network can access that share straight up). because trying to setup a more standard way of sharing seems more difficult on this QEMU/KVM than in VirtualBox.

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