Requirements for running AL2023 on KVM - Amazon Linux 2023

Requirements for running AL2023 on KVM

This section describes the requirements for running AL2023 on KVM. The KVM images of AL2023 are available for both aarch64 and x86-64 architectures. These requirements are in addition to the base AL2023 system requirements for the KVM images.

KVM host requirements for running AL2023 on KVM

The KVM images are currently qualified on a host running Ubuntu 22.04.3 LTS with qemu version 6.2+dfsg-2ubuntu6.15, provided by this Ubuntu version, using a q35 machine type.

Device support for AL2023 on KVM

The qemu device models tested for use with AL2023 KVM images (both aarch64 and x86-64) are:
  • virtio-blk (virtio block device)

  • virtio-scsi (virtio SCSI controller with disk device)

  • virtio-net (virtio network device)

  • ahci (for use with the virtual CD-ROM drive)

  • usb-storage (over xhci)

Additional qemu device models enabled in AL2023 KVM image qualification, but not heavily exercised are:
  • VGA (qemu VGA) on x86-64 only

  • virtio-rng (virtual random number generator)

  • legacy AT keyboard and PS/2 mouse devices

  • legacy serial device

Boot mode (UEFI and BIOS) support for AL2023 on KVM

The x86-64 image is tested with both legacy BIOS and UEFI boot modes. The aarch64 images are tested with UEFI boot mode.


By default, when using UEFI boot mode, some virtual machine managers will provision the VM with Microsoft Secure Boot keys which enables Secure Boot. This configuration will not boot AL2023.

Because the AL2023 boot loader isn’t signed by Microsoft, the VM must be provisioned either without UEFI keys, or with the AL2023 keys for Secure Boot.


Secure Boot support for KVMimages has not been validated yet.

Limitations running AL2023 on KVM

There are some known limitations in running AL2023 on KVM.


Code implementing some of the listed unsupported functionality might exist in AL2023 and function correctly. The list of unsupported functionality exists so that you can make informed decisions about what to rely upon working today, and what the Amazon Linux team will qualify as working as part of future updates.

Known Limitations with running AL2023 on KVM
  • The KVM guest agent is not currently packaged or supported.

  • Hot plugging and unplugging CPU, memory, or any other device type is not supported.

  • VM hibernation is not supported.

  • VM migration is not supported.

  • Passthrough of any device such as through PCI Passthrough, or USB Passthrough is not supported.