Linux Virtual Machines on Hyper-V

Updated: May 7, 2014

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

Hyper-V supports both emulated and Hyper-V-specific devices for Linux virtual machines. When running with emulated devices, no additional software is required to be installed on a Linux virtual machine. However emulated devices do not provide high performance and cannot leverage the rich virtual machine management infrastructure that the Hyper-V technology offers. In order to make full use of all benefits that Hyper-V provides, it is best to use Hyper-V-specific devices for Linux. The collection of drivers that are required to run Hyper-V-specific devices are known as Linux Integration Services (LIS).

For older Linux distributions, Microsoft provides an ISO containing installable LIS driver for Linux virtual machines. For newer Linux distributions, LIS is built in to the Linux operating system, and no separate download or installation is required. Note that the LIS collection from Microsoft cannot be installed into a Linux distribution that already has LIS built-in.

The goal of this content is to provide information that helps facilitate your Linux deployment on Hyper-V. Specific details include:

  • Linux distributions that require the download and installation of LIS drivers.

  • Linux distributions that contain pre-built LIS drivers.

  • Feature distribution maps that indicate the features in major Linux distributions.

  • Known issues and workarounds for each distribution.

  • Feature description for each LIS feature.

In this section: