Top 5 Linux Distributions for Virtualization

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Linux offers excellent performance, stability, compatibility, and customizability for virtual machine (VM) creation and management. We will review the 5 best Linux distributions for virtualization and discover their features and benefits.

What is Virtualization?

Virtualization has been an integral component of enterprise computing environments for many years. By using virtualization technologies, you can easily run various operating systems and apps on a single physical machine. 

Due to its adaptability and flexibility, Linux for virtualization has been one of the best operating systems. As a versatile and flexible platform, users can modify it to fulfill their demands without limitations. Linux distributions provide an excellent starting point for virtualization software, and it enables its users to construct and administer virtual machines with ease.

Linux vs Windows for Virtualization

Linux as a Virtualization Option

When it comes to server virtualization, many IT professionals prefer Linux because of its versatility and adaptability. Linux has numerous benefits when it comes to virtualization. 

For example, one of the most important advantages is Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), a built-in virtualization technology. KVM provides high-speed, on-demand access to virtual machines. Linux, Windows, and Solaris are just some of the many guest systems that are supported by KVM. 

Additionally, Linux also includes many other virtualization tools such as: Xen, VirtualBox, VMware, and Docker. Additional virtualization tools provide a high variety of options for users to choose depending on their specific needs and infrastructure requirements.

Utilizing Linux for virtualization has a number of benefits, including the fact that it is open-source and free. Considering those facts, the costs of licensing is lower, and users are provided with numerous customization and support options. Furthermore, Linux is also popular for its stability, reliability, and security.

Windows as a Virtualization Option

Windows Server is also one of the popular operating systems for virtualization. Microsoft offers a number of virtualization-related tools, including Hyper-V, a built-in hypervisor in Windows Server. Linux and Windows are two of the various guest operating systems supported by Hyper-V.

The main advantage of using Windows for virtualization is because it provides a seamless and integrated environment for enterprise users. Users can easily manage their virtualized environment thanks to Microsoft's enterprise-class management solutions, such as System Center. Windows also provides outstanding virtualization support and training, which makes it a popular option for businesses that need intensive support.

Cost is one of the biggest issues with adopting Windows for virtualization. There are licensing fees associated with Windows Server and Hyper-V for each virtualized instance. Long-term costs for businesses, particularly those running extensive virtualizations, may be raised in the long run.

Linux vs Windows Server Virtualization – Which One to Choose?

Business infrastructure, finances, and technical knowledge are only some of the considerations you should take into account when deciding which operating system you should use for virtualization. Linux for virtualization is a perfect choice if you are looking for an open-source platform that is free and provides a high variety of options. 

On the other hand, if you are looking for an integrated virtualization platform with excellent support and administration features, you should consider using Windows. It provides a seamless and integrated environment, which makes it the ideal alternative to Linux for users that need extensive support. 

5 Linux Distributions for Virtualization


AlmaLinux represents a great choice for virtualization as it is optimized to support high workloads and requires minimal resources to properly operate. In other words, fewer processes will be running in the background, meaning you will have more resources available for virtualization.

AlmaLinux is one of the best distros for large-scale virtualization environments, which require high speed processing and low latency. When we take into account all of the above-mentioned facts, it could be easily concluded that AlmaLinux is the ideal choice for hosting, cloud computing, and VM hosting.


Ubuntu is known for being one of the most user-friendly Linux distributions and has become one of the most popular options not just for virtualization but for everyday tasks. Ubuntu offers direct support for virtual machines via its virtualization platform, KVM, which is an open-source software that is part of the Linux kernel and a free alternative to proprietary hypervisors, such as VMWare or Hyper-V. 

KVM enables users to create virtual machines that closely impersonate the characteristics of a physical machine on which applications can run. Additionally, Ubuntu has a large and active user and developer community, which is a significant advantage when you are seeking solutions to issues and need support. A wide variety of virtualization tools are available for Ubuntu, such as Docker and VirtualBox.


Debian is one of the oldest Linux distributions that is still in use today. It is an extremely stable and reliable platform that has gained popularity in virtualization due to its wide range of applications and tools. 

The Debian distribution is also known for its excellent security and long-term support, making it an excellent choice for enterprise virtualization environments.


Fedora is a community-based Linux distribution and a cutting-edge version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). It is known for being an excellent platform for developers and supports most popular virtualization platforms, such as KVM and VirtualBox.

Fedora is known for its frequent updates, which greatly increases the security and provides up to date features. Additionally, Fedora is equipped with default virtualization software that can be easily enabled, which enables its users to easily create virtual machines without the need for additional software.

Fedora is a great choice for creating virtual machines. However, unlike KVM-based Ubuntu, Fedora's hypervisor is not built into the kernel and must be installed separately.


OpenSUSE is a known Linux distribution that is mostly being used by developers and system administrators. It is a versatile platform that is perfect for virtualization, offering users access to several virtualization tools, such as Xen and KVM. OpenSUSE is also known for its excellent security features, making it a great choice for virtualization in both personal and enterprise environments.

How to Choose the Best Linux Distribution for Virtual Machines

When choosing a Linux distribution for virtualization, several key factors should be considered.

System Requirements

Linux distributions have certain system requirements, such as random access memory (RAM), central processing unit (CPU), and disk space. You should make sure that your physical server fulfills the system requirements for desired virtual machines to be certain that your VMs will run without issues.


When running virtual machines, performance is one of the most important factors to pay attention to. In order to achieve optimal performance, you should choose a Linux distribution that is optimized for virtualization. For example, you should choose one of the best five Linux distributions mentioned in this article.


Security is a crucial factor for both personal and enterprise use. To make sure your system is secure, you should choose a Linux distribution that provides frequent updates.


Community support is a significant factor of Linux distribution for virtualization choice. Make sure that you choose a distribution that has an active community that will help you solve any issue you may run into.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of if you are thinking of using Linux for virtualization for personal or business use, you can choose one of the five Linux distributions mentioned in this article that will best suit your needs. In fact, you can use all five of them on one physical server because that is what virtualization is actually about.

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About the Author: Neil Golden

Neil contributed to solving the complex puzzle of evolution for a long time by obtaining his Ph.D. in Archaeology. These days, he digs the Linux servers in his role within the Liquid Web Monitoring Department instead of Paleolithic stone tools in the caves on archaeological sites. Instead of mammoths, he is now hunting for bugs on Linux servers. He has written numerous scientific and technical articles because writing is one of his biggest passions. In his free time, Neil composes music, reads novels, and travels the world.

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