Difference between revisions of "Windows VirtIO Drivers"

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*:this is the source for the Windows drivers and is hosted in a repository on GIT hub. Anonymous users can clone the repository  
*:this is the source for the Windows drivers and is hosted in a repository on GIT hub. Anonymous users can clone the repository  
*a web repository http://alt.fedoraproject.org/pub/alt/virtio-win/  
*a web repository http://alt.fedoraproject.org/pub/alt/virtio-win/  
*:here you can find stable and latest sets of drivers  
*:here you can find both stable and latest sets of drivers  
*:*in source format (.zip)  
*:*in source format (.zip)  
*:*in compiled format (.iso)  
*:*in compiled format (.iso)  

Revision as of 17:12, 8 March 2014


VirtIO Drivers are paravirtualized drivers for kvm/Linux (see http://www.linux-kvm.org/page/Virtio). A quite extended explanation about VirtIO drivers can be found here http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/l-virtio.

In short, they enable direct (paravirtualized) access to device and peripherals to virtual machines using them, instead of slower, emulated, ones.

At the moment this kind of devices are supported:

KVM Guest OS Support Status, far all OS/platforms, can be found here: http://www.linux-kvm.org/page/Guest_Support_Status

Usually using VirtIO drivers you can maximize performances, but this depends on the availability and status of guest VirtIO drivers for your guest OS and platform.

Windows OS support

While recent Linux kernels already have those drivers so any distribution, running in a kvm VM, should recognize virtio devices exposed by the kvm hypervisor, all current Windows OS need special drivers to use virtio devices. Microsoft does not provide them, so someone kindly managed to make virtio drivers available also for windows systems.


Following info on those page you can find:

Packaged sets of drivers

Each of those "packaged" sets of drivers available is labelled with a numeric release, and differs by features & bugs as it improves through the time.

  • Most recent set is virtio-win-0.1-74, with updates to virtio drivers as of 16 Oct 2013.
  • Previous versions could still be useful when, as it happens, some Windows VM shows instability or incompatibility with latest drivers set.

Choose the right driver

In the iso file provided by Fedora Project drivers for different Windows versions are available, in several folders.

The folder names can be a bit confusing, since they refer to the Microsoft legacy naming (i.e. lh=longhorn, that is Vista): you can refer to the schema below (showing also block/baloon drivers folder names):

OS Numeric version dir for Storage / Balloon dir for Network
W2008 R2 / Windows 7 6.1 Win7 (32/64) Win7 (32/64)
W2008 / Vista 6.0 Wlh (32/64) Vista (32/64)
W2003 5.2 Wnet (32/64) XP (32/64)
XP 5.1 - 32bit, 5.2 - 64bit WXp (32 only) XP (32/64)


  • Windows XP drivers are known to work also on Windows 2003 Server
  • Win7 drivers can be used for Windows 2008r2

See also