Home > virtualization, vmware, workstation > Nested KVM VM inside a VMware Workstation 8 VM – how to

Nested KVM VM inside a VMware Workstation 8 VM – how to


I had to do some tests with KVM virtual machine, but I did not have a physical host available to devote to KVM.

What to do? Here it’s come to the rescue VMware Workstation 8!

It is possible to install and run nested KVM VM in a VMware Workstation VM (doing what is called "nested virtualization").

For this test I used a CentOS 6.3 distro, but the same procedure should work with other RedHat and Debian/Ubuntu based distro.

And now the step followed:

Create a custom VM in Workstation 8


Durimg the creation wizard, select "LSI Logic SAS" SCSI controller


After wizard completion and before booting the VM, customize the processor enabling "Virtualize Intel VT-x/EPT or AMD-V/RVI"


Edit the associated .vmx file and append the following line:


(thanks to a vmware community user that found this parameter)

Now we can boot the VM, install the OS (remember to install the virtualization packages) and install VMware Tools.

And finally we can create a KVM VM and boot it!


  1. Kiril
    12 Sep 2012 at 22:28

    Any idea why “virsh list” and Virtual Machine Manager hang on Ubuntu 12.04 inside workstation provided the above settings in the vmx are put?

    Same thing worked fine on 11.04

  2. Robert
    6 Oct 2012 at 23:50

    For the virsh list hang problem in Ubuntu 12.04, try setting:

    vhv.enable = “TRUE”
    vcpu.hotadd = “FALSE”

    Might help.

  3. shan
    14 Oct 2013 at 07:53

    i have done exactly said above…but i get a message qemu-kvm package not found…plz help

  4. Shiji
    8 Feb 2014 at 07:51

    Thanks..This is very useful. I have infact tried installing nested KVM in ESXi. The steps done are documented here:


  5. sushant
    17 Apr 2014 at 15:02

    problem while installing virtual XP inside Xen which has also been done in vmware workstation 9. does anyone know how to solve it? it alwasys asks path

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