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Is it possible to run a KVM (not qemu) VM on top of a Linux VM running in VMWARE ESX 5? Are there specific settings for that? No care about poor performance.

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I recently found a knowledgebase article from VMWare detailing whether it's possible, and how good it works, but can't find it anymore. I did find this document in VMWare communities which details what you need: Running Nested VMs

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Theoretically, it can be done using nested virtualization. In real life, I've tried it on ESXi 4.1, and it didn't fly. My guess is that VMWare's nested virt fails to pass some required CPU instructions through, but I never did any real digging

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Yes, this "action" is called "nested virtualization" and it can be executed. Here there is link a tutorial if it doesn't work search "nested virtualization esx5" on google.

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After some research,trial & error, I have successfully installed KVM in ESXi 5.1. The steps used are shared in this blog

Hope it is helpful!!

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It's helpful to share the steps and not just the link. – Drew Khoury Feb 8 '14 at 8:17
Welcome to Server Fault! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – Tom O'Connor Feb 8 '14 at 8:52

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