Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm planning to set up a server just for running several (> 5) virtual machines on linux using KVM. No screen attached to a graphics card needed at this stage.

Therefore I'm wondering if the used physical graphics card has any impact for the virtual machines? Should I use a standard graphics card with 1024MB+ ram or does a very low budget graphics card <= 128MB ram last?

In general: Does KVM use the graphics card at all?

share|improve this question
up vote 6 down vote accepted

It's possible to get away with no graphics card at all, using only the console port (COM port), SSH, etc for administration. This is sufficient for most applications, it's still somewhat uncommon for VMs to "require" a graphics card. Certain situations do warrant passing a graphics card through to a VM however.

share|improve this answer
wouldn't it be better for the vm's to use the graphics card, for example to use aero in windows 7? – nexus Feb 4 '13 at 16:57
@nexus "Aero in Windows 7"? What kind of server are you running here!? :D – Soviero Feb 4 '13 at 17:00
@Kevin running Windows7 in a virtual machine. – nexus Feb 4 '13 at 17:01
The answer to the question you asked was "Does KVM require a graphics card." The answer is no. If your guests require GPU or other graphics capabilities, then that's a different question. – mfinni Feb 4 '13 at 17:07
@nexus It depends on the software. Aero does not require a graphics card on the server. RemoteFX does however. Obviously if you're going to be connecting to the VM from the "server" box then you'll need a graphics card; else the monitor would have nothing to plug into... But as to what card you need for what software, the only answer I can provide is "I depends on what you're running". Even RemoteFX has different graphics card requirements for different configurations. – Chris S Feb 4 '13 at 18:41

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.