Chapitre 20. Installing and managing Windows virtual machines

To use Microsoft Windows as the guest operating system in your virtual machines (VMs) on a RHEL 9 host, Red Hat recommends taking extra steps to ensure these VMs run correctly.

For this purpose, the following sections provide information on installing and optimizing Windows VMs on the host, as well as installing and configuring drivers in these VMs.

20.1. Installing Windows virtual machines

You can create a fully-virtualized Windows machine on a RHEL 9 host, launch the graphical Windows installer inside the virtual machine (VM), and optimize the installed Windows guest operating system (OS).

To create the VM and to install the Windows guest OS, use the virt-install command or the RHEL 9 web console.

Conditions préalables

  • A Windows OS installation source, which can be one of the following, and be available locally or on a network:

    • An ISO image of an installation medium
    • A disk image of an existing VM installation
  • A storage medium with the KVM virtio drivers.

    To create this medium, see Preparing virtio driver installation media on a host machine.

  • If you are installing Windows 11, the edk2-ovmf, swtpm and libtpms packages must be installed on the host.


  1. Create the VM. For instructions, see Creating virtual machines, but keep in mind the following specifics.

    • If using the virt-install utility to create the VM, add the following options to the command:

      • The storage medium with the KVM virtio drivers. For example:

        --disk path=/usr/share/virtio-win/virtio-win.iso,device=cdrom
      • The Windows version you will install. For example, for Windows 10 and 11:

        --os-variant win10

        For a list of available Windows versions and the appropriate option, use the following command:

        # osinfo-query os
      • If you are installing Windows 11, enable Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) and virtual Trusted Platform Module (vTPM):

        --boot uefi
    • If using the web console to create the VM, specify your version of Windows in the Operating system field of the Create new virtual machine window.

      • If you are installing Windows versions prior to Windows 11 and Windows Server 2022, start the installation by clicking Create and run.
      • If you are installing Windows 11, or you want to use additional Windows Server 2022 features, confirm by clicking Create and edit and enable UEFI and vTPM using the CLI:

        1. Open the VM’s XML configuration:

          # virsh edit windows-vm
        2. Add the firmware='efi' option to the os element:

          <os firmware='efi'>
            <type arch='x86_64' machine='pc-q35-6.2'>hvm</type>
            <boot dev='hd'/>
        3. Add the tpm device inside the devices element:

            <tpm model='tpm-crb'>
              <backend type='emulator' version='2.0'/>
        4. Start the Windows installation by clicking Install in the Virtual machines table.
  2. Install the Windows OS in the VM.

    For information on how to install a Windows operating system, refer to the relevant Microsoft installation documentation.

  3. If using the web console to create the VM, attach the storage medium with virtio drivers to the VM using the Disks interface. For instructions, see Attaching existing disks to virtual machines using the web console.
  4. Configure KVM virtio drivers in the Windows guest OS. For details, see Installing KVM paravirtualized drivers for Windows virtual machines.