Learning Center Guides Linux Installation: Enabling Hardware Virtualization in Windows

Linux Installation: Enabling Hardware Virtualization in Windows

This guide will explain how to enable hardware virtualization on Windows

This is a continuation of this guide: How to install Linux on your Windows computer

System requirements

You should use this document if you have a Windows PC and it at least meets these system requirements:

  • 25 GB of free hard drive space
  • Hardware virtualization support
  • 4 GB of RAM (Ideally 8GB)

Check requirements

You can check if you have enough free hard drive space if you:

  • Open the File Explorer
  • Click on This PC

You can check if Hardware Virtualiztion is enabled if you:

  • Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC to open Task Manager
  • Click over to the Performance Tab
  • Make sure you're on the CPU tile
  • Beneath the chart, look out for the Virtualization: Enabled section in the right column
    • If your Virtualization reads Disabled, you'll need the section below

You can check the amount of RAM you have available from the same tab in the Task Manager:

  • Click the Memory tile beneath CPU to ensure it's at least 4GB

You could also check both of these using the command prompt/Powershell:

  • Right click on the windows button in the bottom left corner
  • Select Windows Powershell (Admin) or Command Prompt (Admin)
  • Type in systeminfo and you will see Hyper-V Requirements at the bottom along with with whether it's enabled
  • Scroll up and look at the amount of Total Physical Memory (1,000MB is about 1GB)

Enable hardware virtualization

This will be a little bit trickier and will require you to make a change to the System Configuration in BIOS or UEFI Settings. You may want to watch this walkthrough video on YouTube to get an idea of what you will be doing before reading on.

Sometimes the simplest way to get into your system BIOS is to restart your computer and as soon as the computer screen flashes with life, press the F2, F10, F12, F1, or DELETE key. This key is determined by the hardware manufacturer, so there's no way of knowing which. Try pressing repeatedly. If nothing happens with either of those keys, and you've tried restarting a few times, you should try the method below:

  • Open Windows settings by right-clicking on the start button in the lower right hand corner open Windows settings
  • Click on Updates & Security updates and security
  • Under Advanced start-up click on Restart now restart now under advanced start up
  • Click on Troubleshoot Troubleshoot
  • Click on Advanced Options Advanced Options
  • Click on UEFI Firmware Settings UEFI Firmware Options
  • Click Restart Restart

Your mouse will not work in this section. You will need to use the arrow keys on your keyboard, and the arrow key to select. Be very careful of other settings and options. You do NOT want to mistakenly affect other settings.

Every BIOS will look different, but there should be a tab named Advanced, Advanced Settings, Configuration, or System Configuration. The tab may not be named exactly the same, but keep an eye out for something similar. It may even be under tab named Main and beneath somewhere in an option.

Once you find it you will look for an option with a name similar to one listed below:

  • Virtualization Technology
  • Virtualization VTx
  • Intel Virtualization Technology
  • Intel Virtual Technology
  • Intel VT-x Technology

Whichever it may be, you'll want to press ENTER and make sure it is set to Enabled. Once it is enabled. Exit and save changes.

WARNING If you go into your BIOS, and you don't see an option for System Configuration or Advanced Settings, then your firmware settings may be limiting what you can change / your system may not support hardware virtualization and you will need an alternative route to Linux--- try another option here.