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I'm a Linux user and would like to have a Windows 7 Virtual Machine on KVM. Microsoft licensing confuses me and I don't want to buy a copy of Windows 7 that won't allow me to install it as a KVM VM.

What version should I buy? How much should I expect to pay for this?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I believe all Windows 7 versions can be installed in virtual machines.

However, there are many limitations of what you're allowed, many more so on server versions than on workstation. If you don't care about the version, and just want one virtual machine, just search for the cheapest offer.

For example, if you have a college email address you may get Win7 for $29.99 here.

If you don't, I believe the best offer at the moment is to be found on the Microsoft Store as a promotion.

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Unfortunately I believe you have to buy a fully licensed copy, even for a virtual machine. I know you can install it in a vm though, as said in the EULA:

Instead of using the software directly on the licensed device, you may install and use the software within only one virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system on the licensed device.

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If KVM lets you run a virtual machine using a real hard drive partition instead of a disk image file, then just buy Windows 7, and install it into one PRIMARY partition of your hard drive. Once you have tested that it runs, reboot into Linux, configure the VM and fire it up.

I know that XEN can run VM's from a partition but I don't know if KVM can do that.

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yes, it can. and it can install onto it through the VM. Will win7 detect if it is installing onto a virtual drive and try to thwart me? – Arthur Ulfeldt Oct 22 '09 at 22:21
@Arthur What do you mean? I have windows 7 running on a virtual drive (qcow2) right now. – Evan Plaice Jul 29 '10 at 5:21

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