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Is there a bare metal Hyper-V that I can install via Windows 7 - 10? I've read but I don't understand how I get bare metal.

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"Bare metal" means you're installing the hypervisor directly on the machine, no other OSs involved (other than the OSs running in the VMs).

From Wikipedia:

Type-1, native or bare-metal hypervisors

These hypervisors run directly on the host's hardware to control the hardware and to manage guest operating systems. For this reason, they are sometimes called bare metal hypervisors.

Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 is an "unlimited evaluation" version that you can download and use for free.

  • You can boot directly to Hyper-V VMs in Windows 8+. Hyper-V does not run on Windows 7 – Ramhound Jul 27 '16 at 17:44
  • Despite all the downvotes, you answered. Thank you for that. – johnny Jul 27 '16 at 17:47
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So to answer your question, no, it does not. You can install Hyper-V directly on your hardware with no intermediate Server OS layer.

However, your other question:

Is there a bare metal Hyper-V that I can install via Windows 7 - 10?

So this is worded a little weird, but here is the answer along with a tidbit that I just learned recently. You can enable Hyper-V on Windows 8, 8.1, Windows 10 (read this for the requirements). This is not really what is meant by bare-metal, but what is really interesting about Hyper-V is that when you enable it and restart your computer, Hyper-V inserts itself underneath the OS layer, thereby, in a way, becoming a bare-metal hypervisor. In other words, in either scenario-- installing Hyper-V via the OS interface or installing Hyper-V as a standalone product-- Hyper-V gains direct access to hardware layer, thereby becoming a type-1 hypervisor.

You can read about that more here: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc768520(v=bts.10).aspx

  • Thanks. Can you make it boot to a different OS if you install Windows 10 and do Hyper-V like you describe? Like autoboot to a Linux guest? – johnny Jul 27 '16 at 20:56
  • No; minimally, no entry is made to your bootloader when you create a guest VM, so it won't be a bootable option. – jayhc Jul 28 '16 at 11:10

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