I have Windows 10 with Hyper-V enabled. I am interested in running (say) three Linux VMs on boot, but I don't want the underlying Windows 10 VM to boot by default. I just want Hyper-V to start on cold boot and bring up the three Linux VMs. If I want to use the Windows 10 VM, I will start it manually.

Is there any way to do that?

  • You're looking for a bare metal hypervisor. Something like ESXi, or Hyper-V Server 2019. – Michael Frank Mar 10 '20 at 19:50
  • You can configured Windows 10 to automatically start the three VMs when you logged into your user profile, but Windows would need to be running, what you seems more inline with and required ESXi or Hyper-V Server – Ramhound Mar 10 '20 at 20:17
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    There is no Windows 10 VM, there is only Windows 10. – harrymc Mar 10 '20 at 20:57
  • Keep in mind, if you're running ESXi or Hyper-V server, you're not able to interact with your VMs at the console, they're not designed for that, you'll need another system to use and manage the VMs with them. – essjae Mar 10 '20 at 21:43

No, that's not possible. Hyper-V alone is not functional – it is just a hypervisor and has no way to boot your VMs on its own. Even though the "host" Windows 10 system runs inside the hypervisor, it's the one which provides all VM configuration, storage, networking, and emulated hardware. In a way it's similar to Xen requiring a dom0, or Linux KVM requiring Qemu userspace.

You can however replace Win10 with "Microsoft Hyper-V Server", which is a barebones variant of Windows Server that only hosts Hyper-V and nothing else. (It's a completely free download from Microsoft.)

See more at:

  • There's no way to get a Windows 10 VM under Hyper-V server talking to the console, though, right? – Tripp Kinetics Apr 26 '20 at 17:40

Virtual Machines designed for Hyper-V require Hyper-V running on a host machine to work. You can convert them to VirtualBox which runs on OS other than Windows, using the command from https://serverfault.com/questions/246854/convert-hyper-v-images-to-virtual-box

VBoxManage clonehd input.vhdx output.vdi --format VDI

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