Published: August 1, 2012
Updated: April 5, 2016
Applies To: Windows 8.1, Windows 8
Client Hyper-V is the name for the virtualization technology that was introduced in Windows 8. Client Hyper-V is an optional feature that can be installed through Programs and Features in the Control Panel. For more information about Client Hyper-V, see Bringing Hyper-V to Windows 8.
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Client Hyper-V is built upon the same virtualization technology that is available in Windows Server.
Hyper-V virtualizes hardware to provide an environment in which you can run multiple operating systems at the same time on one physical computer. Hyper-V enables you to create and manage virtual machines and their resources. Each virtual machine is an isolated, virtualized computer system that can run its own operating system. The operating system that runs within a virtual machine is called a guest operating system.
To install and start using Hyper-V, see Install Hyper-V and create a virtual machine
Client Hyper-V can be used in many ways, for example:
You can create your own testing environment with a single machine. ITPros and developers can create an entire infrastructure, hosted entirely on a laptop or desktop computer. Then, when everything is working correctly, you can export the virtual machines and run them on server running Hyper-V.
Developers can also use Client Hyper-V to test their software on multiple operating systems. For example, if you have an application that you must test on the Windows 8, Windows 7, and Linux operating systems, you can create three separate virtual machines right on your development computer.
You can use Client Hyper-V to troubleshoot. You can export a virtual machine from your production environment, open it on your desktop with Client Hyper-V, perform your required troubleshooting, and then export it back into the production environment. Using virtual networking, you can create a multi-machine environment for test/development/demonstration that is secure from affecting the production network.
Enthusiasts can use it to experiment with other operating systems. Hyper-V makes it very easy to bring up and tear down different operating systems.
You can use Hyper-V on a laptop for demonstrating older versions of Windows or non-Windows operating systems.
There are some features included in Hyper-V on server that are not included in Client Hyper-V. These include the following:
The Remote FX capability to virtualize GPUs
Live migration of virtual machines from one host to another
Virtual Fibre Channel
32-bit SR-IOV networking
Virtual machines running on Client Hyper-V do not automatically handle moving from a wired to a wireless connection. You must change the virtual machines network adapter settings manually.
There are some features that work differently on Client Hyper-V than they do Hyper-V running on Windows Server. These include the following:
The memory management model is different for Client Hyper-V. On a server, Hyper-V memory is managed with the assumption that only the virtual machines are running on the server. In Client Hyper-V, memory is managed with the understanding most client machines are running software in addition to running virtual machines. For example, a developer might be running Visual Studio as well as several virtual machines on the same computer.
SR-IOV on a 64-bit guest works normally, but 32-bit does not and is not supported.
Hyper-V requires a computer with a supported 64-bit processor that has Second Level Address Translation (SLAT). For information about checking and changing the virtualization support settings of your system BIOS, consult your system manufacturer.
4 GB of RAM is required.
Hyper-V is only available in the following versions of Windows:
Windows 8 Pro 64-bit Edition
Windows 8 Enterprise 64-bit Edition
Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit Edition
Windows 8.1 Enterprise 64-bit Edition
Use the topics in the following table for information about guest operating systems supported for Hyper-V on versions of Windows.
Host operating system
Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview
Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1
Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8
Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2