How to Create a Linux Virtual Machine in Hyper-V

This video explains how to use the Hyper-V Manager to create Linux virtual machines. You’ll learn the standard process, as well as the Quick Create method.

Brien Posey

February 21, 2023

6 Min Read
Abstract digital image of gear shaped network

The following is a transcript of the video above, which walks through the process of installing a Linux virtual machine using Hyper-V.

Brien Posey: Hi, I'm Brien Posey. In this video, I want to show you a really easy way to install a Linux virtual machine using Hyper-V.

Standard Process for Linux VM Installation on Hyper-V

So, as you can see, right now I've got the Hyper-V Manager up on screen. For those who might not be familiar with the Hyper-V Manager, it's the default management tool for Hyper-V.

I'm using a Windows 11 machine. Now, Windows 11 doesn't have Hyper V installed by default. If you haven't already installed Hyper-V on your Windows 11 machine, you will need to do that before you can access the Hyper-V Manager.

Having said that, the normal way that you would create a virtual machine in Hyper-V is to simply right-click on the server. Then, go to New and then choose Virtual Machine. Incidentally, there's also a New option right here in the Actions pane on the right.

At any rate, doing that is going to bring up the New Virtual Machine Wizard. From there, you would click Next, you would specify the name of the virtual machine that you want to create, and choose a storage location if you need to. Then you would click Next. You would specify the virtual machine generation. Typically, you want to use a Generation 2 virtual machine unless you're installing a really old operating system. Then you would click Next, and then choose how much memory you want to assign to the new virtual machine and click Next.

Related:How I Reclaimed Terabytes of Disk Space From Hyper-V

From there, you would select your network adapter. I'm going to connect this virtual machine to the Default Switch. And then you would click next. You would specify the virtual hard disk that you want to use, and click Next.

Then you would choose an operating system to install on the virtual machine. So, as you can see, you can install an operating system later on, you can install an operating system from a network-based installation server, or you can install an operating system from a bootable image file. Typically, that's the way that I set up virtual machines. So, let’s just choose this option, click Browse, and then select some installation media, which I don't have any on this machine, so I'm going to go ahead and cancel out of this. I'm going to set this to install an operating system later.

Then you would click Next, then click Finish, and your virtual machine is created. You can see the new virtual machine right here.

From there, you would have to power up that virtual machine and then install an operating system.

The Quick Create Method

So, that's what's normally involved in creating a virtual machine on Hyper-V, but I'm going to show you a shortcut so that you don't have to go through all of that.

Let's go ahead and create a virtual machine using a different method. Now if you look in the Actions pane, the very first option is something called Quick Create. Quick Create acts like something of a shortcut for creating new virtual machines.

Now, the important thing to know is that the Quick Create option only exists in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Most people who use Hyper-V do so on Windows Server. The Quick Create option doesn’t exist on Windows Server.

Just to show you what I mean, I’m going to quickly switch over to a Windows Server-based machine.

Here I am in Windows Server. At first glance, this looks exactly the same, but you’ll notice that the computer name is different. My other one was called Win 11. And you’ll also notice that the Quick Create option is gone from the Actions pane. So, the Quick Create option does not exist in Windows Server Hyper-V.

So, I’m going to go ahead and switch back to my Windows 11 machine. And I’m going to go ahead and click Quick Create.

At this point, I’m prompted for what operating system I want to install. As you can see, I’ve got Windows 10, Windows 11, and then a few different Linux builds that I can choose from. I’m going to select one of these Linux builds, And then I’ll click Create Virtual Machine.

Now, even though this is a shortcut, the very first time that you create a virtual machine in this way, the process can be time-consuming. As you can see on screen right here, the image file has to be downloaded from the web before the virtual machines operating system can be installed. But once that’s been downloaded, you can use that same image over and over again to create future virtual machines. So, the setup process won't take nearly as long whenever you create other virtual machines using this method.

So, now the download has completed, and Windows has to verify the image before it attempts to install a virtual machine using that image.

Okay, the image has been verified. Now the virtual machine has been created. And if you look at the list of virtual machines up by my mouse pointer, you can see that the new virtual machine is indeed being created. This process can take a little while, especially the very first time that you do it.

The virtual machine has been successfully created. You'll notice that we didn't have to go through that big manual configuration process. Windows took care of everything as a part of the Quick Create process.

Let's go ahead and connect to the new virtual machine. I'll click Connect, and the virtual machine window opens. As you can see, the virtual machine is currently turned off. So, let's go ahead and turn it on.

And we're taken immediately into the operating system configuration. So, I'll choose English as my language and click Continue. I'll choose English as my keyboard layout. I'll select my time zone. Then, I'll go ahead and enter my name. I'll provide a password and click Continue.

After just a few minutes, the installation process has completed, and I'm prompted to login. So, I'll click on my username. I'll enter my password. And I'm taken into my newly deployed Linux virtual machine.

So, that's how you create a Linux virtual machine in Hyper-V the easy way.

I'm Brien Posey. Thanks for watching.

About the Author(s)

Brien Posey

Brien Posey is a bestselling technology author, a speaker, and a 20X Microsoft MVP. In addition to his ongoing work in IT, Posey has spent the last several years training as a commercial astronaut candidate in preparation to fly on a mission to study polar mesospheric clouds from space.

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