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Supported guest operating systems for Hyper-V 2016

Hyper-V 2016 supports newer guest OSes with a maximum number of vCPUs and automatic Integration Services installation. For older guest OSes, manual installation is still required.

Microsoft has strived to ensure that all of the latest Windows and Linux distributions are supported as a guest...

OS in the latest version of Hyper-V running on Windows Server 2016. The main takeaway, though, is how it has been provided for the number of vCPUs supported by guest OSes, the support for Integration Services and the support for new Hyper-V 2016 features. For example, earlier versions of Hyper-V provided support for almost all Windows and Linux OSes as a guest OS, but many of the Windows and Linux versions only supported a limited number of vCPUs and didn't have the ability to install the Integration Services automatically. With Hyper-V 2016, Microsoft has significantly improved the process for adding Integration Services automatically to guest OSes and also added the support for the maximum number of vCPUs.

Hyper-V 2016 makes it easier by automating the installation and activation process for Integration Services on newer OSes, such as Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows 10 and Windows 8.1. However, for Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1, Windows Server 2008 with SP2, Windows 7 with SP1 and Windows Vista with SP2, the Integration Services must be installed and upgraded manually.

As for virtual processor support, Windows Server 2016 guest OSes will support 260 vCPUs if the VM type is Generation 2 and 64 vCPUs for Windows Server 2016 guest VMs created using Generation 1 type technology. Guest OSes, such as Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1, will support a maximum of 64 vCPUs. Client Windows VMs, such as Windows 10 and Windows 8.1, can support a maximum of 32 vCPUs, and support 4 vCPUs for VMs that run Windows 7 with SP1 OS.

When it comes to Linux distributions as VMs, Hyper-V 2016 supports almost all of them, including CentOS, Red Hat, Debian, Oracle Linux, SUSE, Ubuntu and FreeBSD. Most of the newer Linux distributions ship with Integration Services installed. All you need to do is activate the Integration Services on Linux VMs which, in turn, enables the ability to use all new Hyper-V features, such as Secure Boot, booting using the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, memory resizing and many more.

In a nutshell, for newer guest OSes, Hyper-V 2016 supports the maximum number of vCPUs and does the job of installing Integration Services automatically, but for older guest OSes, you must install and upgrade Integration Services manually.                

Next Steps

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This was last published in December 2016

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What are some other useful features included in the newest version of Hyper-V?
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