Enable virtualization on Gigabyte AM4 boards

Tearing your hair out because virtualization won’t work on your new Ryzen & Gigabyte K7 PC? Make sure Secure Virtual Machine (SVM) mode is enabled in your Gigabyte motherboard’s bios, it’s buried in an unexpected spot. You can find it under: “M.I.T” > “Advanced Frequency Settings” > “Advanced CPU Core Settings” > “SVM Mode”.

Even when SVM mode is disabled the following will return expected results.
egrep '^flags.*(vmx|svm)' /proc/cpuinfo

However, when you run Virtual Machine Manager you’ll get “KVM is not available.” If you attempt to add the kvm_amd module with sudo modprobe kvm_amd you’ll get "ERROR: could not insert 'kvm_amd': Operation not supported". This lsmod | grep kvm will list kvm but not kvm_amd and VirtualBox will complain that “AMD-V is disabled in the BIOS (or by the host OS).” That last one finally tipped me off to the BIOS setting.

Stay away from Gigabyte motherboards if you are building a Linux based machine. Currently Ubuntu 17.04 fails at install with the error “unexpected irq trap at vector 07.” In the Canonical bug report there is a quote from Gigabyte which reads “Gigabyte do not guarantee Linux Platform on the desktop motherboard.” On the bright side the bug got me to try out Fedora 25 which I am loving so far.

Update (2020-05-31): When I first built this machine Ubuntu would fail with the above mentioned error. Thankfully that has been fixed and I’ve been running Ubuntu for well over a year now.


  1. Well done Mike.

    Pulling my hair out over here until I found this.

    BTW… Ubuntu 18.04 is now quite happy on my Gigabyte B450M with Ryzen 5 2600 (v2)

    All the best!

    1. Me to, fortunately I have the same board and bios did the trick. Now just for s#$$\ and giggles I’m using oracle for viewing a manual.
      The left side of page, parts you want to select, font can be changed but the right side, directions can’t find a way to change that font.
      Got A CLUE?

      1. My screenshot makes it look less buried than reality. Go to the “M.I.T.” tab and hit enter on “Advanced Frequency Settings”. From there arrow down and enter “Advanced CPU Core Settings”. You should see “SVM Mode” in that window.

        I just double checked with BIOS version F50d.

        1. THANK YOU!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!
          March 21, 2021 at 4:01 pm
          This post was only one found pointed me right at it! all others seem to miss a couple clicks…

  2. hello please help.
    I check enable the svm in bios and then no boot windows 10..why? (boot only safe mode)

    1. I’m afraid I don’t run windows anymore so I can’t be of much help. You might try updating Windows and your BIOS to the latest version.

  3. When they say “is not supported” they really mean “our support department will not answer questions about this topic”. It does not mean the motherboard won’t work with it.

    I installed VMware on it and Debian 10 Buster as a guest OS just fine after I drilled down to enable SVM in the BIOS.

  4. Mike thanks for saving my sanity on this one, all I could see on my Virtualbox install in Mint linux was 32 bit os, knew that it was something in the bios of my gigabyte board, but for the life of me could not find it, certainly a few nights work saved. Cheers Mate

  5. I think I bricked half my 5950X Ryzen. Google led me to this discussion.
    I tried to enable virtualization by enabling SVM Mode, but no luck. I’d imagine it was enabled before I screwed with overclocking the brand new cPU, as it was purring like a kitten, and showed great benchmarks. I posted about it here. I doubt anyone can help, but figure it can’t hurt to ask.

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