Enable virtualization on Gigabyte AM4 boards

Tearing your hair out because virtualization won’t work on your new Ryzen & Gigabyte K7 PC? Make sure 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.

13 Replies to “Enable virtualization on Gigabyte AM4 boards”

  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. 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.

  2. 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.

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