Q: Can I run Linux in a Generation 2 Hyper-V virtual machine?

A: Windows Server 2012 R2 introduced the Generation 2 virtual machine, which removed the legacy virtual hardware such as PS/2 keyboards and mice, IDE controller, legacy network adapter, and a number of system components. In addition, the Generation 2 virtual machine is UEFI-based instead of BIOS-based. Because of the removal of the legacy hardware that was required for non-enlightened operating systems (not natively virtualization-aware) and its UEFI foundation with no Compatibility Support Module (CSM), only 64-bit Windows operating systems that have native UEFI support are supported. Specifically:

  • Windows 8 64-bit
  • Windows 8.1 64-bit
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2

The TechNet article "Generation 2 Virtual Machine Overview" outlines these supported operating systems. Currently there are no supported Linux distributions. This doesn't mean a Linux distribution that can boot from SCSI and that natively supports UEFI wouldn't work—but it's not supported.