Support for Windows and non-Windows operating systems (OS) in virtual machines is essential. Many production environments today run in virtual machines. A wide variety of operating systems must be supported by any hypervisor, the underlying fabric of any virtual machine hosting, to be considered enterprise grade.
Microsoft Hyper-V is certainly one of the key players in the hypervisor market. It supports various Linux guest OS for some time. Regardless whether you run Hyper-V on Windows 8.1 client or on the server OS, there is a number of Linux derivatives officially supported on Hyper-V – namely CentOS, Debian, Oracle, Red Hat Enterprise, SUSE, and Ubuntu. You should note there is also a wide range of other Linux and non-Windows OS running in Hyper-V. They’re just not officially supported. An awesome source for information about Hyper-V is Ben Armstrong’s Virtualization Blog.
On TechNet you find a number of very helpful pages listing supported features for Linux VMs. It starts with the overview page describing features like Live Migration, PAE Kernel Support, and many more. They’re neatly grouped into sections like Core, Networking, Storage, Memory, and more.
Further, each supported Linux OS has its own page available off the main landing page. Here you find Feature Distribution Maps, neatly listing features present in each version. And if there’s known issues and workarounds for a particular Linux OS, they’re listed too.
Shortcuts to the Linux Feature Distribution Maps
You should not confuse Linux guest OS support on Hyper-V with the support for Linux guest OS in Microsoft Azure. Best way starting to explore the support for and management of Linux guest OS in Microsoft Azure is visiting the site Introduction to Linux on Azure which provides a general overview. Once you’ve check it out, continue with the tutorial and guides.
Almost forgot an absolute stunning resource for VMs running in Microsoft Azure, the VM Depot managed by Microsoft Open Technologies. VM Depot is a community-driven catalog of preconfigured operating systems, applications, and development stacks that can easily be deployed on Windows Azure. Find your favorite software and deploy it in minutes, or join the community, build a virtual machine image, and share it with others. Learn more.