Windows 11 as KVM guest

Windows 11 famously has new, stricter requirements for installation; a TPM device and Secure Boot. Here's how I satisfied those requirements with Windows 11 as a KVM guest with NixOS as the host. The following is pulled from my NixOS configuration.nix:

libvirtd.qemu = {
  package = pkgs.qemu_kvm;
  runAsRoot = true;
  swtpm.enable = true;
  ovmf = {
    enable = true;
    package = (pkgs.OVMFFull.override {
      secureBoot = true;
      tpmSupport = true;

The most important bit is the pkgs.OVMFFull.override section where you must specify tpmSupport and secureBoot as true.

In virt-manager you'll need to add "new hardware" and select TPM v2.0. Here's the relevant XML from my config:

<tpm model="tpm-crb">
  <backend type="emulator" version="2.0"/>

With the above settings you should be able to go through the Windows 11 installer and get the machine up and running as a KVM guest.

Stretch goal: nested virtualization

If you want to use Docker or WSL 2 inside KVM you'll need to enable "nested virtualization" in virt-manager. I couldn't figure this out until I found this great answer on superuser.

My original CPU config XML looked like this:

<cpu mode="host-model" check="partial">
  <topology sockets="1" dies="1" cores="2" threads="4"/>

The new XML looks like this:

<cpu mode="custom" match="exact" check="partial">
  <model fallback="allow">Skylake-Client-noTSX-IBRS</model>
  <topology sockets="1" dies="1" cores="2" threads="4"/>
  <feature policy="disable" name="hypervisor"/>
  <feature policy="require" name="vmx"/>

With this applied I could install WSL2 and get Docker Desktop for Windows installed and running.

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