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Initial release2014; 7 years ago (2014) Edit this on Wikidata

bhyve (pronounced "bee hive", formerly written as BHyVe for "BSD hypervisor") is a type-2 hypervisor initially written for FreeBSD.[1][2][3] It can also be used on a number of illumos based distributions including SmartOS[4] OpenIndiana and OmniOS.[5] A port of bhyve to macOS called xhyve is also available.[6]


bhyve supports the virtualization of several guest operating systems, including FreeBSD 9+, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Linux, illumos, DragonFly and Windows NT[7] (Windows Vista and later, Windows Server 2008 and later). Current development efforts aim at widening support for other operating systems for the x86-64 architecture.

Support for peripherals is minimal, with a virtual PS/2 keyboard and mouse plus a VGA framebuffer connected via VNC. Hardware-accelerated graphics is only available using PCI passthrough, but Intel GVT should allow sharing the device with the host.[8]


Docker on macOS uses a bhyve derivative called HyperKit. It is derived from xhyve, a port of bhyve to macOS's Hypervisor.framework.[9]


  1. ^ Carabas, Mihai; Grehan, Peter (10 June 2016). "Porting bhyve on ARM" (PDF). Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  2. ^ Dexter, Michael (20 October 2012). "BHyVe: The BSD HyperVisor In Depth" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 February 2018. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  3. ^ Kerner, Sean Michael (22 January 2014). "Open Source FreeBSD 10 Takes on Virtualization". ServerWatch. QuinStreet Enterprise. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  4. ^ Gerdts, Mike (March 2018). "bhyve zones in SmartOS" (PDF).
  5. ^ "bhyve Hypervisor". Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  6. ^ "machyve/xhyve: a lightweight OS X virtualization solution". GitHub. 9 July 2020.
  7. ^ "bhyve Windows Virtual Machines". FreeBSD Wiki.
  8. ^ "Bhyve guests with hardware accelerated graphics". FreeBSD Presentations and Papers.
  9. ^ "moby/hyperkit: A toolkit for embedding hypervisor capabilities in your application". GitHub. Moby. 10 July 2020.

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