Recently I started looking at KVM/Qemu as an alternative to VirtualBox and was shocked to notice that these 3 modules seem to be automatically loaded on almost every linux system I checked:
[pgoetz@frog etc]$ lsmod | grep kvm kvm_intel 311296 0 kvm 778240 1 kvm_intel irqbypass 16384 1 kvm
The reason this was shocking is none of these systems were using kvm/Qemu virtualization (although a couple of them were set up for VirtualBox). The systems I checked were running Arch linux, Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 19.10, and CentOS 7.4. The Ubuntu 19.10 was a fresh desktop install with no added software. The only system I found which didn't have the KVM modules loaded was an Ubuntu 18.04.2 (alternative) server install.
Plenty of googling hasn't uncovered the reason for why these modules are loaded. As an experiment, I tried disabling Intel VT in the BIOS on the Ubuntu 19.10 machine, and it still loaded the kvm module (but not kvm_intel)!
It probably doesn't hurt anything to have this module loaded, but I'm curious about the mechanism: how/why is it being loaded on boot?