What is the best Virtual Machine software?

Discussion in 'sandboxing & virtualization' started by The Count, Aug 1, 2016.

  1. The Count

    The Count Registered Member

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    What is the best Virtual Machine software for Windows 8.1 and Linux?
    And your reasons for your conclusions.

    Is open source virtual machine better, if so why?
    Thank you.

    Note: I'm after free product
     
  2. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    For me it's Virualbox. It's got everything I need and it's also free.
     
  3. WildByDesign

    WildByDesign Registered Member

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    VirtualBox here as well. I always prefer open source whenever possible. The free version of VMware has extremely limited features in comparison to VB.
     
  4. ArchiveX

    ArchiveX Registered Member

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    VMware...but it is not free.
     
  5. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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  6. chrcol

    chrcol Registered Member

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    virtualbox, although it is really annoying it cannot even in 2016 test boot usb sticks.

    HyperV runs much faster VM's, however imposes a 24/7 penalty on the host machine whilst it is enabled, even if no VMs are running.
     
  7. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    I can't say anything about Virtualbox, I never used it. But back in the days I used VMware and it was pretty good. I think they should sell it a bit cheaper to generate more sales, and to make it available to a wider audience.
     
  8. chrisretusn

    chrisretusn Registered Member

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    For me it's VirtualBox. Can't give a comairision with VMWare though, have not used VMware in ages. I am sure it has improved quite a bit. It does work with Linux. I have a good friend who runs it on Slackware and prefers it over VirtualBox.

    My reason for using it. Mostly because I know it. I have been using VirtualBox for a number of years now. For me it's simple to install, update and creating virtual machines a is relatively simple. At the moment I have 15 virtual machines installed in VirtualBox. All were installed using a ISO image, though using a physical CD works as well. Some are setup as Live CD/DVD with no virtual hard drive.

    My host for VirtualBox is Slackware64. I have run various guest machines. See my signature for the current summary of operating systems.

    VirtualBox can boot to a USB. It does require a few extra steps but it does allow booting to USB sticks.

    For Windows:
    How to Boot from a USB Drive in VirtualBox

    For Linux:
    How to Boot from USB Drive in VirtualBox on Linux
     
  9. Cohen

    Cohen Registered Member

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    VirtualBox is my personal favourite.
     
  10. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    Could you explain more? What kind of penalties?
     
  11. Night_Raven

    Night_Raven Registered Member

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    For me personally...

    In theory: VirtualBox
    In reality: VMware Workstation

    VirtualBox has a good looking and decently intuitive interface, is fast, has a lot of features, costs nothing. Seems like it's perfect. Unfortunately, for me it has always been buggy, unreliable and I had frequently asked myself it wasn't more trouble than it was worth.
    VMware Workstation, although expensive, works as advertised. Best example are USB devices, it was a damn nightmare to manage them and use them in VirtualBox, whereas in VMware it Just Works™.
     
  12. MisterB

    MisterB Registered Member

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    I've never found Virtualbox to be buggy or unreliable. It is complex and not always user friendly. It is also a stable and mature VM host at this point. Above all, it is free and well supported.

    VMware licensing is expensive and transient. I don't and won't ever use software that is going to expire after a years time. This is a particularly bad licensing scheme for a VM host because you will lose any licenses on the VMs if you don't pay to renew your VMware license.
     
  13. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    Except one faulty update, I also never experienced any problem using VirtualBox.
     
  14. The Count

    The Count Registered Member

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    What are the benefits of using a usb stick with VB as opposed to using VB without a usb stick?

    Those penalties being?
     
  15. WildByDesign

    WildByDesign Registered Member

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    Likely referring to the fact that when Hyper-V is installed, you cannot utilize VMware or VirtualBox without completely uninstalling Hyper-V first.
     
  16. MisterB

    MisterB Registered Member

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    I have Virtualbox working with Hyper-V installed on several Windows 10 installations. I don't have any Hyper-V Vms as of yet but I can launch the host software. Virtualbox was buggy or not working at all in Windows 10 for me until the 5.0.14 version came out. Since then, I've had no problems with it.
     
  17. NormanF

    NormanF Registered Member

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    Oracle VB in as free as beer.

    And it hosts my Ubuntu distros on their own virtual drives.
     
  18. Hadron

    Hadron Registered Member

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    There is an Extension Pack available for download that provides support for USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 devices.
     
  19. NormanF

    NormanF Registered Member

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    Huh? VB can boot iso images without need for a USB stick.

    And you can burn the iso image to your virtual drive just like you would to a physical hard drive.
     
  20. chrisretusn

    chrisretusn Registered Member

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    While the Extension Pack does add support for USB devices, it does not add boot to USB device support. As I mentioned in my post above it is possible to boot to a USB device by making an raw image of the boot device. In that post I gave a couple of how-to links. Here is a link to the VirtualBox user manual 9.9. Advanced storage configuration that describes the procedure.

    For me it's testing out a USB stick I just made bootable using a virtual machine without having to reboot to it for my real machine.
     
  21. Pliskin

    Pliskin Registered Member

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  22. chrcol

    chrcol Registered Member

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    To test my usb stick to see if it works as intended. As I have multiple USB sticks, one is a multi OS usb stick has many diff OS on there to install and also some live recovery tools such as macrium and parted magic live boot.

    Currently due to virtualbox issue I have to test on a physical device.

    The above alternative I guess is just to see if the bootloader works, I may also want to actually test OS installation as well.
     
  23. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

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    I like VirtualBOX, but I also like how it's easily possible to get a VGA-bypass on QEMU. It's possible to build a one-tower killer PC that hosts 11 virtual machines, all running their separate OS and using their separate VGA to play games.

    VirtualBox: Good and easy for most cases, but it's not "Free" as in free-speech (AFAIK).
    QEMU: Can suffer from driver issues for most cases, but it's Free as in free-speech and allows VGA-passthrough.
     
  24. The Count

    The Count Registered Member

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    Intense process just to download it for windows I note. Not a straight forward simple download for it I mean.
     
  25. chrisretusn

    chrisretusn Registered Member

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    For me that is not an alternative, runs on Windows only.

    Edit: Having said that. I fired up my Windows 7 virtual machine and gave it a test run with a Slackware-live USB I created. Agonizingly slow though, after all we are running a vm in a vm. I will stick to my current method as I mentioned in a post above.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2016
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