Advantages and disadvantages of VirtualBox over VMWare


VirtualBox is a general-purpose full virtualizer for x86 hardware, targeted at server, desktop, and embedded use.  Developed initially by Innotek GmbH, it was acquired by Sun Microsystems in 2008, which was, in turn, acquired by Oracle in 2010.

VirtualBox is an extremely feature rich, high-performance product for enterprise customers, it is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2. It supports Windows, Linux, Macintosh, Sun Solaris, and FreeBSD. VirtualBox has supported Open Virtualization Format (OVF) since version 2.2.0 (April 2009). Oracle Corporation now develops the software package and titles it Oracle VM VirtualBox. This is a virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use.

Operating system virtualization allows your computer’s hardware to run many operating system images simultaneously. One of the most used instances of this is to test software or applications in a different environment, rather than on a different computer. This can potentially save you quite a bit of money by running multiple servers virtually on one computer.

Pros and Cons of VirtualBox over VMWare

  • VirtualBox is a general-purpose full virtualizer for x86 hardware, targeted at server, desktop, and embedded use.

  • This product is a Type 2 hypervisor, so it’s a virtualization host software that runs on an already established operating system as an application.

  • With VirtualBox, it’s also possible to share your clipboard between the virtualized and host operating system.

  • While VMWare functions on Windows and Linux, not Mac, VirtualBox works with Windows, Mac, and Linux computers.

  • VirtualBox truly has a lot of support because it's open-source and free. Being open-source means that recent releases are sometimes a bit buggy, but also that they typically get fixed relatively quickly.

  • With VMWare player, instead, you have to wait for the company to release an update to fix the bugs.

  • VirtualBox offers you an unlimited number of snapshots.

  • VirtualBox is easy to install, takes a smaller amount of resources, and is many people’s first choice.

  • VMWare often failed to detect my USB device Besides,  VirtualBox can detect as well as identify USB devices after installing VirtualBox Extension Pack.

  • With VirtualBox Guest Addition, files can be dragged and copied between VirtualBox and host.

  • VMware outperforms VirtualBox in terms of CPU and memory utilization.

  • VirtualBox has snapshots and VMware has rollback points to which you can revert back to in case you break your virtual machine.

  • VMware calls it Unity mode and VirtualBox calls it the seamless mode and they both enable you to open application windows on the host machine, while the VM supporting that app is running in the background quietly.

  • In the case of VirtualBox, the UI is simple and clean. Your settings are split into Machine Tools and Global Tools and the former is for creating, modifying, starting, stop and deleting virtual machines. VMware, on the other hand, has a much more complicated UI, menu items are named with technical terms which may seem like jargon to average users. This is primarily because the VMware folks cater to cloud providers and server-side virtualizations more.

  • In case of VirtualBox, PCIe passthrough can be accomplished, although you might have to jump through some hoops. VMware on the other offers excellent customer support and would help you out if you are in a fix.

  • VirtualBox is basically a highly secure program that allows users to download and run OS as a virtual machine. With VirtualBox, users are able to abstract their hardware via complete virtualization thus guaranteeing a higher degree of protection from viruses running in the guest OS.

  • Virtual Box offers limited support for 3D graphics. And VMWare has a high-level 3D graphics support with DX10 and OpenGL 3.3 support.

  • The real advantage of VirtualBox over VMware server lies in its performance. VirtualBox apparently runs faster than VMware server. A timed experiment of an installation of Windows XP as the guest OS took 20 mins in VirtualBox and 35 mins on VMware server. A similar test on the booting time of the guest OS also shows favor to VirtualBox with timing of 45secs compared to 1min 39 secs on VMware server.

  • In VirtualBox, the remote file sharing feature is built right in the package. Setting up remote file sharing is easy and you only need to do it once: point the file path to the directory that you want to share.

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