Virtual Platform Virtualization Software
VMware Workstation— Selección del Editor
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The great things that virtual machines do
|Those Internet users who believe that virtual machines and virtualization is only for computer geeks who run powerful servers, are mistaken big time. Virtual machines can offer something special for everyone. You may need to run some old applications that are compatible with Windows XP or earlier versions only, but to install such app, you would need to firstly launch a virtual machine. A virtual machine is also frequently used by software testers who work with numerous pristine applications and software. All in all, virtual machines massively broaden computer usability and users’ opportunities. Here are just a few of those great things that virtualization does:|
Old applications and software
Browse in a safely mode
Test upgrades, software and new configurations
Run Linux on top of Windows
Easily back up the entire OS
Run headless for web creation
|If you’ve decided that a virtual machine is something that you’d like to try, take a look at our list of most popular virtual machine applications. Most modern computers are capable to run the entire operating systems within their main OS, hence, there won’t be any problem to install the app and use it. The only thing you should pay attention at is a processing power of your computer and system memory.|
VMware Workstation is a powerful program that enables users to simultaneously launch a few operating systems on a single computer. VMware Workstation emulates a standalone computer and gives users a total access over its content - OS, apps and software. What’s great about this program is that it allows software testers to test multiple pristine applications on various operating systems without making any harm to the main OS. Besides, with VMware Workstation one can arrange an effective network between virtual machines as well as interact with external devices. VMware Workstation also supports 64-bit guest operating systems, including Linux, FreeBSD and Windows as well as Solaris x86 which means that testers can work with both, 32-bit and 64-bit OS on one and the same computer. Despite the fact that this program has been created for mostly professional use, it can easily be used by all type of users and for multiple purposes.
Advantages: A fast and practical software that can be used by users of all kinds and for multiple purposes.
VirtualBox is another feature-rich and popular program, designed for wide audiences, including professional QA engineers and standard users who simply like to try and evaluate various applications. As most virtual environments, VirtualBox will surely save you from all sorts of troubles and let you install any app with no harm to your main operating system whatsoever. Besides, you will be able to test this app on several OS but within one and the same computer. VirtualBox comes up with a friendly and easy-to-use interface that allows users to pick the desired OS (Windows, Linux, BSD, Mac OS X or Solaris) right from the start and assign the certain hardware space for the virtual machine. VirtualBox supports a number of host operating systems, including Mac OS X, Linux, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Solaris and many others. The amount of guest operating systems is also extensive and includes Windows, BSD, Linux, Solaris, OS/2, Haiku, etc. To enhance better user’s experience, it’s possible to install guest additions.
Advantages: A powerful and user-friendly virtual machine that can be used by both, novices and advanced users. Supports a variety of host and guest OSs.
Parallels workstation is another very popular virtualization product which is best known for its simplicity and focus on the Mac version of the virtual machine software. Despite the fact that originally Parallels was created to bring Windows to the Apple systems, today it also runs on Windows and Linux and supports FreeBSD, OS/2 and many other operating systems. Like many other virtualization software, Parallels Workstation enables users to run a few OS configurations on one and the same computer without the need to reboot it. The program is mostly used by programmers, web developers, software testers, system administrators and technologies who need to evaluate and test multiple applications on various platforms but have no opportunity to use several computers.
Advantages: Compatible with most popular platforms and quite simple to use.
On the contrary to the first 2 above mentioned virtual machine software, DOSBox can bring to life the old-school games such as SkyNET, Volfied, Duke Nukem and Doom and run really old apps that won’t play on the modern operating system. Besides, one can easily port DOSBox to Windows, Linux, BeOS, Mac OS X and many other platforms. Another obvious advantage of DOSBox software is that it uses very little system resources and memory. DOSBox is capable to emulate 286 and 386 processors in a real and protected mode and support a plethora of graphics, ranging from Tandy, Hercules, VESA to EGA, CGA and VGA. It’s gonna be a great solution for those users who have got a lot of old apps that they used to use in DOS and now want to use it on the Windows system.
Advantages: Can bring to life some really old classics and can easily ported to most modern operating systems.
Bochs is an easy-to-use and robust x86 PC emulation application which supports emulation of the processor(s), disks, memory, Ethernet, display, BIOS and other common hardware peripherals of computers. With help of Bochs software one can run multiple guest operating systems, including DOS, some versions of Microsoft Windows, Linux, Rhapsody, BSDs and Xenix. The program can also run on numerous host operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, Windows Mobile, Mac OS X, Play Station 2 and iOS. More often than not, Bochs is used for web development. However, users frequently use it to run some of their older software and PC games that won’t be run on faster and more modern computers.
Advantages: Very versatile, reliable and simple-to-use.
Windows Virtual PC
Windows Virtual PC is a powerful virtualization program for Microsoft Windows that supports Windows operating systems and runs inside Virtual PC. You still can run other operating systems, however they are not officially supported which means that you may lack some very important “Virtual Machine Additions”. The new release of Windows Virtual PC doesn’t let users run operating system earlier than Windows 7 or operating systems earlier than Windows XP Professional SP3 as guests. Therefore, you may want to look for the older versions that support MS-DOS and a wide range of host and guest operating systems,
Advantages: Allows to run a few Windows operating systems and test new software without making any permanent changes on the host.
|To wrap it all up, you can see that Internet provides a variety of virtual machines that can cater to your needs and meet all the requirements. All the above mentioned virtualization products are powerful enough to become an effective tool in the hands of a professional. From now on you only need to decide what for you’d like to download a virtual machine and what features it’s got to provide. If your computer is modern enough and runs fast and smoothly, it shouldn’t be a problem to work with any of the provided virtualization environments. Still, you may have your own needs and requirements with regards to OS that you’d like to run within one computer or the software that you’d like to install. The average user will surely estimate versatility and overall simplicity of VirtualBox and VMware Workstation. Those users who’d like to launch an old app or an old school-time game, would find DOSBox and Bochs very handy and useful. To understand better what exactly you may need, we’ve decided to put all the important information about each virtual machine in frames of a table so that you clearly see all their pros and cons.|
|Creator||VMware||Innotek, acquired by Oracle Corporation||Parallels, Inc.||Peter Veenstra, Sjoerd, community help||Kevin Lawton||Connectix & Microsoft|
|Host CPU||x86, x86-64||x86, x86-64,Intel VT-x,AMD-V||x86, Intel VT-x||Any||Any||x86, x86-64 with Intel VT-x or AMD-V|
|Guest CPU||x86, x86-64||86, (x86-64 only on VirtualBox 2 and later with hardware virtualization)||x86||x86, ARM||x86, x86-64||x86|
|Host OS||Windows, Linux||Windows, Linux,Mac OS X x86, Solaris, FreeBSD, eComStation||Windows, Linux||Linux, Windows, Mac OS classic, Mac OS X, BeOS, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris,QNX, IRIX, MorphOS, AmigaOS, Maemo, Symbian||Windows, Linux,Unix/X11, Mac OS 9,Mac OS X, BeOS,MorphOS, OS/2||Windows 7|
|Guest OS||Same as VMware ESX Server||DOS, Linux, Mac OS X Server, FreeBSD,Haiku, OS/2, Solaris, Syllable, Windows||Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, OS/2,eComStation, DOS, Solaris, Haiku||Internally emulated DOS shell; classic PC booter games, unofficially Windows 1.0 to 3.11||Windows, Linux, DOS, BSD, OS/2, Haiku||Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008|
|License||Proprietary||GPL version 2||Proprietary||GPL||LGPL||Proprietary|