Virtualization is a very popular way for businesses to reduce server hardware costs and for end-users to run different operating systems on a single computer. One of the most popular programs is VirtualBox. It's free to use at home, and while its features are very good, what's on the block isn't that great. In this post, we review 5 alternatives to VirtualBox in case anything changes.
What is VirtualBox?
This is an open-source software for the virtualization of the x86 computing architecture. It creates a VM (virtual machine) that acts as a hypervisor and allows users to run other operating systems (OSs). The operating system that VirtualBox runs on is the "host" OS. We refer to the operating system that runs in the virtual machine as the "guest" OS.
The operating systems supported by VirtualBox include Windows, Linux, and macOS. When configuring a virtual machine, the user can specify the number of CPU cores and the RAM and disk space that needs to be allocated to the VM. You can also "pause" the VM while it is running. System execution stops at that moment, and you can reuse it later.
Alternatives to VirtualBox
1. VMware Workstation Player
Think of the Workstation Player as the friendly version of its older brother, Workstation Pro. It can be used to create and run virtual machines without switching operating systems, but be aware that the Workstation player cannot run on 3 virtual machines at the same time. It is also only available for Windows and Linux but fully supports Windows10.
2. VMware Fusion/Pro
While there may be other VMware products, to a great extent, Fusion Pro is at the heart of the cake. This is often the first item on a list that is specific to a particular OS. The company only provides it for a particular purpose. Fusion Pro is OS X only, so you can run Windows and Linux in a virtual machine on your Mac.
3. Parallels Desktop
We cannot complete a discussion of virtualization software without mentioning Parallels Desktop. Parallels Desktop is a direct competitor to Fusion Pro and VMware Fusion, and it offers two versions for individuals and businesses. Parallels Desktop does everything VMware Fusion does, but with a few nuances. It also allows simultaneous execution of Mac and Windows, and also includes a "Coherence" mode identical to Unity's in Fusion.
However, Parallels is not limited to Windows and can run ChromeOS, Linux, and Mac. It also supports Windows 10, supports Cortana integration, and creates a virtual machine from a Bootcamp Windows installation, allowing you to write conveniently.
Parallels Desktop is easy to use, fast in speed, and powerful. With Parallels Desktop, you can run thousands of Windows apps like Microsoft Access, Microsoft Office, Quicken, Internet Explorer, QuickBooks, CAD programs, Visual Studio, and graphics-intensive games without performance degradation or restart.
4. Portable VirtualBox
This is a free, open-source software tool that allows you to run all operating systems on a USB stick without a separate installation. With Portable VirtualBox, you can unzip the VirtualBox, adjust the path and configuration, and run it in a portable manner.
Quick Emulator (QEMU) is a powerful free and open-source virtualization platform. It works with Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux as a server or client and is quite stable. Although it is open-source, it still developed perfectly and supported, besides working great. It is very easy to configure and install and it works seamlessly.
If you are a beginner, you may figure out most things on the way. Except for its shortcomings, this program works well, has a variety of powerful features, and is open source. If you're already familiar with the VM and how it works, you'll be fine.
The above 5 alternatives for VirtualBox work quite well. Each has its strengths and weaknesses and can be in different situations. However, we recommend you try out Parallels Desktop for its ease of use and a host of intuitive features.