You may heard about the term Virtualization in several contest. In computing, the term virtualization means to create a virtual version of a device or resource, such as a server, storage device, network or an operating system where the framework divides the resource into one or more execution environments. Didn’t get any idea, let me explain. Virtualization software allows you to run two or more operating system on one PC ! That is a virtual PC on your Physical PC. With virtualization you can do more with available hardware. Say, you need to run Linux on your Windows PC. You can install it in dual booting configuration, but you need it only on evaluation purpose not for daily usage. In this case, you don’t want to partition your hard drive to install a new OS. You just need to install virtualization software to test the Linux on your PC. Another advantage is you can test old applications on your new OS using a virtual OS, you can run apps and games designed for other platforms.

Virtualization helps you to effectively use your existing hardware resource more effectively without altering your current settings. Virtualization is helpful to setup separate environment for each software application, the advantage is, one application cannot interfere the other. There are several type of virtualization, Software Virtualization, Network Virtualization, Storage Virtualization, Server Virtualization are some of them. The OS on which the virtualization software runs is called as Host, where as the OS run inside the virtualization software is called Guest. Here is a list of virtualization applications you can use on Windows, Linux and Mac computers.

Virtualization software for Windows

VirtualBox
(https://www.virtualbox.org) –  Windows | Mac | Linux

Virtualbox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization software for enterprise as well as for home use. VirtualBox runs on Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and Solaris hosts and it can support a large number of guest operating systems. Here is a look at VirtualBox for Mac OS X, within VirtualBox the Fedora OS is running.

VMware
(https://www.vmware.com/) – Windows | Linux | Mac

There are different flavors of VMware. VMware Workstation Player helps you to run a second, isolated operating system on a single PC.  This is a freeware by VMware for users who do not have licensed VMWare products. The workstation Player is ideal for students, faculty, businesses and corporate users who need a small sandbox environment for testing or control. VMware Workstation Pro is the industry standard for running multiple operating systems on a single Linux or Windows PC. The software includes virtual network simulation, updated support for the latest Windows and Linux operating systems, and new virtualization-based security features. Finally, VMware Fusion, it gives Mac users the power to run Windows on Mac along with hundreds of other operating systems side by side with Mac applications, without rebooting.

QEMU
(https://www.qemu.org/) – Windows | Mac | Linux | Source code of QEMU

QEMU is a generic and open source machine emulator and virtualizer. You can run KVM and Xen virtual machines with near native performance.

Virtualization software for Mac

Boot Camp

Boot camp comes with your Mac, it lets you install Microsoft Windows.  First open Boot Camp Assistant then it will guide you through the rest. Windows disk image file (ISO) can be downloaded, or can get as an installation disc or in USB flash drive.  Open Boot camp app from the Utilities folder inside the Applications folder. Then follow the onscreen instructions to repartition your startup disk and download related software drivers for Windows. If you’re prompted during installation, connect a blank USB 2 flash drive. When you complete the assistant, your Mac restarts to the Windows installer. When you’re asked where you want to install Windows, select the BOOTCAMP partition, then click Format. Now, unplug any external devices, such as displays and disks, that aren’t necessary during installation. Then follow the onscreen prompts to install Windows. When installation is complete, your Mac starts up in Windows and launches an installer for Windows Support Software.  After installing both Windows and Windows Support Software, you can switch back to macOS using the Boot Camp system tray item in Windows.  After the install, restart your Mac to switch between macOS and Windows.  You can check this guide from Apple to install Windows on your Mac.


Parallels
(https://www.parallels.com/) – Download Trial Version

Use Mac and Windows applications side-by-side using Parellels. Launch and access Windows applications right from the Dock, easily drag and drop and copy and paste between them. You can keep the familiar Windows experience in full screen. You can reuse your existing Boot Camp installation. You can connect all your USB, Thunderbolt, and FireWire devices with Windows and can pair your Bluetooth and printer to work with both Windows and macOS.

So you have seen some of the best virtual machine software available in market. You can install virtual machines to run old apps, test various Linux distros, access infected files by creating a snapshot in the virtual machine, you can browse safely, test web development, test and configure different systems. Which application you are using, can you give some new virtualization software?

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