Best Windows 10 and Mac virtual machine. Here are the OS virtualization programs you should know about.
Virtual machines, such as VirtualBox or VMware, have become an important part of computing today, not least for companies and especially for cloud computing. However, OS virtualization programs are available free or paid for home users as well.
- What is a virtual machine
- How a virtual machine works
- Best virtual machine for operating systems
- 1. VMware Workstation Player (Windows, Linux, macOS)
- 2. VirtualBox (Windows, macOS, Linux)
- 3. Parallels Desktop (macOS)
- 4. Citrix Hypervisor (Windows, macOS, Linux)
- 5. QEMU (Linux)
- 6. Microsoft Hyper-V (Windows)
- 7. Xen Project (Windows)
What is a virtual machine
A virtual machine or virtual machine is software that, through a virtualization process, emulates the behavior of a physical computer. In practice, it is created in an environment called host where multiple virtual machines with CPU, RAM, storage and network interface created on a physical hardware system can coexist.
The advantages of using a virtual system are those of being able to Simultaneously offer multiple users different operating systems isolated from the rest of the system (as long as you have enough RAM memory), each can be activated on request and without affecting the real physical system thanks to the partitioning of the hard disk or to clustered environments on server systems.
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The performance and potential of a virtual machine are the same as that of a physical computer.
If for any reason your operating system should go out inside the virtual machine, the operating system of your computer hosting the VM will not be affected, precisely because of the independence between a physical computer and a virtual machine.
How a virtual machine works
Before installing a virtual computer it is good to check the minimum requirements necessary for its use.
The virtual machine must have sufficient disk space to install the guest operating system and be able to use the amount of memory required by the same operating system. There must be enough free RAM on the host system.
The advice is to carry out the appropriate checks by going to the Performance tab of your computer. Press on the key combination CTRL + ALT + DEL and select Activity Management. Go to the tab Performances and after choosing Memory as an option, check if the value in Available it is less than what will be destined for the guest operating system to be installed on the virtual machine.
Otherwise, try closing running programs or installing additional RAM if necessary.
Once this verification is complete, all you have to do is download one of the best virtual machines proposed in this article and have fun.
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Best virtual machine for operating systems
The main advantages of using the best virtual machines are:
- The ability to run different operating systems on your PC, for example you can run Windows on a Mac or run Linux on a Windows PC and vice versa.
- The use of apps that would otherwise not be available due to different system requirements.
- Enhanced security against malware or viruses that would not function properly in a virtualized environment.
Overall, virtualization has become a powerful tool in computing and IT, and here we present a list of the best programs to virtualize operating systems.
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1. VMware Workstation Player (Windows, Linux, macOS)
Best Windows 10 and Mac virtual machine.
- Free for personal use
- Support GPU virtualization
- Windows, Mac and Linux
- Free basic version
VMware presents a very comprehensive selection of virtualization products, with Fusion per Apple Mac e Workstation Player for PC.
Despite the name difference, these two products offer the same solution, albeit tailored to each host operating system.
Su MacOS allows you to start applications Windows from the Dock and make them appear as if they are part of the host operating system.
Workstationinstead, as the version numbering suggests, it is a more mature product and offers one of the most sophisticated VM implementations seen to date.
Being one of the few hosts that support DirectX 10 e OpenGL 3.3, allows CAD and other GPU-accelerated applications to run under virtualization.
Workstation Player for Windows or Linux is free for personal use, the professional version is available for business users and for those who want to run restricted VMs, created using For o Fusion pro.
2. VirtualBox (Windows, macOS, Linux)
Best free virtualization software.
- Windows, Mac and Linux
- 100.000 registered users
Besides VMware there are also other software that you can use to create one virtual machine in your PC. VirtualBox is a good choice if you are looking for the best program to virtualize operating systems. This solution supports an incredibly large selection of host and client combinations.
Windows XP onwards, any Linux level 2.4 or higher, Windows NT, server 2003, Solaris, Opensolaris and even OpenBSD Unix. There are even people who nostalgically run Windows 3.x or even IBM OS / 2 on their modern systems.
It also works on Apple Mac and, for Apple users, it can host a session of Mac VM client.
On the site you can find a large selection of VMs to download and use for free, even the Enterprise version.
3. Parallels Desktop (macOS)
Best Mac virtual machine.
- Integration with macOS
- Much better than Boot Camp
- Solo host Mac
- It is payable
Boot Camp is Apple's free tool for running a virtual session on macOS, but today macOS users prefer it Parallels Desktop, owned by Corel software.
This program allows Windows to run smoothly alongside their native operating system by displaying Windows alerts in the Mac notification center and managing a unified notebook.
Most Mac users think of Parallels as a tool exclusively for using Windows, but it can also be used to host a wide range of distributions Linux, Chrome OS and even other (and earlier) versions of Mac OS.
La basic license, the one for home use, costs 79,99 euros per year, while that For, for advanced users, it costs 99,99 euros per year. Finally, the Business Edition which includes advanced management tools for the use of multiple work environments, costs 99,99 euros per year.
4. Citrix Hypervisor (Windows, macOS, Linux)
Among the best alternatives to Virtual Box.
- Free (the basic version)
- Bare metal installations
- Limited third-party operating system support
Strangely, Citrix hypervisor started life as an open source project and to this day remains free to download and install. Or rather, the basic version is free, while the advanced features are limited to the paid versions.
Paying customers get sophisticated management tools, the ability to automate and deploy live environments at will. It also has GPU pass-through and virtualized GPU capabilities, which allows you to offer virtualized CAD for example.
The other advantage of XenServer is to create virtual data centers that can handle planned and unplanned outages consistently and maintain the high levels of availability that companies have come to expect.
A standard license costs $ 763 per single CPU socket with one year of support while the Premium version costs $ 1.525 for the same maintenance period.
5. QEMU (Linux)
Best Linux virtual machine.
- Easy to use
- Linux only
QEMU it's not very sophisticated, but it's still good. It is a product that differs slightly from other VM solutions as it is both a VM host and a machine emulator. Together with x86 PC, QEMU can emulate PowerPC, MIPS64, ARM, SPARC (32 and 64), MicroBlaze, ETRAX CRIS, SH4 e RISC-V, among others.
It manages to do this without administrator privileges and the performance of running virtual machines is very close to that of native installations.
What QEMU lacks is a sophisticated interface tool, as it relies on CLI inputs to install and configure VM clients.
It currently only runs on Linux, although it can run a wide variety of operating systems.
6. Microsoft Hyper-V (Windows)
Great for novice users.
- Windows 10 and Windows Server
- Linux support is limited
Originally codenamed Viridian, and hence Windows Server Virtualization, has been renamed Hyper-V Server when it was released in late 2008.
It comes as part of Windows 10 Pro e Windows Server (2012 and 2016)), at no additional cost to the user.
However, what you'll have at your disposal is a basic hypervisor that can't do the smart things VMware offers.
Guest OS support includes Windows Server, Windows XP SP3 or later, Linux with a kernel 3.4 or higher and FreeBSD. Although driver support for Linux is not great and there is no virtual GPU support.
Hyper-V allows relatively inexperienced users to create a virtual server environment, but not without infamy and without praise.
7. Xen Project (Windows)
Best secure virtual machine.
- Free and open source
- Advanced virtualization
- Works with hyperscale cloud
Xen Project is a free and open source virtual machine monitor (VMM), intended to act as a type 1 hypervisor for multiple operating systems using the same hardware. Originally developed by the University of Cambridge, the staff who created it turned it into a company that was later acquired by Citrix. The Xen project now collaborates with The Linux Foundation in promoting open source applications.
It is used in particular for advanced virtualization, not least for servers, in both commercial and open source environments. It is not limited to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) applications, it also includes desktop virtualization and virtuzlised security. Xen Project software is even used in automotive and aviation systems.
The service is particularly applicable to hyperscale clouds and can be easily used with AWS, Azure, Rackspace, IBM Softlayer e Oracle. Security side is a safe and flexible solution.