Virtual machines are quickly becoming an important element in information technology. VMs can be used to testing hardware, software development, troubleshooting, and training. A virtual machine can be created either with the installation CD/DVD, or with an image. Listed below are applications which utilize full virtualization, which allows the VM to partially emulate necessary hardware to allow the guest OS to run, while the guest OS must be designed to use the same type of CPU as the host machine.
VMware is a the popular choice of virtualization. This was the introduction to virtual machines of the x86 architecture. VMware Player and VMware Server are freeware products, and there is also VMware Workstation.
VirtualBox is a commercial and proprietary x86 virtual machine for all operating systems by innotek. A limited version of this was released in January 2007 under the GNU General Public License (GPL). While VirtualBox lacks some features VMware has, it provides unique features, such as Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), iSCSI support and USB support with remote devices over RDP.
QEMU is a fast open source processor emulator and virtual machine that has two different modes of operation. This does not have all the features other emulators have, but it is easy to install and use.
Xen is a popular open source virtual machine. It can give high performance by using paravirtualization on x86 machines. Xen is within the Ubuntu repositories, but the number of OS's that can be used for host and guest are limited.
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