Which is better: VirtualBox or VMWare. Description, comparison and features

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Which is better: VirtualBox or VMWare. Description, comparison and features
Which is better: VirtualBox or VMWare. Description, comparison and features

Using virtualization software to run different operating systems on the same computer has become very popular in today's technological world, and for good reason. Virtualization means creating a virtual version of things, such as network resources or storage devices.

Thus, operating system virtualization allows a computer's hardware to run multiple operating system images at the same time. One of the most commonly used examples is testing software or applications in a different environment than on another computer. This can potentially save you some money by running multiple servers on the same machine.

In order to figure out what to choose VirtualBox or VMWare, first you should familiarize yourself with each software separately. I will review only the main parameters that users mainly pay attention to when working.


What could be better than great, functional software. Especially if it's free. VirtualBox passedthrough several different hands, but now owned by Oracle. The software is open source, therefore it is free and has a lot of backup features.

Official logo
Official logo

When looking at the differences between Virtualbox and VMWare, it's important to consider the specifics of each software. This will determine the main benefits. According to the company's website, VirtualBox is "a versatile, full-featured x86 hardware virtualizer for servers, desktops, and embedded systems." And while it's designed specifically for Windows computers, it's good to note that it's also available on Mac and Linux.

Software Features

This product is a type 2 hypervisor, so it is a virtualization host software that runs on an already installed operating system as an application. Instead, a type 1 hypervisor is a host program running on so-called "bare metal". Essentially, this means that the software runs on a computer without an operating system. When comparing VirtualBox and VMware, of course, the first program wins in this regard.

Some examples of Type 1 hypervisors include Hyper-V, Xen, and OpenVZ. In addition, type 1 hypervisors work in cloud environments, server virtualization environments, and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). However, type 2 hypervisors run one guest virtual machine on local systems.

Manager job
Manager job

VMWare image orVirtualBox can be downloaded for free from official sources. There are extended versions, as well as special developments for programmers.

VirtualBox is loved as a type 2 hypervisor, mainly because it does not require a system reboot to run a different operating system on the computer or to support the normally more expensive type 1 hypervisor systems.

Pros at work

This program integrates with the mouse pointer, allowing you to create instant system saves. These saves allow you to load a personal computer or laptop from any point that you have saved in history. It is also possible to share the clipboard between the virtualized and the host operating system. When choosing between VirtualBox and VMWare, the first program wins in this parameter.


Several complaints about this virtualization software are based on the fact that its no-configuration mode is not the best, since it contains the entire toolbar of the guest OS.


The free version of VMWare is VirtualBox's main competitor. It provides a secure and isolated environment for all software needs for virtualizing new operating systems or patch testing. While VirtualBox works on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers, VMWare works on Windows and Linux, but not on Mac.

Company brand
Company brand

Using this software, users can "replicate" the server,desktop and tablet environments in a virtual machine to run applications simultaneously on different operating systems without rebooting. When comparing VMware Workstation and VirtualBox, both programs are on the same level.

Purpose of the program

Basically, this software is designed for those who need to create and run virtual machines, but not on a large scale. It's also good to know that this is a type 2 hypervisor, the same as VirtualBox.

With the free version, users get the ability to easily create new virtual machines, access to over 200 supported guest OSes, mass deployment, file sharing between hosts and guests, 3D graphics with support for DX10 and OpenGL 3.3, the ability to run encrypted virtual cars and much more. When answering the question "How is VMWare better than VirtualBox?" you can cite just this indicator.

System start
System start

Despite the higher price, the Pro version offers several features that are not available to free users. Using VMWare Workstation Pro, you can connect to vSphere, ESXi, and other workstation servers to manage virtual machines and physical hosts.

Unique features

Additionally, users can feel secure with this virtualization software by being able to encrypt and password protect virtual machines, and isolate corporate desktops from devices by disabling copy and paste, drag and drop, sharingusing folders and accessing USB devices. When choosing between VirtualBox and VMWare Parallels, the second program will win by this parameter.

Choice of tools
Choice of tools

With the free version you can run encrypted virtual machines, but with Pro you can create and manage encrypted virtual machines. You can also run multiple virtual machines at the same time, share virtual machines as a server, take snapshots, and enjoy some other features not available to free users.

Cost of versions

So, now about the costs that are coming for those who are interested in the professional version of the software.

You can download the free 64-bit VMWare Workstation 12.5 Player for Windows from the company's website, which claims the free version is available for non-commercial, personal, and home use. They also attract students and non-profit organizations, so they offer good discounts on the purchase of a subscription and a license key.

But commercial organizations must pay for the licenses required to use Workstation Player.

If you need to purchase "Optimized PC Virtualization for Business" for Workstation 12.5, it will cost the user 149.99 dollars (10 thousand rubles) or 79.99 dollars (5 thousand rubles) - to upgrade an existing version. If instead the customer wants to purchase the Workstation 12.5 Pro, they will be prompted to purchase for $249.99 (almost17 thousand rubles).

Which program to choose

If you need to purchase virtualization software for a large company or organization, Workstation Pro is the right choice. It has received great reviews from thousands of users and is generally a very reliable piece of software. The software has a number of different useful features and is regularly updated.

VirtualBox really has good support because it's open source and completely free. Open source means that the latest releases sometimes have bugs, but are usually fixed very quickly.

With the VMWare player, you will have to wait for the company to release a bug fix update, but overall this software has proved to be quite reliable, experts believe that it runs more smoothly. There is also a unique feature: users of the professional version can use the Convert VirtualBox to VMWare function, which allows you to transfer encoded files.

Users cannot unanimously choose one of these two products, most of them take into account their own preferences when working with programs. VMWare Player is said to provide better drag and drop between host and VM, however VirtualBox offers unlimited saves (something only available in VMWare Workstation Pro).

If your enterprise solution doesn't need a virtual machine, it's better to use VirtualBox as your virtualization software. The program is easy toinstallation requires fewer resources, it is the choice of many people. If the client prefers a smoother interface and more powerful drag and drop between hosts, they should choose VMWare.

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