Once upon a time, virtualization was limited only to heavy-duty infrastructure like a mainframe. Now, almost anyone can install a virtual machine and emulate nearly any environment. Even your Smartphone can be used for virtualization. The isolation provided by virtualization makes is very helpful when running untested programs, viruses, trojans or any other form of risky applications.
To virtualize your hardware, you need a software called a hypervisor which helps emulate hardware like behavior. There are several hypervisors in the market. In this article, we will discuss a few good virtualization programs.
1. Oracle VM Virtualbox
Let’s start with the best in the market, the Oracle VM Virtualbox. You can run it on Windows, Mac or a Linux system. It has a fantastic number of host and client selections. You can run it on an old Windows XP PC or even an OpenBSD Unix. If you feel nostalgic and want to play a classic game like Pac-Man on Windows 3.2, you can do it free of charge using this Oracle offering.
2. VMware Fusion and Workstation
VMware’s Fusion and Workstation are free for personal use. Fusion 10 and above runs on Mac while Workstation 14 is for a Windows PC. The user experience in both products is similar. If you want to run a Windows PC from your Mac, try the Unity mode. If you are keen on using GPU heavy applications like CAD, Workstation is the best option.
3. Microsoft Hyper-V
If you are running Windows 10 PC, you can use Microsoft’s Hyper-V free of cost. In fact, it comes bundled along with the Windows 10 Pro and Windows Server (2012 and ‘16 versions). But beware the setup is not easy for a newbie and their support for Linux is limited. It is a basic hypervisor, but for free.