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What's the best emulator for running windows on FreeBSD as a guest OS?
Any references would be appreciated.

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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you need to run the whole OS VirtualBox (OSE) would be my first suggestion, Qemu is also a good choice but I think there is less active development there at this point (VirtualBox seems to have won the desktop-virtualization-on-*NIX war).
Both of these are available in the ports collection under emulators/

If you just need one or two applications WINE may be a better option (less overhead) - this is also in the emulators/ section of the ports tree...

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Even though "WINE is not an Emulator"?! Blasphemy! –  gWaldo Sep 14 '10 at 14:31
    
@gWaldo I think that's why they put it there :-D –  voretaq7 Sep 14 '10 at 14:35
    
Strictly speaking neither is VirtualBox. It's a virtual machine layer that allows you to run real windows. ;-) –  Chris Nava Sep 14 '10 at 15:05
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There is a bit of development going on for Virtual Box on FreeBSD here. I'm sure if there are other or better platforms that you could use though.

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VirtualBox is great; works well, is stable, easy to setup

Qemu may have an edge in speed and may require some reading to get going, particularly if you want acceleration.

WINE will work well if you only want to run applications on the supported list. Outside of that, YMMV. I don't think it is possible to join a domain or workgroup - none of MSRPC functionality is emulated.

Personally, I use VMWare at the office (we have licences and a SAN for the images) and VirtualBox at home.

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