I have been looking at a range of virtual players: VMPlayer, VirtualPC, VirtualBox and few others.

It's clear that VMPlayer is for home use only, but is there a free player that can be used commercially? We are interested in running Ubuntu server for testing, but so far we haven't found a clear statement on Oracle's site saying that we can use VirtualBox for free.

Thank you

5 Answers 5


For the server side you can use Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. Depending on what your desktops are running Windows 7 Pro/Ultimate includes an updated version of Virtual PC. If you can provide a little more detail, like what OS you're planing on virtualizing in the server/desktop we can probably tailor the answers a little better.

  • Hi, thank you for this. I plan on running virtual machine under Windows 7 Professional. To start with I'm going to play about with few distributions of Linux and than get to configuring Ubuntu Server.
    – vikp
    Dec 29, 2010 at 14:26
  • If your desktop OS is going to be Windows 7 then I would definitely just stick with the embedded Virtual PC. You'll probably find some additional flexibility if you run Hyper-V for the server side as well, it should make management a lot more transparent. Dec 29, 2010 at 14:35
  • I will give this a go. Thank you all for the replies.
    – vikp
    Dec 29, 2010 at 22:01

If this is commercial use, do yourself a favor and buy a license for VMWare Workstation and be done with it. The extra features beyond the basic player will be appreciated.

I wouldn't invest in Virtualbox now that Oracle is behind it. When it was Sun, I had no problems, but I wouldn't trust anything with Oracle's name on it.

Virtual PC is fine if you're just going to virtualize XP inside Windows 7, but if you want to run Linux VMs you're going to want something a little more vendor neutral and robust... like something from VMWare.

  • 2
    -1 I don't think "because it's Oracle" is a rational and professional assessment of a piece of software.
    – JOTN
    Jan 5, 2011 at 21:06
  • +1 as I agree with the post and strongly disagree with @JOTN. It it precisely due to experience in the profession that we know Oracle to be unreliable and shoddy. Understanding of industry reputations is part of a seasoned professional's arsenal May 7, 2021 at 18:29

I use qemu with the kvm without issues, is released under the GPLv3 (read you can use it for commercial purpose as well) and it supports the hardware virtualization, so I think it's the best solution.

  • Sorry I should have stated that I'm looking for a Windows solution.
    – vikp
    Dec 29, 2010 at 14:14
  • 1
    I consider really dangerous trusting Oracle. Is possible to run qemu on windows but performance are slightly lower. Why don't you consider to use a Linux box and run windows in the VM? It's what I do and perfomarmances are really much better then using VirtualBOX on windows.
    – tmow
    Dec 29, 2010 at 14:31

VMPlayer is free for commercial use after you apply for it: http://communities.vmware.com/thread/141386

  • Hi, thank you for the reply. I have read the thread, it states that I need to apply for a permission if I plan on re-distributing software internally or externally, however, it still states that I can't use it for commercial use...
    – vikp
    Dec 29, 2010 at 14:13
  • 1
    re-distributing software internally or externally = commercial use If you want to run Windows inside, you need to take care (pay) of the Windows licenses anyway.
    – Jerry33
    Dec 29, 2010 at 14:53
  • I plan on running linux. There are certain procedures that I must follow, therefore I can't just go and purchase software =(
    – vikp
    Dec 29, 2010 at 21:59

You can use the VirtualBox Open Source Edition for free. Currently it lacks USB passthrough, RDP and USB over RDP. It does however include VNC. All other features are identical.


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