I would like get some feedback on virtualization software. I am looking at using either VMWare Workstation or Windows Virtual PC. Any suggestions, feedback, experiences, pros/cons would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Brennan


I don't think MS Virtual PC is really being actively developed, and in its' current form, has limited support for non-MS OSes.

VMWare Workstation is a very well developed and flexible product, whose main competitor is Oracle's VirtualBox- also a very well developed and flexible product. The biggest difference between the two is price - VirtualBox is available for free as in no $$$ needed, as well as free as in an OSS version is available. VMWare Workstation costs $$$, although the no cost VMWare Player is available, and still very feature rich.

My personal preference is VirtualBox, and have been using it for a few years. It does everything I've asked of it, although my needs aren't very complex. If you're just getting started with virtualization, or want to try some stuff out, I suggest getting VirtualBox or VMWare Player. If you need something specific that only VMWare Workstation provides, go with that.


It depends a little bit on your usage. I would say Virtual PC is only viable if host and guest are both going to be Windows. I find Virtual PC is a lilttle simpler to use than VMWare. I would suggest also recommend trying out VirtualBox because as well as being free, it is also well featured.


I would suggest trying VirtualBox and VMware Player. I use Player on my laptop and my desktop, to keep a Linux system available even though I use Windows.

It used to be more challenging to create new VMs in Player, but the current version lets you create them pretty easily.

If you need a bit more power and can devote a supported machine to the effort, the vSphere Hypervisor a.k.a. ESXi is free. I'm running it on a run of the mill Dell Precision Workstation at work... check the HCL if you build your own machine.

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