Oracle và VMware are leaders in providing virtualization solutions in the modern IT industry. Oracle provides VirtualBox as a hypervisor for running virtual machines (VMs) while VMware provides multiple products for running VMs in different use cases. Both platforms are fast, reliable, và include a wide array of interesting features. Some of these features are available in both platforms, but there are also some features that are unique to each platform. The choice between VMware và Oracle VirtualBox virtualization solutions may be difficult. If you are comparing VirtualBox lớn VMware, this blog post can help you khổng lồ select the virtualization solution that meets your needs best.

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Hypervisor Types of VMware’s and Oracle’s Virtualization Products

Hypervisor is a special software hàng hóa that can simultaneously run multiple virtual machines on a physical machine. The VMs are logically isolated from each other and the underlying physical machine; this is due to lớn the abstraction layer of a hypervisor that makes VMs independent from the hardware that is used by a physical machine. This setup enables one of the advantages of virtualization – easy copying machines from one host to another. Another benefit is hardware resource redistribution between VMs.

There are two types of hypervisors: type 1 and type 2. A type 1 hypervisor is also called a native hypervisor, and can run on bare metal by accessing the hardware directly. A type 1 hypervisor doesn’t require an underlying operating system (OS) because the hypervisor works as the operating system in this case. Using type 1 is optimal for large production environments.

A type 2 hypervisor runs on an existing host operating system as an application. This type provides virtualization services by coordinating calls for CPU, memory, disk, and other I/O (input/output) resources through the host OS. Using a type 2 hypervisor is convenient for users who want khổng lồ run a VM on their personal computers.

Oracle VirtualBox is a type 2 hypervisor và must be installed on the host OS as a software application.

VMware Player, Workstation, and Fusion are type 2 hypervisors, and must also be installed on the underlying host OS.

VMware ESXi is a type 1 hypervisor & must be installed on bare metal.

Licensing Models

Oracle VirtualBox is a không tính tiền open source software product that is distributed under the GNU General Public License, version 2 (GPLv2). The latest version of VirtualBox that is currently available (at the time of this blog post’s creation) is VirtualBox 5.2.22.

VirtualBox Extension Pack is a closed-source pack that adds some additional features khổng lồ the sản phẩm including USB2.0/3.0 support, VirtualBox RDP, PXE Boot, VM disk encryption (must be installed on a host OS). VirtualBox Extension Pack is miễn phí for evaluation, personal use, or educational purposes (distributed under the VirtualBox Extension Pack Personal Use & Evaluation License). However, you should order an Enterprise license for commercial use.

VMware Player (VMware Workstation Player is the full name of the product) is free for personal, educational, & non-commercial use. Business & non-profit organizations must obtain a commercial license (for about $150) that allows you khổng lồ run Restricted VMs created in Workstation/Fusion, và provides better tư vấn for mass deployments. You are able lớn quickly create (from v3.0) & easily run VMs with VMware Player.

VMware Workstation (VMware Workstation Pro is the full name of the product) has a 30-day trial period available for you to lớn evaluate the product. Generally, you need lớn buy a license (VMware Workstation 15 Pro costs about $250). While VMware Player only includes basic features, VMware Workstation includes a full set of virtualization features provided by VMware for desktops.

VMware Fusion is the equivalent of VMware Workstation for computers that have a macOS operating system. There are two editions of VMware Fusion – VMware Fusion ($80) và VMware Fusion Pro ($160). VMware Fusion Pro includes slightly more enterprise-grade features as compared to lớn VMware Fusion, which is primarily oriented towards home users.

VMware ESXi must be licensed with vSphere licenses, starting from $495 for VMware vSphere Essentials Kit. There is the evaluation period of 60 days for ESXi. You can also get a không lấy phí ESXi license for an unlimited time period, but with limited features: ESXi host cannot be managed with vCenter Server; 2 physical CPUs (the number of CPU cores is unlimited); the number of vCPUs per a VM is 8.

Note: The first version of VirtualBox (which is formerly known as Sun VirtualBox) was released in 2007 by Innotek GmbH. In 2007 Innotek was acquired by Sun Microsystems. In 2008 Sun Microsystems was acquired by Oracle, and since 2008 the product’s name has been Oracle VirtualBox. The current version of VirtualBox is v.5.2.22.

The first version of VMware was released in 1999. The full name of the hàng hóa was VMware 1.0. Later, with the release of the third version in 2003, the sản phẩm was renamed VMware Workstation 3.0. Now VMware is a family of multiple virtualization applications và tools.

VMware Player 1.0 was released in 2008. The version numeration of VMware Player và VMware Workstation was different until Player v.7 và Workstation v.11. In 2015, with the release of VMware Workstation v.12, the version numeration was aligned & the new version (12) of Player was released in the same year. The current version of VMware Workstation & Player is 15.0.2.

VMware Fusion 1.0 was released in 2007. The version numeration of VMware Fusion & VMware Workstation is distinct. While the latest version of VMware Workstation is 15.0.2, the latest version of VMware Fusion is 11.0.1.

VMware ESX 1.0 was released in 2001 (ESX – Elastic Sky X). In 2007 VMware released ESXi 3.5 (ESX 3.5 was released in 2008) as a more progressive alternative to ESX. ESX is no longer available (the latest version 4.1.0 build 2168595 was released in 2014). VMware vSphere 5 và later vSphere versions are only compatible with ESXi (Elastic Sky X Integrated). The current version of ESXi is version 6.7.

Hardware và Software Virtualization

Hardware virtualization uses a hypervisor khổng lồ emulate hardware devices for virtual machines. Intel VT-x or AMD-V CPU features are required on a physical (host) machine lớn make hardware virtualization possible, & must be enabled in UEFI/BIOS. Some guest codes can run directly on the host hardware, which increases the overall performance of the VM. The host and guest systems must use the same platform, for example, x86-64.

Both VMware và VirtualBox tư vấn hardware virtualization.

Software virtualization requires the host system lớn completely emulate the whole guest platform, including CPU instructions by using special software. Hardware virtualization features are not required for the host machine’s CPU, but the performance is less than what it is for hardware virtualization. The host và guest platforms can differ.

VirtualBox supports software virtualization, which means that you can run virtual machines with VirtualBox – even on the old hardware on which CPU doesn’t tư vấn hardware virtualization features.

Host Operating Systems on Which Products Can Be Installed

Oracle VirtualBox is a cross-platform solution that can be installed on Linux, Windows, Solaris, macOS, FreeBSD.

In a case of using VMware products the situation differs. VMware Workstation và Player can be installed on Linux as well as Windows; & VMware Fusion can be installed on macOS.

As you can see, VirtualBox supports a higher number of host operating systems.

Support for Guest Operating Systems

The following guest operating systems can be installed on VMs running on VirtualBox: Linux, Windows, Solaris, FreeBSD, macOS.

VMware products support the installation of the following guest operating systems: Linux, Windows, Solaris, FreeBSD, macOS*. Be aware that macOS can only be officially installed as a guest OS on VMware Fusion/Fusion Pro. Technically, macOS can be installed on VMware Workstation & ESXi by using a special patch, but make sure that the license agreement is respected before using the patch.

User Interface (GUI and CLI)

VirtualBox provides a VirtualBox Manager with a convenient graphical user interface (GUI), và VBoxManage as a powerful command line interface (CLI). By using VirtualBox CLI you can access all of the features & settings of the virtualization engine, including the settings that are not available in GUI.


VMware Workstation provides a powerful user-friendly GUI as well as the vmrun command line utility for managing virtual machines – including guest operating systems. You can also use the vmware command with appropriate options in cases such as starting Workstation, starting a VM, switching to a full screen mode, etc. The vmrun command-line utility can be used for VMware Player after installing the VMware-VIX API libraries. VMware Player provides a simplified GUI.


The GUI of VMware Player is shown on the screenshot below. You can compare the interface of VMware Player with the interface of VMware Workstation.


VMware Fusion provides a GUI that differs from Workstation’s GUI, because it is adopted for macOS users. The tabs khổng lồ switch between VMs as well as the left pane with the VM list are missing. The vmrun command-line utility is also available.


VMware ESXi has a console interface that can be accessed either directly on the server, or with remote SSH connection. You can use a graphical interface if you connect to lớn the ESXi server with a browser by using VMware Host Client.


Shared Folders

Shared folders allow you to lớn conveniently exchange files between a host OS và a guest OS, via the network. You can easily create a shared thư mục in the host OS with a virtualization application, & then transfer files from a host system lớn a guest system, or vice versa. Using a shared folders feature is more convenient than creating a shared thư mục manually with the built-in tools of the operating system. Shared folders are available in Oracle VirtualBox, VMware Workstation, VMware Player, and VMware Fusion. There is no Shared Folders feature available for VMs running on ESXi hosts – you have khổng lồ create a shared thư mục manually on a physical or virtual machine with the built-in tools of the OS. VirtualBox Guest Additions & VMware Tools must be installed on the guest OS khổng lồ enable shared folders accordingly.

VirtualBox Guest Additions vs VMware Tools

VirtualBox Guest Additions is a set of drivers và system applications for guest operating systems, which can be used to lớn improve VM performance và usability. Guest Additions are provided for all supported guest operating systems, as the VBoxGuestAdditions.iso tệp tin is located in the directory where VirtualBox is installed. In order to lớn install Guest Additions, you should mount the ISO image to lớn the virtual DVD drive of the VM, và run the installer. The ISO images of different versions can be downloaded from VirtualBox’s site. You can use a command line package manager to install Guest Additions on Linux systems from software repositories.

VMware Tools is the analog of VirtualBox Guest Additions for virtual machines that are running on the VMware platform. VMware Tools are provided for each supported guest OS as a separate ISO image (windows.iso, linux.iso, solaris.iso, etc.) that is located in the directory of the application (VMware Workstation, Player, Fusion). As for ESXi, VMware Tools can be located in the /usr/lib/vmware/isoimages/ directory. If you cannot find the appropriate ISO images, you can manually download the VMware Tools installer from the VMwareְ’s site; or you can use a command line package manager to lớn install open-vm-tools from software repositories for your Linux guest operating systems.

After installing VirtualBox Guest Additions or VMware Tools, the following features become available: Shared folders, Drag & Drop, Shared Clipboard, Integrated mouse pointer, Autologon, better video output, time synchronization, etc.

VirtualBox Seamless Mode vs. VMware Unity

VirtualBox Seamless mode và VMware Unity are the equivalent features that allow you lớn display windows of guest applications, similarly khổng lồ how windows of host applications are displayed.

Generally, the windows of guest applications that are running on the guest OS are displayed in a single window of the VM. The VM window vanishes after enabling the Seamless mode or Unity mode. Programs that are running on the guest OS look like the programs that are running on the host OS. Security is not violated by this, because the programs continue lớn run on the isolated VM.

Using guest applications without a VM window makes the workspace more integrated & convenient. For example, you can run Photoshop on your Windows VM, enable VirtualBox Seamless mode/VMware Unity mode, and then operate with the window of Photoshop similarly to how you operate with regular windows of your Linux host OS.

VirtualBox Guest Additions are required for using the Seamless mode, và VMware Tools are required when using the VMware Unity mode accordingly. The Unity mode cannot be used for remote VMs that are running on ESXi hosts.

VirtualBox supports the Seamless mode for Linux, Windows, & Solaris guests (macOS is not supported).

VMware supports the Unity mode for Windows & Linux guests (unfortunately, the tư vấn of the Unity mode in Linux guests was removed in VMware Workstation 12). Unity for macOS guests is not supported.


VM Snapshots

Snapshots allow you to lớn save a VM state for a particular moment in time. Both VirtualBox & VMware products (except VMware Player) tư vấn VM snapshots. You can create multiple snapshots, and then roll back a VM to one of the snapshots in order lớn restore the VM state. A VM can either be powered off or powered on when a snapshot is taken. When a snapshot of the running VM is taken, the virtual memory is also saved to a file.

When you take a snapshot, a differencing virtual disk is created; và from that particular moment, all changes are written khổng lồ that differencing virtual disk. When you take the next snapshot, another differencing virtual disk is created. You can take multiple snapshots, but be aware that snapshots slow down the performance of the VM.

When a snapshot is deleted, the differencing virtual disk is merged with a parent virtual disk (the differencing virtual disk of the previous snapshot can also be considered as a parent virtual disk).

Snapshots are useful for testing. For example, if you bởi vì not know whether the application would work properly after installation, take a snapshot before installing the application. Thus, if something were to go wrong, you can revert a VM state to lớn the snapshot. The VM cannot be running in order to lớn restore from a snapshot.

Do not consider snapshots as backup. Use dedicated vSphere backup software lớn back up your VMs running on ESXi servers.

USB Devices Support

With USB devices support, you can attach a USB device khổng lồ a host machine and connect the USB device to lớn a guest machine. This feature is useful for attaching USB hard disk drives, website cameras, WI-FI adapters, printers, scanners etc. Khổng lồ the VM. A virtual USB controller must be enabled for the virtual machine.

VirtualBox & VMware platforms (including VMware Player, Workstation, Fusion, ESXi) support the connecting of USB devices lớn virtual machines. You can use VM options for removable devices lớn connect/disconnect a USB device from host to lớn guest.

The closed source Extension Pack must be installed in VirtualBox for USB 2.0/3.0 support, và VirtualBox Guest Additions are required. VMware provides USB devices tư vấn out of the box.

3D Graphics Support

Some software, such as applications for creating and rendering 3d models, may need 3 chiều acceleration support.

VirtualBox has limited support for 3 chiều graphics (up lớn OpenGL 3.0, Direct3D 9). 3 chiều acceleration must be enabled in the VM settings manually. A maximum 128 MB of video memory is supported. Graphics drivers must be installed on the host machine, & VirtualBox Guest Additions must be installed on the guest machine.

VMware provides 3 chiều graphics with DirectX 10 và OpenGL 3.3 tư vấn for Player, Workstation, Fusion và ESXi. 3 chiều acceleration is enabled by default for the latest versions of Workstation VMs. VMware Tools are required. You can mix up to lớn 2 GB of đoạn clip memory. Graphics drivers must be installed on the host OS and hardware acceleration must be enabled.

Generally, in this category, VMware provides better 3 chiều graphics tư vấn for guest VMs.

Virtual Disk Format

Virtual disks are emulated like other virtual hardware for virtual machines. Virtual disk files, which represent special containers for holding data, are attached lớn the VMs.

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VirtualBox supports for the following virtual disk formats:

VDI (Virtual Disk Image) is a native VirtualBox format of virtual disks. This format is used by mặc định when you create a new VM in VirtualBox.VMDK (Virtual Machine DisK) is a virtual disk format developed by VMware, and is used for VMware virtual machines. Other vendors also use this format.VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) is a virtual disk format developed by Microsoft for Hyper-V.HDD virtual disk images of Parallels Desktop 2 format (is popular on macOS).

VMware supports a VMDK format of virtual disks for virtual machines. This is the only virtual disk format supported by VMware.

Virtual Disk Allocation Type

When you create a virtual disk, there are two types of disk allocation that you can use:

You can pre-allocate the entire space at the moment of creation. For example, if you create a 10GB virtual disk, the virtual disk tệp tin would consume 10 GB of space on storage right after creation. In VirtualBox such disks are called fixed disks, while in VMware such disks are called thick provisioned disks.

You can create a dynamically allocated virtual disk tệp tin that is able to grow as data is written to the disk. This type of virtual disk is very small at the moment of creation, & gradually grows as data is written onto new blocks, until the disk kích cỡ reaches the maximum provisioned size. The disks of this type are called dynamically allocated disks in VirtualBox, và thin provisioned disks in VMware. Read the blog post about thick và thin provisioning to lớn learn more.

Support of Linked Clones

A linked clone is a virtual machine that has a virtual disk linked to lớn another virtual disk of another VM. It only saves data that differs from the data that is stored on a disk of a linked (parent) virtual machine. For example, you can create a basic VM with updates and software installed on it. Then, you can create multiple linked clones & install different specialized software on each linked clone that would be used for each appropriate purpose. This approach allows you lớn save storage space because only the differences are written khổng lồ the virtual disks of linked the clones. Furthermore, it allows you to save time spent on the clone creation. A snapshot is created automatically for a basic VM when you create a linked clone, which is then used as a base for the linked clone. A linked clone must always have access khổng lồ a parent VM.


Linked clones are supported by VirtualBox, VMware Workstation, VMware Fusion Pro. As for VMware ESXi, you can create linked clones manually by writing special scripts for PowerCLI. VMware also provides linked clones for VMware Horizon VDI (a virtual desktop infrastructure solution that works with vSphere).

Virtual Networks

VirtualBox provides the following network modes:

Not attached. In this mode a virtual network adapter is enabled for a VM, but an unplugged network cable is emulated. As a result, the VM has no network connection.

NAT (Network Address Translation). This mode allows you lớn enable a private network for a VM behind a virtual router, which is integrated into a VirtualBox engine. A guest machine can access the host machine & other hosts in the network to which the host machine is connected. A guest machine can also access external hosts & has mạng internet access (similar khổng lồ that of the host machine). The VM is unreachable from a host machine and external networks (you can manually configure port forwarding khổng lồ fix this). An integrated DHCP server is used for assigning IP addresses khổng lồ VM network adapters. NAT is a default-networking mode that is used when a VM is created.

NAT Network (Service). This mode is more advanced than the NAT mode explained above, and allows VMs in the NAT Network (behind the NAT) to access each other over the network. Vì not forget to lớn create a virtual network by going to tệp tin > Preferences > Network for configuring NAT network. You should manually configure port forwarding if you want lớn enable network access to VMs from a host machine.

Bridged adapter. In this mode, a VM connects to the same network as a host machine does. In this case, a VM looks like a physical machine connected by using a network cable to the same switch as a host machine. Different techniques of bridging are used for wired và wireless network adapters of host machines.

Internal network. This mode allows VMs to connect with each other. In this case, a networking scheme looks as if virtual machines are connected khổng lồ the switch, & the switch is not connected to lớn any routers or physical machines.

Host-only adapter. VMs can communicate with each other và with a host machine, while the host can access guest VMs via network. The VirtualBox Host-Only network adapter is created in the host OS.

Let’s compare network modes for VirtualBox VMs in the table:


*LAN is a physical local area network khổng lồ which a host machine is connected.

VMware provides the following VM networking modes: Bridged, NAT, and Host only. These modes are available for VMware Player, Workstation, Fusion, Fusion Pro. VMware Workstation & Fusion Pro include a virtual network editor, while Player and Fusion do not.

NAT. In this mode, virtual machines are connected khổng lồ a private network behind the NAT. The VMs are able to communicate with each other, a host machine và other hosts with which the host machine can communicate outside the VM NAT network. A host machine can communicate with VMs, but other hosts outside of the NAT network cannot communicate with such VMs in this way. A default name for the NAT network is VMNet8. A virtual network adapter is added lớn the host operating system when a NAT network is added. A built-in virtual router và DHCP server are used by VMware products in order lớn establish the NAT network connection for VMs.


The working principle of NAT networking for VMware VMs is similar to lớn the NAT Network mode in VirtualBox. However, you bởi vì not need to manually địa chỉ port forwarding rules (except if you need khổng lồ connect from any hosts of your physical LAN khổng lồ the VM).

Bridged. This mode makes your VM work similarly lớn any other machine in your physical network. The working principle is similar to lớn the working principle of the bridged connection for VirtualBox. A default name of the bridged network is VMNet0.


Host-only. In this mode VMs are connected lớn an isolated network, & can communicate with each other as well as with a host. A host can communicate with VMs. A connection scheme looks as if the VMs & the host are connected lớn the same switch, and the switch is not connected to lớn any router (similarly lớn VirtualBox). A virtual network adapter is created in the host OS, & the mặc định name of this network is VMNet1. A virtual DHCP vps is included with VMware products in order lớn assign IP addresses khổng lồ VM network adapters that are connected in the Host-only mode.


You can add, edit, and delete the virtual networks in the virtual network editor (including a network address, the IP address of the router, settings of the DHCP Server, etc.). The maximum number of VM networks is trăng tròn (VMNet0 khổng lồ VMNet19).

Network modes provided by VMware are compared in the table:


VMware ESXi includes slightly different tools for connecting VMs lớn networks. The default VM network connection method is similar to the bridged mode. The virtual network adapter of a VM connects to lớn a port of a mặc định vSwitch, which is connected khổng lồ a physical switch by using the physical network interface controller (NIC) of the ESXi host. Multiple port groups can be created on the vSwitch. You can mix VLAN IDs for different port groups of a virtual switch, and then (by using L2 switches) connect them khổng lồ a physical or virtual router. The VMs that have virtual network adapters that are connected to lớn these ports, are connected khổng lồ the appropriate networks. VMware provides NSX for virtualizing routers as well as building software defined networks (SDN), however this topic is out of the scope of this article. Read more about virtual switches & ESXi networking by reading this blog post. The maximum number of virtual network adapters per VM is 4 for VirtualBox, & 10 for VMware.

Shared Storage (iSCSI) Support

iSCSI is a popular network protocol that is used to lớn access shared storage on a block level. ISCSI storage is convenient to lớn attach as a remote disk by using an Ethernet network. You cannot see any difference from the guest OS of the VM. A vps that provides shared storage is called an iSCSI target, while a client who initiates a connection to lớn the server is called an iSCSI initiator. Using shared iSCSI storage as a virtual disk for a VM is especially useful when you need khổng lồ migrate the VM between hosts. A VM uses the same shared iSCSI target lớn store a virtual disk, but consumes the computing resources of another host after migration.

VirtualBox includes a built-in iSCSI initiator. A command line must be used lớn connect an iSCSI target lớn a VM in VirtualBox. After attaching the iSCSI target to lớn a VM, the internal VM files are stored directly onto the iSCSI disk. No virtual disk file is created in this case.

VMware ESXi supports the attachment of an iSCSI target to lớn be used as a datastore for storing VM files, including virtual disks. The main difference with VirtualBox is that VirtualBox VMs only use iSCSI targets directly without creating virtual disks, while ESXi uses iSCSI targets as datastores to lớn store virtual disk files of VMs. It is recommended that you configure a dedicated storage network for attaching iSCSI targets to lớn ESXi hosts. You can use raw device mapping (RDM) lớn store the data of VMware VMs directly onto the iSCSI disk, bypassing the virtual disk file; however, be aware that the VM performance is not increased in this case.

VMware Workstation, Player, và Fusion vì chưng not support iSCSI, and do not have an iSCSI initiator. The only way khổng lồ store virtual disks on an iSCSI storage is through connecting an iSCSI target by using the built-in iSCSI initiator of the host operating system (if such initiator exists in the OS), and then using the mounted disk to store the virtual disk files for VMs.

VirtualBox also supports NFS và SMB shared storage, while VMware ESXi supports NFS and Fibre Channel storage. NFS và SMB (CIFS) are file-level access protocols.

VM Live Migration – VirtualBox Teleportation vs. VMware vMotion

VirtualBox supports VM live migration from one VirtualBox host khổng lồ another over the TCP/IP network, even if the VM is running. This feature is called Teleportation in VirtualBox. A shared storage (iSCSI, NFS or SMB) must be used for a virtual disk, and must be accessed by both VirtualBox hosts. A virtual disk is not migrated from one host to lớn another, rather, a state of the VM is transferred – with minimal downtime if the VM is running. As a result, the VM consumes the computing resources (CPU, Memory) of the target host, but not resources of the source host. A VM can be migrated between hosts regardless of the host OS; for example, a VM can be migrated from a Linux host (source) khổng lồ a Windows host (target).

Another requirement is the configuration of a VirtualBox VM on a target host. A VM with hardware settings that are identical khổng lồ the hardware settings of the source VM must be created (amount of virtual memory must be the same). The VM names may be different. A command line interface (VBoxManage) must be used khổng lồ perform VM Teleportation between VirtualBox hosts. Using processors of the same family on VirtualBox hosts is recommended for maximum compatibility.

VMware provides the vMotion feature for migrating VMs between ESXi hosts in vSphere over network, & without downtime if the VMs are running. VM workloads (CPU và memory) are transferred seamlessly, thus, as a result the services and applications of the VM are not interrupted. Virtual disks are not migrated when vMotion is used. Storage vMotion is used for migrating virtual disks from one datastore khổng lồ another.

The main requirements are: vCenter Server, a shared datastore that is accessible by both ESXi hosts, và processors of the same family on ESXi hosts. Unlike VirtualBox Teleportation, you vì not need to lớn create a new empty VM for live migration of VMware VMs with vMotion. It is recommended that you use a dedicated network for vMotion. You can perform vMotion by using the graphical user interface of VMware vSphere Client or with PowerCLI.

VMware Player, Workstation, and Fusion vì chưng not tư vấn any VM live migration features such as vMotion.

Interface for Centralized (and Remote) Management

PhpVirtualBox is a website interface that is similar khổng lồ the standard interface of VirtualBox. It allows you khổng lồ manage remote VirtualBox instances with a website browser. PhpVirtualBox is written on PHP and is a không lấy phí open source solution. PhpVirtualBox and VirtualBox vị not have to lớn be installed on the same machine, as the communication between them is performed over the network. As a result, you can deploy PhpVirtualBox to manage multiple VirtualBox instances installed on different hosts (even if a host OS doesn’t have GUI).

VMware provides vCenter Server for the centralized management of ESXi hosts và other components of vSphere. You can connect khổng lồ vCenter with VMware vSphere Client or VMware vSphere web client (both have GUI). VMware promotes vSphere website client, which can be accessed with a web browser và recommends the use the vSphere web Client. VMware vSphere Client is a standalone application that can be installed on Windows. If you bởi vì not have vCenter Server, you can manage standalone ESXi hosts by using VMware Host Client in a browser, or by using VMware vSphere Client (Windows application). VMware also provides a PowerCLI, which is a command line interface (CLI) for managing ESXi hosts và vSphere with vCenter. PowerCLI is a collection of cmdlets for Windows PowerShell.

VM Encryption Support

VirtualBox has a built-in encryption feature that allows you khổng lồ encrypt the virtual disk of a VM. Configuring VM encryption is not difficult: you should select the encryption cypher (XTS-AES-256 or XTS-AES-128) & enter a password in the VM settings. VM disk encryption may take some time, depending on the form size of the virtual disk. You are required to lớn enter a password when you nguồn on an encrypted VM. Virtual disk encryption is transparent for a guest OS. Later, you can disable encryption in VM options if needed. VirtualBox Extension Pack must be installed in order to lớn enable VM encryption options.

VMware also provides VM encryption/restriction options, which are different for each VMware product. Similarly to lớn VirtualBox, the virtual disks of VMware VMs can be encrypted. If you set an expiration date for a VM, users are able khổng lồ use the VM until the expiration date comes. Thereafter, administrator has khổng lồ enter the password used for the VM encryption in order to lớn reset or prolong VM restriction options.

VMWare Player. VMs cannot be encrypted with VMware Player, but VMware Player can play already encrypted VMs (a commercial license is required in this case).

VMware Workstation allows you khổng lồ configure VM encryption – you can enable or disable encryption, edit already encrypted or restricted VMs, as well as mix the expiration date for the encrypted VM. All encryption & restriction features are available. AES-256 encryption algorithm is used to lớn encrypt virtual disk files of VMs.

VMware Fusion. You can enable & disable encryption for VMs that have not been encrypted yet. The only change that can be made is that of the password – if the VM was previously encrypted/restricted with another VMware hàng hóa (other encryption và restrictions settings are read-only for VMware Fusion). If these options are not sufficient for you, consider using VMware Fusion Pro.

VMware Fusion Pro. You can enable, disable, và edit encryption settings for VMs that already have restrictions enabled. All encryption & restrictions options are available for VMs through the use of VMware Fusion Pro.

VMware ESXi. There are more encryption options available for virtual machines và VM files if you use ESXi hosts with vCenter in vSphere. You can encrypt VM files (VMDK, NVRAM, VSWP, VMSN) or virtual disks (VMDK). XTS-AES-256 algorithm is used for the creation of data encryption keys (DEK); và AES-256 is used for creating key encryption keys (KEK). A Key Management Service (KMS) is used khổng lồ provide keys for vCenter. VMware vSphere client must be used to lớn encrypt particular VM files. Log files, VM configuration files (VMX, VMSD), and virtual disk descriptor files are not encrypted.

Memory Ballooning

Memory Overcommit (also called Memory Ballooning) is a memory reclamation technique that allows a host lớn retrieve the unused memory from certain running VMs, & to redistribute this memory to running VMs that need more memory. This feature is activated when the host is running out of physical memory. A host cannot use the memory retrieved from VMs for its own tasks.

A hypervisor creates a special driver locked ballooning process, which simulates the consumption of a part of the VM memory. This process prevents the use of this part of memory by other guest applications, while a hypervisor can redistribute the ballooned memory lớn other VMs. For example, if a host has 16 GB of physical memory, Memory Overcommit allows you to lớn run 3 VMs that are configured lớn use 6 GB of memory for each VM in the VM settings (3×6=18>16). If a guest VM with memory filled by the ballooning process needs additional memory, a swap file is used by a guest OS.


VirtualBox supports memory ballooning. This feature can only be configured with VBoxManage in the command line. VirtualBox Guest Additions must be installed on the VMs for the use of memory ballooning because a special driver that is a part of Guest Additions is required. Memory ballooning is only supported on 64-bit hosts, and is not supported on macOS hosts.

VMware provides memory ballooning for VMware Workstation, Fusion, và ESXi. Unlike VirtualBox, this feature can be configured by using GUI. VMware Tools are required because they contain a special vmmemctl.sys balloon driver.

Clustering Technologies

Unfortunately, VirtualBox doesn’t provide clustering features at this time.

VMware provides the ability khổng lồ deploy two types of clusters by using ESXi servers and vCenter in vSphere: a High Availability (HA) cluster & a Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) cluster. The HA cluster can perform VM failover in a case of hardware failure of ESXi hosts, while ensuring minimal downtime. The DRS cluster provides the rational consumption of hardware resources by VMs, và can initiate migration of VMs from the overloaded ESXi host khổng lồ a host with free computing resources. VMware also provides Fault Tolerance, which is a great feature for the HA cluster, và helps you perform VM failover without downtime in a case of hardware failure. Learn more about VMware clustering by reading this e-book.

VMware Player, Workstation, & Fusion don’t tư vấn clustering.

Providing API for Developers

VirtualBox provides a powerful API (application programming interface) for developing applications that interact with VirtuaBox; while also making the integration of created applications easier and more convenient. Oracle also provides VirtualBox SDK (software development kit).

VMware provides different APIs và SDKs for developers, including the ability of the integration of development and testing tools, such as Eclipse. You can phối up Eclipse Integrated Virtual Debugger Environment for VMware Workstation by using the Eclipse plugin. VMware also provides VMware Studio – a không tính phí development tool for building vApps & virtual appliances.

Summary Table

Now when main VirtualBox and VMware features have been explained and compared, here is a summary table with the most important characteristics of the considered virtualization products.

VirtualBox 5.2.22Player 15Workstation 15Fusion 11Fusion Pro 11ESXi 6.7
Hypervisor Type222221
LicensingFreeFreeFrom 250 $80 $160 $Free/Paid (from 495$)
VirtualizationHardware + SoftwareHardwareHardwareHardwareHardwareHardware
Host OSLinux, Windows, Solaris, macOS, FreeBSDLinux, WindowsLinux, WindowsmacOSmacOS
Guest OSLinux, Windows, Solaris, FreeBSD, macOSLinux, Windows, Solaris, FreeBSDLinux, Windows, Solaris, FreeBSDLinux, Windows, Solaris, FreeBSD, macOSLinux, Windows, Solaris, FreeBSD, macOSLinux, Windows, Solaris, FreeBSD
Shared FoldersYesYesYesYesYesNo
Seamless mode/UnityYesYesYesYesYesNo
VM snapshotsYesNoYesYesYesYes
USB for VMsWith Extension PackOut of the boxOut of the boxOut of the boxOut of the boxOut of the box
3D graphics in VMsDirectX 9, OpenGL 3.0DirectX 10, OpenGL 3.3DirectX 10, OpenGL 3.3DirectX 10, OpenGL 3.3DirectX 10, OpenGL 3.3DirectX 10, OpenGL 3.3
Max.VM video memory128 MB2 GB2 GB2 GB2 GB2 GB
Linked clones supportYesNoYesNoYesNo*
Shared storage supportiSCSI, NFS, SMB (CIFS)No*No*No*No*iSCSI, NFS, Fibre Channel
VM Live MigrationYes (Teleportation)NoNoNoNoYes (vMotion)
Centralized ManagementPhpVirtualBoxNoNoNoNovCenter
VM EncryptionYes, with Ext. PackYes (limited)YesYes (limited)YesYes
Memory BallooningYesYesYesYesYes


VirtualBox and VMware are the vị trí cao nhất two virtualization platforms on market, which makes it difficult to choose between the products. The most important VirtualBox and VMware features have been explained và compared in this blog post khổng lồ help you make a choice that is right, and that suits you best. There are some recommendations you can refer to:

If you need a miễn phí virtualization solution for a desktop, you can select VirtualBox.If you need lớn have a miễn phí virtualization solution for running VMs on a server, select VirtualBox or VMware ESXi không tính tiền Edition.If you need an ultimate solution for desktop with extended 3 chiều graphics support and a wide danh sách of settings, select VMware Workstation (or VMware Fusion for Mac computers).If you need a không tính phí virtualization solution that only needs khổng lồ run VMware VMs on desktop with basic options, you can select VMware Player.If you need maximum integration between a VMware desktop solution và a VMware vSphere (vCenter server, ESXi hosts), select VMware Workstation or VMware Fusion Pro. You can use VMware Workstation or Fusion Pro for connecting to lớn vCenter hệ thống or ESXi host remotely, và can manage virtual machines residing on these resources. VMware provides a free VMware vCenter Converter for converting VMs of the Workstation format to lớn VMs of the ESXi format (and vice versa).If you have an old computer with a processor that does not tư vấn hardware virtualization technologies, select VirtualBox, which provides software virtualization.If you need the ultimate enterprise-grade solution for deploying multiple servers, running a high number of VMs, using clustering features, etc., select VMware vSphere based on ESXi servers with vCenter.

Both VirtualBox và VMware provide performance và high reliability. The final decision is up khổng lồ you. Evaluate which features & advantages are vital for your infrastructure, và select the most suitable product. If you want to lớn learn more about virtualization solutions, you can also compare VirtualBox with Hyper-V.

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