It’s the best way to run multiple operating systems at same time on your running operating system, in this article I will talk linux virtualization only, but some of these application I will mention works on many operating systems such as “Linux, Macintosh,Windows, …”
Virtualization not just for these operating systems only, also virtualization works on mobile and pocket PCs and I will talk about that on other article.
- Why I want to use virtual machines ?
It’s a really good way run multiple operating system at same time, I use it a lot to try new distributions release like this one I reviewed for ubuntu 10.04 alpha 3 Lucid I was using sun virtual box.
Some users want to use Windows and any linux distribution on same time, not for testing, with complete installation on virtual machine.
Used to use sun virtualbox, KVM, and Virtual machine manager.
1. Sun Virtual Box
VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers, it is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). See “About VirtualBox” for an introduction.
2. VMWare including “VMware server and player”
VMWare is a commercial virtualization platform that currently offers two free products: VMWare Player and VMWare Server (the latter with a free renewable yearly license). VMWare Player can play virtual appliances that have already been created, whereas VMWare Server (which has a broader range of features) allows the creation of virtual machines. In general, VMWare Server is recommended unless you only need to play an appliance. (Appliances will also run in VMWare Server). Users that wish to run servers (or processes) that need to be available to a network from within the virtual machine should use VMServer. If you wish to install a new OS within a virtual machine (other than in an appliance), you will need VMWare Server.
KVM (for Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is a full virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions (Intel VT or AMD-V). It consists of a loadable kernel module, kvm.ko, that provides the core virtualization infrastructure and a processor specific module, kvm-intel.ko or kvm-amd.ko. KVM also requires a modified QEMU although work is underway to get the required changes upstream.
The Xen® hypervisor, the powerful open source industry standard for virtualization, offers a powerful, efficient, and secure feature set for virtualization of x86, x86_64, IA64, ARM, and other CPU architectures. It supports a wide range of guest operating systems including Windows®, Linux®, Solaris®, and various versions of the BSD operating systems. More
QEMU is a generic and open source machine emulator and virtualizer.
When used as a machine emulator, QEMU can run OSes and programs made for one machine (e.g. an ARM board) on a different machine (e.g. your own PC). By using dynamic translation, it achieves very good performances.
When used as a virtualizer, QEMU achieves near native performances by executing the guest code directly on the host CPU. QEMU supports virtualization when executing under the Xen hypervisor or using the KVM kernel module in Linux. When using KVM, QEMU can virtualize x86, server and embedded PowerPC, and S390 guests.
6. Virtual machine manager
The “Virtual Machine Manager” application (virt-manager for short package name) is a desktop user interface for managing virtual machines. It presents a summary view of running domains, their live performance & resource utilization statistics. The detailed view graphs performance & utilization over time. Wizards enable the creation of new domains, and configuration & adjustment of a domain’s resource allocation & virtual hardware. An embedded VNC client viewer presents a full graphical console to the guest domain.