Popular | Best Virtual Machine Software of 2021

👤 Diwas Poudel    🕒 Nov 24 2020    📁 Fix    📜 0 comment

This article will provide you information on Popular| Best Virtual Machine Software, Virtualization, and Virtual Machine Concepts.

Virtualization and Virtual machine are trending topics in the technology field and knowing them are necessary.

So, at first, let's discuss Virtualization and Virtual Machine in short.

What is Virtualization?

In General, it is a mechanism for running multiple virtual machines using single physical hardware machines. It helps to create multiple simulated environments using the software in a single physical hardware machine. There are various types of virtualization such as network virtualization, storage virtualization, server virtualization, software virtualization. Here we will mainly talk about software virtualization.

Using multiple operating systems in single hardware without rebooting is an example of virtualization. Other general uses of Virtualization is Cloud Application.

What is a Virtual Machine?

The basic concept behind a virtual machine is to abstract one computer's hardware(CPU, memory, disk drives, network interface cards ...) in several different execution environments, generating the illusion as a private machine for each individual execution environment.

General UseCase of Virtual Machine

  • In the software development environment, for testing an application
  • Running Old or Incompatible Application
  • Trying to access software which is not present in HOST Operating system
  • Testing and Trying a new Operating System
  • Developing software for other platforms
  • Hardware considerations: Virtual Machine reduce hardware and electricity cost by allowing multiple OS running on one single hardware.

virtual machine vs non virtual machine environment


Best | Popular Virtual Machine Software

Here is the list of best and popular Virtual Machine software. It includes both open-source software(free) and paid software(paid).

  • VMWare WorkStation Player
  • Oracle Virtual Box
  • SolarWinds Virtualization Manager
  • Parallel Desktop
  • V2Cloud
  • Hyper V
  • Parallels
  • QEMU
  • GNOME Box
Also Read: Secret of CPU Hyperthreading

VMware Workstation Player

VMWare Workstation Player is a free and powerful virtualization software provided by VMware for x64 based Guest Operating System which includes Microsoft Windows OS or 64-bit Linux distribution OS. It offers the industrial standard for applications on virtual machines. It is free of charge for personal purposes. But for commercial purposes, you have to buy Pro licenses.

vmware workstation player logo

Note: 💡 VMware Workstation Player is a free version of VMware Workstation Product and VMware Workstation Pro is a paid version of VMware workstation product.VMware Workstation Pro can be used for 30 days for evaluating product.
First Released on  1999 AD
Written in C, C++
Platform x86-64 only
Operating System 64 bit Windows and Linux, Solaris 10 and 11, VMware ESXi, FreeBSD, MS-DOS, Nowell NetWare
Websites www.vmware.com

General Requirement of VMware WorkStation Product are :

  • 64-bit x86//AMD64 Processor launched in 2011 or later.
  • 1.3 GHz or faster core speed
  • 4GB RAM recommended, but 2GB is minimum

For more click here.

🤔 The host Operating System must have a 64-bit processor, with any 32 bit or 64 bit OS installed. But VM OS must have a 64-bit processor. If you installed VM OS in 32 bit OS then your VM OS cannot utilize more than 4 GB RAM in general.  So it's better to install VM OS (64-bit processor) in a 64-bit processor and 64 bit OS.

Features of VMWare Workstation Player

  • It can be run on 64 bit Linux or Windows PC as Virtual Machine.
  • Easy to use and can run multiple OS on one system without much PC skills.
  • Has a convenient GUI and command line supports
  • Free for educational purposes.
  • Host/Guest File Sharing.
  • Can run VMs in many different view modes.
  • 4K display supports
  • Multi-Language Keyboard Supports
  • It is highly versatile and has high speed.
  • USB devices can be accessible even USB 3.0 so that you can easily connects USB harddrives, web cameras,WIFI adapters supports.
  • Smart Card Reader Supports
  • Support of Linked Clone.

 Features of VMware Workstation Pro:

  • All features of VMware Workstation Player
  • It can run multiple VM OS simultaneously. You can run multiple VM OS at the same time. You can switch the tab for using VM OS.
  • VMware Workstation Supports snapshots. So, can take, restore, and delete snapshots.
💡 Snapshot: With the help of snapshots, you can save any state of a virtual machine so that in the future if any problem occurs then you can revert back to that state. Also after saving you can continue to VM further.

It is a type-2 hypervisor so it must be installed on the host OS as an application.

💡 Type-2 Hypervisor vs Type-1 Hypervisor: Type-1 Hypervisor doesn't require to be installed as software in the host OS. But Type-2 Hypervisor must be installed as software in host OS. Type-1 Hypervisor can run on hardware directly.

Oracle Virtual Box

VMWare Workstation Player is free powerful, open-source, cross-platform virtualization software provided by VMware for most of  x64 based Microsoft Windows OS,64-bit Linux distribution OS, 64 bit Mac OS, 64 bit Oracle Solaris OS, and FreeBSD.

It is a type-2 hypervisor so it must be installed on the host OS as an application.

Some of the important features are :

  • Cross-Platform Virtualization
  • High Speed and Versatile
  • Has a user-friendly GUI and command line supports.
  • Snapshot Features: Can Take, restore, and delete snapshots.
  • Cloning Virtual Machine
  • Basic support for 3D graphics but this does not help to play the latest 3D games but helps for properly rendering images and videos.
  • 4K display supports
  • USB devises support
  • Multi-Language Keyboard Supports
  • Support of Linked Clone.

It also has some enterprise features which is free for educational purpose but required license for commercial purpose.

Parallel Desktop

It is the virtualization software for Mac OS. It allows Windows OS to run in Mac OS so that we can access windows powerful application like Office Packages (Excel, PowerPoint, word) can be accessed easily.


  • Allow to Quickly and Easily moving as well as dragging files, folder, apps, and other stuff from a Windows PC to a Mac
  • Allow accessing windows powerful applications like Office Packages.
  • Run windows fast as VM without slowing down Mac.

It is not open source and has only a paid version. It only gives a trial for evaluation purposes.



It is a desktop virtualization solution. It is a fully integrated DaaS(Desktop-as-a-Service) Solution that provides hardware infrastructure via the cloud. Its core feature is the "Cloud Workspace" Remote Desktop Service, which simulates a Windows workstation using Windows servers. It is only available in the paid version. But they will provide you a trial version for evaluation purposes.

So, the general use-case of V2Cloud is: If you have set up a cloud computer in V2Cloud then you can access your computer from anywhere on any device. And provides auto backup of workspace every day. And also multiuser can access same workspace as well so it is good for the team.

Features of V2 Cloud

  • Do not require any technical skills to use it.
  • Superfast DaaS Solution
  • Suitable for small and midsize businesses for using a fast cloud desktop.
  • Provide connection up to 250 concurrent users.
  • Within a workspace, all users can share applications and files.

  • Has Complete auto backup of workspace facilities every day.
  • No problem in disaster as well because it provides a second instance of your workspace in another geolocation.
  • V2 Cloud is available everywhere and can be accessed from a web browser and mobile app(ios, android), anywhere and it provides a full-blown desktop experience on all devices.
  • You just pay for what you use and can upgrade your Cloud WorkSpaces' performance and storage in seconds.
  • Office365 & AzureAD Integration
  • Network Visualization and Malware Protection.
  • Virtual Machine Migration and Monitoring
  • Provides GUI
  • Has high-quality technical supports

Hyper V

It is Microsoft developed hypervisor-based virtualization technology. Hyper V helps to create virtual machines on x86-64 systems running windows only. So we can say Hyper-V uses Windows hypervisor only. It can be used as hardware virtualization(from windows 8) and software virtualization(from start). It was first released with windows server 2008.

The standalone version of the hyper-v server with a command-line interface is available at free.

General Features:

  • Nested Virtualization features are available.
  • Has snapshot(checkpoint) features with Volume Shadow Copy Service(VSS) in the latest HyperV. Useful for disaster recovery and backup.
  • Can send PowerShell command from host OS to VM OS with no much configuration.
  • Safe and secure booting and shielding of virtual machines help protect a virtual machine and its data from malware and other unauthorized access.
  • Hyper-V features available on windows server 2019 is virtual network encryption which allows encryption of virtual network traffic between VMs.
  • Latest windows server ie. Windows Server 2019 supports both Windows as well as Linux containers, which can run on the same container host.
Nested Virtualization: Nested virtualization allows us to run one hyper-v VM inside another Hyper-V VM

Hyper-V Guest Operating System (VM OS) Compatibility

1) Supported on Microsoft Client OS like Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 10, windows 7 professional, enterprise, ultimate Windows Vista Professional with SP3, Windows XP Professional with SP3, Windows XP Professional (x64) with SP2

2) Supported for Linux OS like CentOS, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11, Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise, FreeBSD, etc.

Windows Virtual PC

Windows Virtual PC is a free virtualization program for Microsoft Windows initially released on September 19, 2009. It is the successor of Microsoft Virtual PC 2007. This latest product of virtual machine does not work before Windows 7 OS host(all editions except Starter)

Like VirtualBox, you cannot create Linux as a Host. Virtual PC locks you into a windows Host only.YOu can only run windows os as guests inside windows os host. So, you can prefer a Virtual PC when you need to use an older version of windows.

You can access USB drive in virtual PC, Support multi virtual machines to run concurrently each in its own thread, smart card redirection facilities manages all VMs from a single folder.

Main System Requirement:
- Computer running Windows 7 (all editions except Starter).
- 15 GB of hard disk space per virtual Windows environment.


It is a popular open-source emulator and virtualizer that can virtualize hardware. 

It is written in C language developed by QEMU Team and can be installed on Linux, Windows, macOS, and some UNIX version in the desktop platforms and also in the cloud.


  • Easy to Use
  • Free and can be used in any OS
  • Gives nearly native performance when used as a virtualizer.
  • Can provide hardware virtualization
  • Virtual Machine Encryption


GNOME Boxes is less well-known VM software but it is an easy way to create, view, and manages virtual machines for learning and development purposes. It is lightweight, simple to set up, faster virtual management software. If you have a Linux machine as a host and want to test other different OS as a guest machine then using GNOME is the best choice. It is one of the best virtualization managers for Linux machines.

Because Gnome Boxes, a front-end tool for Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), is created inside Gnome Desktop Environment, no additional software is needed to be installed. So, Boxes has no problem with virtualization as KVM directly integrated into the Linux Kernel. So, Boxes' task is to simply provide VM using technologies like libvirt and QEMU built into the linux kernel.


  • create, view, access, and manage remote virtual machines using SPICE, VNC, RDP, or Secure Shell connections
  • create, view, access, and manage local virtual machines
  • create, view, access, and manage on removable media
  • Upload / publish virtual machines
  • Sharing files is as easy as dropping them in your virtual machine and will appear in your download folder
  • With boxes, you don't have to download an operating system for the purpose of building virtual machine. Boxes will download it for you automatically.