Which VM to use in 2020

I'm likely going to have to run some windows software for a job I have coming up and I'll need to use a vm to do this. I'm more or less completely new to vm's though and I'm having difficulty determining which one is best for my needs.

I've done some looking around, but all the articles I can find on the subject are either old enough that I don't trust them to have up to date information, or are unclear on the differences between vm's beyond the open-source/not open-source divide. My understanding is that the choice is really between virtualbox and vmware (though if anyone has other suggestions I'm all ears). Can anyone give me a basic rundown on any pros and cons between the two?

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The third solution is one of the many managers that leverages kvm. The tradeoff is that these solutions have various degrees of maturity and complexity. Some are very easy to use but are so feature free they won't always work and others are feature rich, highly performant but challenging to configure.

As for a comparison between virtualbox and vmware. virtualbox is often better than the free version of vmware but not as feature rich as vmware workstation pro.

It really depends on what you need to run in Windows. In most cases virtualbox will work fine.


I use gnome-boxes I was surprised how easy is to setup vm and install linux there. I do not have windows there, I use dual boot when I want to play what is not possible under linux.


Here's a presumably fairly recent collaboration comparison :flushed:
I have used VirtualBox for virtually anything :grin: for years, and never had any problems - but do back up your data; use a shared folder for storing stuff and back it up.

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What @VoDo said: I use Windows so infrequently that I have a dual boot and use that to:

  • Update Windows (80% of the time I spend in Windows: once every two months on patch Tuesday)
  • Do a chkdsk /f on some USB stick some idiot a Windows user gave me: a few times a year
  • Change the colour of my keyboard backlights. (6 months ago?)
  • Be able to see whatever my dad sees whenever he cannot log into Windows whenever Skype screen sharing does not work (2 years ago?)


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I would also say virtualbox.

If the software is graphically intensive though? VMware wins at graphics performance

The cost of VMware is annoying though, if you buy a version then 3 years later there will be a new version and the old version will not work on new distros/hardware and you need to upgrade

I have been using VMWare Player for years now, but have used virtualbox as well.
For me, it's VMWare Player which is free and limited. You can always move one vm from one to another or at least you use to be-able to.

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