Vmware vs. Virtualbox: Choose the Best

Virtualization is the standard software and operating system(OS) testing model. This model is used on a comprehensive platform for running multiple OS on a single physical and independent resource to reduce the use of the physical dedicated server

Although in this technology era, Oracle and VMware are the administrators for catering Virtualization solutions. As Oracle provides the VirtualBox as a hypervisor to run multiple virtual machines (VMs). In contrast, VMware renders different products to run VMs in multiple use cases.  Both platforms are agile, reliable, and incorporated with an ample range of features. But, VMware and VirtualBox comprise some unique features that you should know to make a wise and efficient decision. 

Even though choosing one among VMware vs. VirtualBox may be quite a challenging task. But still, this guide helps you to make it easy. So, just take broad insights of VMware and VirtualBox to choose the best virtualization. Let’s get started!

What is VMware?

VMware has an ample range of Virtualization products.  VMware Workstation Player is open source that is available free of cost. It comes with the x64 Virtualization software that is basically used for non-commercial purposes. The company’s primary target is students and educators for the free versions. So, if you want to use the Virtualization software for a commercial purpose, you need to buy a commercial workstation license. 

Additionally, the VMware software works well from managing virtual machines to their creation, even running rapidly on a single virtual machine. Further, you are free to install the free virtualization software on your operating system. 

If you want to employ more advanced and standard virtualization software features for your large-scale projects, you can opt for the Workstation pro. 

What is VirtualBox?

Oracle provides, or you can say, a leader of VirtualBox. VirtualBox is a free, open-source virtualization product issued under the GPL version 2. GPL generally stands for the General Public License. 

VirtualBox enables individuals to run virtual machines on a completely independent operating system. In addition, you can build up a connector between VMs and even the host if required. 

VirtualBox is operating system-dependent. It can run only on specific OS such as Linux, Windows, Mac OS, and Oracle Solaris. 

VirtualBox Extension is a closed source. This is also known as a complementary package because it comes with intense and reliable features. It comes with USB2/USB3 and RDP features. 

Also Read: VPS Hosting: Is Your Business Ready to Make the Switch?

Vmware vs. Virtualbox: Comparison 

Take an insightful perspective about VMware and VirtualBox. So, you’ll get to know where it differs and what similarities it possesses. 

#1. Hardware and Software Virtualization

Hardware Virtualization 

Hardware Virtualization competes with the host hardware devices to give you optimal performance in a case when you directly run your code on the hardware.

To use hardware virtualization: 

-Host machine must have some standard features such as Intel VT-x or AMD-V CPU 

-You must allow hardware virtualization in UEFI/BIOS.

-If any user runs on the same platform as a host, you are free to run the guests.

In conclusion, both VMware and VirtualBox Support Hardware Virtualization.

Software Virtualization

Software Virtualization copies the entire system data and runs the guests on a prior basis. This type of virtualization is best if you run VMs that utilize multiple platforms than the host. The drawback of using software virtualization is it makes your VM performance sluggish compared to hardware virtualization. 

In conclusion: VirtualBox supports Software virtualization, but VMware does not.

#2. Operating System to install applications

When it comes to hopping on the host OS, we let you know that VirtualBox relies on an ample range of the operating system to work efficiently. In contrast, VMware is slightly limited with specific operating systems. 

You can install VirtualBox on such OS, including Linux, Windows, macOS, FreeBSD, and Solaris. Whereas VMware Workstations are specified with Linux and Windows. To work on VMware Player Workstations on Mac, you must first install VMware Fusion/Fusion Pro.

In terms of the operating system, both working are almost similar. The only difference between VMware vs. VirtualBox is that VMware requires VMware Fusion/Fusion Pro installation to run Virtual Machines in MacOS.

#3. User Interface (GUI and CUI)

VirtualBox has user-friendly interfaces, including Graphical User Interface (GUI) and a Command Line Interface(CMI). Together they are known as VBoxManage.  In this process, the Command Line Interface enables you to manage the different VMs through the host command line. It gives you an ample range of reliable and potent features. 

VMware also has both interfaces: A graphical user interface and a Command Line Interface. In the Vmware Workstation player, you’ll have more UI intense features than the simple VMware player Graphical User Interface.

#4. Snapshots

Snapshots enable you to accumulate the Virtual Machine state. So, you can retrieve it later. In simple, when you take a snapshot of any screen on your system, you are saving a replica of the VM disk file (VMDK). This does not come with a limited tag. You can take n number of snapshots. 

Snapshots are saved in the off-state. However, it has no limit. Therefore, you need to keep in mind that overdoing this can slow down VM performance and system. 

VirtualBox supports the snapshots features, whereas this feature is inbuilt with the paid Virtualization products of VMware.

#5. Virtual Disk

Like other hardware, you can even copy the Virtual Disks containing the Virtual Machine Data.


Virtualization platforms differ on the type of virtual disk format they support. It basically provides contains for holding data that is attached with the Virtual Machines

VirtualBox Supports the following Virtual Disk Formats:

VDI(Virtual Disk Image) – When you create a new virtual machine, VDI is automatically created, i.e., by default.

VMDK (Virtual Machine Disk) – This is basically used by the VMware Virtual Machines.

VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) – This VirtualBox format is developed by Microsoft for Hyper-v.

HDD (Hard Disk Drive)– It is used for parallel Desktop 2 formats.

However, VirtualBox is considered the most versatile and robust in terms of disk formats.

Allocation Type

In the pre-allocation virtual disk, you reserve the specified amount of storage space for the given virtual machine data. Once pre-allocation is done, neither a host, nor a guest, can use the space. 

In the case of Dynamically allocation virtual disks, you do not keep or reserve storage space initially. Instead of that, virtual disks assign storage space for the task over time. This means the task gets the random storage space until it reaches the assigned maximum limit. 

When it comes to knowing which favors in pre-allocation and which one is in dynamically, then VirtualBox comes in favor of both. It supports pre-allocation and dynamically allocated disk space. In contrast, VMware also supports pre and dynamic disk space allocation.

#6. Virtual Network Modes

You can freely configure individual networking adapters for your Virtual Machine in your desired or preferred network mode.

With VirtualBox, you’ll be given an ample range of network modes such as:

  • Internal networking
  • Host-only networking
  • Virtual Distributed Ethernet (VDE)
  • Not attached
  • Network Address Translation (NAT)
  • NAT Network
  • Bridged networking
  • Generic networking
  • UPD Tunnel

With VMware, you can work on the following network mode:

  • Network Address Translation (NAT)
  • Host-only networking
  • Virtual network editor (on VMware workstation and Fusion Pro) 

#7. USB Device Support

USB is a connector that is used to connect the host and guest machine. You’ll find out this feature in VirtualBox and VMware because both support USB devices. 

When it comes to versions, then VirtualBox supports USB 1.0. But you need to also install its extension pack (USB 2.0 and USB 3.0). 

VMware has an inbuilt USB port. So, you can use up to 2 USB devices. Virtual Machine support actually relies on the host machine, whether it supports USB 2.0 and 3.0.

#8. 3D graphics


It requires manual configurations of 3D acceleration to ensure the virtual machines support 3D graphics.

It can support up to OpenGL 3.0 and Direct3D 9 graphics.

It can support 128GB of Video Memory space for VM.


It provides 3D graphics

It used DirectX 10 and OpenGL 3.3 to support all products.

It gives you 2GB of Video memory.

#9. Integration

Apart from the wide range of exclusive virtual disk formats (VMDK, VHD, HDD, and QED), You’ll be given add-on integration tool access with VirtualBox such as Vagrant and Docker.

When the concept of integration comes in the VMware, then you must know that it does not support an extensive range of video formats such as VirtualBox. But helps you with the additional conversion utility to run Virtual machines other than VMDK format. Further, you get the software integration that works for the VMware workstations such as VMware vSphere and Cloud Air.

#10. VirtualBox Guest Additions and VMware Tools


  • Device drivers and system applications are already installed in the Virtual Machine.
  • Enhance VMs performance by installing Guest Additions
  • Install VirtualBox Guest Additions through the “VBoxGuestAdditions.iso” file 
  • Ensure Guest Edit version for individual VirtualBox version. 
  • You can employ add-on features such as shared folders, mouse pointer integration, shared clipboard, time synchronization, windows, etc.


  • Use VMware Tools to improve guest OS.
  • VMware Tools have a distinct iso image stored in the current directory.
  • It supports linux.iso, windows.iso, solaris.iso, etc., for each operating system.
  • Without VMware tools utility, you would not get high video resolution, network speed display, copy-paste, drag-and-drop options, etc.

#11. API for Developers

-Use APIs and SDKs to develop interactive applications with Virtual Machines.

-VMware provides you with the Eclipse plugin and VMware Studio.

#12. Cost and Licenses


  • It is a free and open-source virtualization software 
  • It is registered under the General Public License(GPL) version 2. 
  • Usage: personal, educational, commercial without add-on pay scale
  • Its pro pack also comes with zero cost

VMware has various virtualization products:

VMware Player:

  • It is free 
  • You can use it for personal and educational purposes
  • For commercial use, you need to buy a license
  • For license, you need to pay approx $149.99

VMware Workstation Pro: 

  • It is used for large-scale organizations and intense projects.
  • Licensing fee costs you approx. $199.00.

VMware Fusion: 

  • It is used for MacOS hosts
  • You can purchase a license only once
  • Licensing fee costs you approx. $159.99.

Summarize the VirtualBox vs VMware in tabular format.

After taking a deep closer look to the comparison of Vmware vs. Virtualbox, you might know how the complete working, fundamentals, features, and how it works. Still, you are confused between the two? Don’t worry! Here we show you a crystal clear tabular comparison of Virtualbox vs. VMware. 

ComparisonVirtual BoxVMware
Software VirtualizationYes No
Hardware VirtualizationYesYes
Host Operating SystemsLinux, Windows, Solaris, macOS, FreeBSDLinux, Windows + macOS (requires VMware Fusion)
Guest Operating SystemsLinux, Windows, Solaris, macOS, FreeBSDLinux, Windows, Solaris, FreeBSD + macOS (with VMware Fusion)
User InterfaceGraphical User Interface (GLI) & Command Line Interface (CLI)Graphical User Interface (GLI) and Command Line Interface (CLI)
SnapshotsYesSupport for paid virtualization
Virtual Disk FormatVDI, VMDK, VHD, HDDVMDK
Virtual Disk Prelalocated formatFix DiskProvisioned Disks
Virtual Disk Allocation TypeDynamically allocatedthin-provisioned disks;
Virtual Network ModelsBridged Adapter, Internal network, Host-only adapter, Generic (UDP, VDE)NAT, Bridged, Host-only + Virtual network editor (on VMware workstation and Fusion Pro)
USB devises supportUSB 2.0/3.0 support requires the Extension Pack (free)Out of the box USB device support
3D GraphicsUp to OpenGL 3.0 and Direct3D 9;   Max of 128 MB of video memory; 3D acceleration enabled manuallyUp to OpenGL 3.3, DirectX 10;   Max of 2GB of video memory; 3D acceleration enabled by default
IntegrationsVMDK, Microsoft’s VHD, HDD, QED, Vagrant, DockerRequires additional conversion utility for more VM types;   VMware VSphere and Cloud Air (on VMware Workstation)
VirtualBox Guest Additions vs. VMware ToolsInstalled with the VBoxGuestAdditions.iso fileInstall with a .iso file used for the given VM (linux.iso, windows.iso, etc.)
API for DevelopersAPI and SDKDifferent APIs and SDKs
Cost and LicensesFree, under the GNU General Public LicenseVMware Workstation Player is free, while other VMware products require a paid license

Summing Up 

Through this guide, you get in depth insights into a complete comparison between VirtualBox and VMware. Both are the two most popular virtualization platforms with high reliability and optimal performance to run virtual machines. Evaluate and examine the best features and benefits that fit your needs and make a decision wisely. 

Server Wala Team

The blogs are written by a team of in-house technical content experts. They handle everything from research to writing and publishing.

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