Which virtual machine: VMWare or VirtualBox?

See this post in Portuguese.

If you are new in Computing studies is essential the use of virtual machine to create a test environment to don’t expose your real machine. But, what is a virtual machine? What benefits? What should I use? To answer these and other questions did the post.

What is a virtual machine?

It’s a system that the user looks simple, however there is a huge complex on the principles involved. Virtualize a system is creating a simulation environment through software. This environment will create a virtual HD where Operating System (OS) will be installed.

To understand how a virtual machine works must first understand how to work the software installation. When clicked “Install”, we are generating a chain of events where the software will create folders and several programs that will manipulate how the system will work and how will access these folders. So the function of the virtual machine is simulate all this process.

Why virtualize?

Let’s say you are a development student and are creating an application for Smartphone and can not be testing on mobile nor install the Operating System on your PC, ‘cause it would be unproductive. In this case the most viable solution is to install in a virtual machine, so all that is installed will not interfere in its real machine.

Currently there are many types of virtual environments, the most common and easy to install is the VirtualBox (Freeware) and VMWare (paid), each has its advantages and disadvantages, then deepen in this subject, it is worth remembering that VMWare have a free version for study.

VirtualBox or VMWare?

vmware-virtualbox.fwBelow are some parameters for comparison:


When it comes to platform, who takes advantage is VirtualBox, as it is able to “run” in a larger number of OS, like: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Solaris, in any versions – 34 or 64 bits. VMWare, on the other hand, is installed only on Windows, Linux and Mac.

Implementation cost:

Always pay attention to the cost, ‘cause it doesn’t apply only to the software price, but also the cost of maintenance and manpower to operate it, among other factors like training, etc.

VMWare cost, on average, US $ 154.00 in Brazil, while VirtualBox is free, but requires commercial licensing for professional use. Still, VMWare has some features that makes it worth its price.


pc.fwBoth are easy to use, given that are made for the common user. In a short time, the beginner will know how to create, edit and delete virtual machines. What will bring difference in use are the available resources, which requires further study of softwares. Being a professional tool, more complexity and the amount of resources are available in VMWare.


Performance, in a first view, VirtualBox proves to be lighter than VMWare, but with the heavy use of other virtual machines, we can see a decrease in performance compared to VMWare. This is essential for anyone who has a hardware with limited capacity.

Below is a comparison of performance measured with the tools HD Tune and SiSoft Sandra Light:


We saw that the VirtualBox gains in some questions and loses in others. The important thing to keep in mind is how much you need, can invest and the purpose for which you wants to virtualize. If you needs a machine that runs on any Operating System, lighter, with greater functionality, etc.

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Highlighted Image
VMWare Logo
VirtualBox Logo
Computer Drawing
Note: the graphic was made by authors.

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