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Virtualization Virtual PC Software for Windows, Linux, and Mac

Updated on January 19, 2016

Learn to use Virtualization software to run multiple operating systems at the same time!

Virtualization software lets you run different versions of Windows, Ubuntu Linux and other versions of Linux at the same time, and other operating systems on your home computer or server at once inside a virtual hard drive rather running directly on your computer hard drive.

Virtualization software are like emulator computer game software which lets you play Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sony Playstation, and Atari Console games on your home computer with ROM files.

You can install Virtualization software on Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix, and other types of operating systems for computers and servers.

Advantages of Using Virtualization Software to run multiple operating software at the same time

The major advantages of virtualization also called virtual PC is it is cheaper then buying multiple computers or servers to run multiple operating systems at the same time. You also save a lot of space since you do not have to buy separate computers to run a firewall, print server, e-mail server, file server, and other types of servers in a corporate environment. One computer can run multiple operating systems for each application like firewall, e-mail server, etc.

If you are a Windows or Mac User, you can run Linux from a virtual drive which will display Linux Desktop through a Window on your main operating system like Windows or Mac without the need to restart/shutdown your computer to switch to Linux to use Linux exclusive software like a dual boot computer.

Hard drive space savings of virtualization vs traditional operating installs

Virtual PC uses less space as well since the virtual disk are dynamic meaning they will grow as it needs more space, so you do not need to partition a lot of space like 20GB for them to install on your computer like installing two operating systems on a dual boot computer. Plus, you do not risk data lost when using Virtualization because you do not have to resize your hard drive partition and change your master boot file like making a dual boot computer to install two operating systems on your computer. In summary, there is less computer hard drive waste because virtual PC only use what it needs while leaving the rest of your hard drice space alone.

Safer to use then an average operating system

Virtualization is also a lot safer then dual boot computers, and operating system installed directly on your hard drive since they are sandbox from your actual computer, and run from a file, so a virus on a virtual machine PC is less likely to infect your computer then an operating system on an actual drive because the sandbox shields your files on your actual computer from your infected virtual machine if your virtual machine gets infected with a virus. Virtual PC are great for testing software for bugs, security threats like viruses, and stability of software on multiple operating systems without owning multiple computers with different operating systems installed on it.

It is also easy to back up and restore your virtual machine from backups by making system restores called snap shots which can return your virtual PC to the date and time you made the snapshot, or you can back up your virtual machine to an external drive to restore if you messed up your current virtual machine, and remount the virtual drive on your virtual machine software by deleting your old virtual drive, and remounting your back up to your existing Virtual PC profile.

Faster Operating system start ups

Starting a Virtual Machine might be faster then rebooting your computer into Windows, Linux, or Mac since your computer does not have to check your RAM, CPU, hard drive, and hardware for damage which takes 10 seconds or more on a typical computer.

You can also switch between Windows, Linux, or Mac by selecting a Window rather then restarting your computer or turning on another computer to use Windows, Linux, or Mac.

VMware, and VirtualBox are popular virtualization software for Windows, Linux, and Mac. Parallels is another popular Virtualization software for Mac to run Windows XP, or Windows 7 on the Mac without restarting your computer like bootcamp. All these software let you run software and operating system in a virtual environment on your desktop.

Virtualization Books and Software - Read books on Virtualization, or use Virtualization software on the Mac.

VirtualBox
VirtualBox

What you need to get started for running Virtualization software

Computer hardware, software, and operating systems you need to set up and run a Virtual PC at home or in the office.

You need a decently fast computer which is preferably faster then 1.8 GHz has 2GB of RAM, and 40GB or more of free hard drive space. You might be able to run Virtualization software on a slower computer, but it will be kind of slow unless you pick a slower computer operating system to virtualize like Windows 95, Puppy Linux, or Tiny Core Linux instead of newer operating system like Ubuntu Linux 11.04, Fedora, and OpenSuse.

Windows XP, Vista, and 7 should be able to run most Virtualization software with 2GB of RAM, and a 1.8 GHZ CPU, and 20GB or more of free space.

A Macbook Pro, Mac Pro, iMac, Mabook should be good enough for virtualization software, but older Macmini are probably not so good.

You also need a copy of Linux, Windows, or Unix to install on your virtual PC software.

Vmware Player, and VirtualBox are two free virtualization software which you can use to run virtualization software to run a virtual version of your operating system for free.

VMware Workstation and Parallels (only works for mac) are paid virtualization software for computers.

Virtualization Video Tutorials - Watch Tutorials on Virtualization on Youtube.

Video is the best way to learn how to use, and set up a virtual machine running Windows, Linux, or UNIX in a virtual machine setting.

Benefits of Virtualization software
Benefits of Virtualization software

How can virtualization software make your computing experience better

Virtual Machines are great for using software you do not want to install on your computer, or rarely use since the software installed on your virtual machine can't mess with your actual computers settings, and it is cheaper and more power efficient then o

Virtual Machines are cheaper to run because they have lower hardware cost and software cost when running multiple virtual applications on the same desktop or server.

You just have to maintain one computer or server instead of multiple computer. This will also cut power usage since you do not have to use as many desktop and servers for your office.

Virtual Machines are easy to back up to another hard drive, move to a different computer or server, and restore to a previous restore with snap shots.

If your virtual machine gets infected by a virus, spyware, malware, or adware, your main operating will be safe from infection, and you can rollback your virtual machine to a previous point with snapshots you made on it.

Better Security for your home computer
Better Security for your home computer

Better Security against human error, viruses, spyware, and malware

All your programs on your virtual machine are in a sandbox file, so it can't make changes to your main operating system.

Virtualization is great because you can use your virtual operating system to install software which you rarely use, or don't really want to use, but have to use since you can install the software on your virtual version of Windows, Linux, Mac, etc, and avoid unreliable software from breaking or slowing down your actual operating system since the unwanted software is self-contained in your virtual hard drive which can't touch your actual operating files. Using virtual machines to test out new software, open potentially dangerous files, websites, e-mail attachments, etc is the safest way to use your computer since the virus, spyware is self contained in the virtual machine which prevents it from infecting your actual computer. You can also very easily restore to the last known restoration point by making back ups of your virtual machines by copying it to another drive for safe keeping, or using snapshots to make restore points of your virtual machine. You still should install an Antivirus and Antispyware software for your virtual machine's operating system if you are using Windows or Mac in your Virtual operating system hosted on your virtual machine software like Virtualbox, and Vmware.

Save money with virtualization
Save money with virtualization

Cost savings for the home, businesses, and corporations, and less energy waste, cheaper maintenance cost, and hardware costs

Save money, space, and time by only maintaining one desktop or server rather then multiple desktop servers

It is also more power power efficient to run multiple operating systems on one very powerful computer instead of multiple slower computers since you do not need to waste as much electricity on running the hard drives, fans, power supply, keyboard, mice, monitors, and computer towers for multiple computers. You just need one very powerful computer to run one host operating system, and multiple guest operating system. This can save corporations, small businesses, home offices, and schools a lot of money since there is less wasted energy, and require less space to run multiple servers. You can use one very powerful server to run the e-mail server, print server, firewall, file server, and even clients machine if you use thin client computers instead of desktop based computer. Over time, you'll also save money on maintenance costs since you only need to maintain one server or one desktop computer instead of multiple machines. You'll also save a lot of money on accessories like monitors, speakers, microphones, keyboards, and mice since you only need one of each for a computer which run multiple operating systems at the same time.

You also do not have to worry about incompatible video card, network card, and sound drivers like installing Linux on an actual hard drive. It is also easy to make another drive and mount it to make more space for your files in a Virtual Machine.

You can also hire fewer people to maintain your one server with multiple virtualized desktop operating systems, virtual servers, virtual firewall, and thin clients are cheap to replace compared to full size desktop which have fans which can fail, hard drives which can crash, and get clogged with dust over time. Workers also do not have to replace fans, dust out dust, and replace hard drives in inexpensive thin clients desktop which are connected to a server which run off a server which uses virtualization to stream the video and sound signal back to the thin client which the user uses. Thin clients are also easy to replace and maintain since most of them have no moving parts which can break. Some also don't have CPU or memory in some cases. You can also use your older computers as thin clients to reuse your old computer to run newer operating system via thin client computer, networking and virtualization software.

Cheaper web hosting for small to medium size websites

Virtual Private Servers , Cloud servers, Cloud Applications and Shared Web hosting for hosting websites use Virtualization, so one web server can host hundreds or more websites which means the web hosting companies can sell web hosting for 5-30 dollars a month to low to medium sized traffic web site owners instead of hundreds for a powerful dedicated server for very high traffic sites.

Carry your Virtual Machine Everywhere wherever you go with a USB flash Drive
Carry your Virtual Machine Everywhere wherever you go with a USB flash Drive

Easily Carry Around your files on a single USB flash drive or external hard drive

Carry your virtual machine in your pocket, or log-on to your virtual machine from other computers with Virtual PC software

It is also very easy to carry a copy of your Virtual hard drive with you, so if your school or work place also has VMware, VirtualBox, or other virtualization software installed on their desktop computers, you can mount and unmount your virtual hard drive at work, school, and home meaning you can take your operating system, settings, programs, files, and folders where ever you go by carrying them in a USB Flash drive which is 8GB or higher, or use a portable USB external hard drive to mount and unmount your virtual hard drive at school, work, or home. You never have to worry about using your file on your work computer, or not having access to a program you need as long as you have a copy of a virtual hard drive with you which you can mount to a virtual machine. You also do not have to worry about losing or breaking heavy and expensive laptops.

If you are savvy with Virtual Private Networks, and have a super fast internet connection, you may be able to run your virtual machine from a secure, fast internet connection. Cloud web applications like Google Docs, Office 365, etc might be a better choice if you want to edit your files, but not be hassled with carrying around USB drives to run your programs.

In the future, Internet access would be super fast that we can load our virtual machines via the internet, and have no need for USB drives to load VMs.

Speeding up your Virtual Machine
Speeding up your Virtual Machine

Tips for Speeding up your virtual machine on your computer

There are tasks you can do to speed up your virtual machine like adjusting the virtual RAM, virtual video RAM, and closing all un-needed software and services on your main operating systems and virtual operating systems

Sometimes your virtual machine operating system can become kind of slow because you don't have enough free RAM on your main operating system or your virtual machine. You can try adjusting your virtual RAM and video RAM space by increasing or decreasing your RAM space in your virtual machine's setting.

It is best to close all un-needed programs and services in your system tray, taskbar, and desktop on both your main operating systems, and virtual operating systems. You can also try using a more lightweight operating system like Ubuntu Linux instead of Mac or Windows since Ubuntu uses less RAM then modern versions of Windows.

Hardware upgrades which can speed up your virtual machine include upgrading to a faster CPU, adding more Memory, installing a faster video card, using a faster hard drive like a solid state hard drive, or 10,000 RPM high speed SATA hard drive to run your virtual drive off of.

You can also make the swap/page file on a separate virtual hard drive on a real hard drive to speed up your read and write since one drive can read and write files while another drive is used for your swap files which can speed up your operating system's speed slightly especially if you are using a Windows based OS installed on your virtual machine.

You can also try using RAID 0 or RAID 5 disk arrays to speed up your read and write times for your hard drive.

Upgrading to a 64bit operating for your host operating system may also speed up your computer since 64bit virtual machine software may run faster, and if your motherboard is capable of haivng more then 4GB of RAM install, you can use 4GB or more of RAM when you use a 64bit Operating System like Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit.

Install Guest Additions in Virtualbox for faster speed and 3D - Guest Additions let Virtualbox run 3D and can make your Virtual machine performance better, and

In VMware, and other virtualization software, there also might be guest additions or something similar to Guest Additions to improve the performance for your virtual machine, and let your Virtual machine perform more tasks like displaying 3D graphics.

Videos of Computer Games being played on a Virtual Machine - Watch people play computer games on a Virtual Machine

Virtualization is not just for running Applications like Office Suites, Operating Systems, and Firewalls. You can use Virtualization for PC Gaming as well if you have a fast computer.

The advantage of using a Virtual Machine to play games are you don't have to worry about a computer games messing up settings on your actual operating system. You can use the Operating System which works best for your computer game in a virtual machine, so you do not have to hope your older computer games designed for Windows XP work with Windows 7 because you can run Windows XP in a virtual machine to run computer games.

Also, you can hide your gaming habits from people easily by installing your games in a virtual machine since no trace of your game will be left on your actual operating system, so people won't know what games you are playing by looking through your history of your main operating system. They would have to hack your password for your virtual machine operating system. and browse your program files folder to know what you have installed on your Virtual machine/

You will need to install Guest Additions for 3D to work in Windows XP and other operating system.

Buy a Solid State Drive or faster hard drive to make your virtual machine and real operating system start up and run faster. - A SSD or higher RPM hard drive ca

A Solid state drive does not have any mechanical parts, so it can access your data instantly without the need to spin up hard drive platters like regular drives.

A 10000RPM hard drive can quickly search for files and open them because it can spin faster.

Buying a RAID 5 PCI card can also speed up your drive since you can read and write from 3 drives instead of one, and you also have the benefits of automatic backup since if one drives fail, you still have two other drives.

Best consumer computers and laptops for Virtualization? - Gaming computers are typically the best computers for running a lot of Virtual operating system at the

The reason I recommend gaming computers are the best computers for virtualizing multiple operating systems to run at once is because gaming computers has very fast CPU processors, plenty of RAM, lots of hard drive space on a fast hard drive, fast network card, and a very fast video card for gaming in a virtual environment.

Gaming computers are also easier to upgrade, and contain higher quality parts in most cases compared to cheaper computers. This means your computer will last longer before you need to upgrade the parts to run the latest operating systems in a virtual environment at a fast speed.

Microtel Computer® AMTI9025 Gaming Computer with 3.4GHz AMD Phenom II x4 965 Quad-Core processor, 8GB DDR3/1333, 1TB, 24X DVD-RW, NVIDIA GeForce HD N550 GTX-TI 1GB GDDR5 Video Card, Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Full Version CD - 64 bit +WIFI. SEE SKU TI9087
Microtel Computer® AMTI9025 Gaming Computer with 3.4GHz AMD Phenom II x4 965 Quad-Core processor, 8GB DDR3/1333, 1TB, 24X DVD-RW, NVIDIA GeForce HD N550 GTX-TI 1GB GDDR5 Video Card, Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Full Version CD - 64 bit +WIFI. SEE SKU TI9087

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Quad-Core 3.4GHz

8 GB 1333MHz DDR3 Memory

1.0TB Hard Drive

NVIDIA GeForce HD N550 GTS 1GB GDDR5 Video Card

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Full Version CD - 64 bit

 

Optimizing your Home Network for Virtualization for Network and Internet intensive Virtual apps - Virtualization can use a lot of Network bandwidth if you downl

If you plan on doing a lot of internet, or network intensive tasks with your virtual operating system, you would need to upgrade to Gigabit wired networking which is 10 times faster then regular networking. Most newer computers these days come with Gigabit wired networking.

For wireless connections, you would want to use 802.11N which is the fastest wireless technology you can buy these days. Most newer computers come with 802.11N wireless.

If you are still using an old Wifi router, cables, and cards you may need to upgrade your equipment to Gigabit Wired ethernet networking, or 802.11N Wireless Wifi Networking.

Oracle Virtual Box Virtualization videos. - Videos about Oracle's free virtualization software which is free for everyone to use.

Oracle VirtualBox is a free Open Source Virtual machine software which lets you run Windows, Linux, Mac, Unix, and other virtual machine software from a virtual hard drive in a virtual environment.

VirtualBox is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac Operating systems.

VMware player Free Virtualization Software - VMWare player is VMware players free virtualization software which the public can use to run operating system on VM

VMware Player lets you run Virtual Machine Hard drives/images to install onto a virtual hard drive to run in a virtual environment on your desktop.

VMware player works for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 Virtualization software. - Virtual PC 2007 is a free virtualization software for running different operating systems in a virtual envi

Virtual PC 2007 is Microsoft free Virtualization software which you can use to install Windows or Linux operating systems in a Virtual hard drive.

Virtual PC 2007 works for Windows XP, Vista, and 7.

Apple Mac OS X Parallels Virtuatualization Video - Mac Parallels Lets you run Microsoft Windows Operating System on a Mac inside OS X operating system

No partitioning, dual boot setup is needed to run Mac OS X side by side with Microsoft Windows Operating System at the same time. You also do not have to restart into Windows on a Mac with Parallels which is one of the most popular virtual PC software for Mac.

Poll: Favorite Virtualization software for hosting virtual operating system - Vote for your favorite Virtualization software for hosting virtual operating syste

Vmware player, Virtualbox, Virtual PC 2007, Qemu, and Parallels are all virtualization software for hosting virtual operating system within your virtual machine.

What is your favorite Virtualization software?

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Please leave comment on Virtualization, and your experiences and interests in Virtual PC? - Share your thoughts on Virtualization

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      gargamel 5 years ago

      great post, my favorite platform is VMware Workstation. Hyper-V is alright but you gotta sacrifice a box just for that, might be too expensive for many folks out there