Virtual machines are a rapidly becoming an essential part of every techies tool kit. They provide a perfect sandbox for testing entire systems without having to worry about pulling together all the hardware requirements and extra peripherals. However in its infancy, virtualisation was expensive, but now home-brew geeks have two great products to choose from.
VMware is generally considered the daddy of virtualisation, and have been on the market for quite sometime, and have certainly won over the enterprise market with their ESX products. Their new free product (which we’ve written about here on The Serpent, known as VMware Player is a shrine for simplicity. VMware takes care of all the messy, complicated aspects of running a virtual machine and instead gives you transparent access to the VMware Tools, wizard based installations and quick access to the hardware configuration.
Oracle VirtualBox seems to pack more features, but still has the same appealing free price tag. VMware Player’s main drawback is the lack of snapshot support (the ability to ‘freeze’ a virtual PC in a certain state, so you can revert back to it at a later date). VirtualBox has this built-in, and the interface is very pretty too ;)
After being a die hard VMware fan most of my life, it’s time to try out this slightly more feature rich VirtualBox and see what happens. You can find more details about it from the official website, here.