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VirtualBox vs. VMware: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 11, 2023
VirtualBox and VMware are both platforms that enable running multiple operating systems on a single physical machine. VirtualBox is open-source, while VMware is a commercial product.

Key Differences

VirtualBox, developed by Oracle, offers a free and open-source solution for running virtual machines, providing users with a cross-platform virtualization application that has moderate system requirements. VMware, on the other hand, with its various products like VMware Workstation and vSphere, often targets professionals and enterprises, often leading in providing advanced virtualization solutions.
In contrast to VMware, which offers both free and premium, professional-grade virtualization solutions, VirtualBox is entirely free and open-source, making it easily accessible to individual users, developers, and smaller organizations. Meanwhile, VMware provides a broader range of features and enhanced performance stability, which is often essential for larger businesses and more complex virtualization needs.
Moreover, when it comes to networking features, VirtualBox provides substantial functionalities for creating virtual networks and attaching virtual machines to them. However, VMware, with its sophisticated networking features, surpasses VirtualBox by offering more complex network simulations which are vital for enterprise setups and testing environments.
VirtualBox offers straightforward usability and is widely preferred for desktop users who require running virtual machines for development, testing, or running different operating systems on a single physical machine. In contrast, VMware, while it can also be used in similar scenarios, is often chosen for high-demand enterprise environments due to its robustness and extensive feature set.
VirtualBox and VMware also differ significantly in their support and community. While VirtualBox does have a substantial community and reasonable documentation, it may not provide the kind of dedicated support and resources available through VMware’s various support plans, which can be critical for businesses operating in high-stakes environments.

Comparison Chart


Commercial & free versions

Target Audience

General, Developers
Professionals, Enterprises

System Requirements

Can be intensive

Advanced Features

Limited compared to VMware

Support & Community

Reasonable community support
Professional support available

VirtualBox and VMware Definitions


VirtualBox is an open-source cross-platform virtualization application.
Developers often use VirtualBox to create test environments for their applications.


VMware delivers enhanced virtualization functionalities with various products.
VMware vSphere allows us to manage our virtual infrastructure efficiently.


VirtualBox allows users to run multiple operating systems on a single physical machine.
With VirtualBox, you can run a Linux distribution on your Windows PC.


VMware provides various virtualization and cloud services and solutions.
We implemented a secure and scalable cloud solution using VMware's services.


VirtualBox supports the virtualization of various operating systems including Windows, macOS, Linux, and others.
Through VirtualBox, I was able to run a macOS virtual machine on my Windows laptop.


VMware is widely recognized for its advanced and professional-grade virtualization solutions.
Large corporations often opt for VMware solutions for their robustness and reliability in virtualization tasks.


VirtualBox facilitates the creation and management of virtual machines with a user-friendly interface.
I use VirtualBox to manage various virtual machines for different project requirements.


VMware enables users to create, manage, and run virtual machines and containers with high performance.
By using VMware, our IT team was able to streamline operations by creating optimized virtual environments.


VirtualBox can be used for both personal and professional virtualization tasks due to its versatility.
Many software engineers utilize VirtualBox for developing and testing software across multiple platforms.


VMware is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and digital workspace technology.
VMware's virtualization technology underpins many enterprise IT environments.


Who develops VMware?

VMware is developed by VMware Inc., which is a subsidiary of Dell Technologies.

Is VirtualBox suitable for software testing?

Yes, VirtualBox is commonly used by developers for creating test environments.

Can VirtualBox run on Windows?

Yes, VirtualBox can be installed and run on Windows operating systems.

Can I use VirtualBox for commercial purposes without a license?

Yes, VirtualBox is free and open-source software and can be used for commercial purposes without requiring a license.

Can VirtualBox host different operating systems simultaneously?

Yes, VirtualBox can host multiple virtual machines with different operating systems simultaneously.

Is there a free version of VMware available for personal use?

Yes, VMware provides a free version called VMware Workstation Player, albeit with limited functionalities compared to its professional version.

Can I manage multiple virtual machines across a network with VMware?

Yes, VMware offers various products like vSphere and vCenter that enable management of multiple VMs across a network.

Does VMware offer solutions for cloud management?

Yes, VMware provides comprehensive solutions for cloud infrastructure management and services.

Can VirtualBox be integrated with other virtualization software?

While VirtualBox can run alongside other virtualization software, direct integration or using them concurrently may cause issues.

Does VMware offer cloud services?

Yes, VMware provides a suite of cloud services and infrastructure, such as VMware Cloud Foundation, to manage and deploy VMs and containers.

What is VirtualBox?

VirtualBox is a free, open-source virtualization software from Oracle that allows you to run multiple operating systems on your PC.

Is VMware suitable for enterprise use?

Yes, VMware offers a range of products designed specifically for enterprise virtualization needs.

What is VMware Workstation used for?

VMware Workstation is a product that allows users to run multiple operating systems, including Windows and Linux, as virtual machines on a single PC.

How does VMware vSphere enhance virtualization in enterprises?

VMware vSphere provides a powerful, flexible, and secure foundation for business agility that accelerates the digital transformation to cloud computing.

Is VirtualBox able to run on different host operating systems?

Yes, VirtualBox is a cross-platform virtualization software and can run on Windows, macOS, Linux, and Solaris.

Can I automate tasks in VirtualBox?

Yes, VirtualBox provides command-line interfaces like VBoxManage which allows users to manage VMs and automate tasks.

Can VMware help in building a hybrid cloud environment?

Yes, VMware offers solutions like VMware Cloud on AWS to create and scale a hybrid cloud environment.

How does networking work in VirtualBox?

VirtualBox provides a range of networking options for connecting virtual machines, such as Network Address Translation (NAT), Bridged, and Internal Networking.

Can VirtualBox virtualize different architectures?

VirtualBox primarily virtualizes x86 and AMD64/Intel64 architectures.

What is VMware Fusion?

VMware Fusion is a software hypervisor developed by VMware for Macintosh computers to run Windows and other OS alongside macOS.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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