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Index > Heap > What's the best free virtualization software?

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OzzY



Joined: 19 Sep 2003
Posts: 1029
Location: Everywhere
OzzY
I've been using VirtualBox for testing Linux distros.

But some people say VMWARE Player (also free for personal use) has better perfomance.

I want to start some serious usage for development for multiple OSes.

What's your experience with this? Which one is better?
Post 27 Nov 2012, 15:26
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Feryno



Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 454
Location: Czech republic, Slovak republic
Feryno
I'm using SimNow for AMD development, Bochs for Intel, Qemu+OVMF for UEFI
Performace is not important for me, I'm working mostly at boot phase (before loading OS).
The most important things for me are implemented CPU features (virtualization instructions) and debugger included in the emulator (so I'm able to debug hypervisors)
All these emulators are very slow when running OS inside them.
Post 28 Nov 2012, 09:10
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ManOfSteel



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 1154
ManOfSteel
Feryno wrote:
All these emulators are very slow when running OS inside them.

Still there are significant differences. Qemu runs user-mode code natively making it much faster than Bochs.
Post 28 Nov 2012, 10:08
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Coty



Joined: 17 May 2010
Posts: 546
Location: ␀
Coty
I really like VirtualBox and QEmu, from my experience though virtualBox is the fastest, plus it's made by Oracle, so you gotta love it Wink

For OSDeving QEmu is much to flexible, code will run in it, that will crash in other VMs and on real PCs. I've seen qemu run some messed up code that shouldn't even work in theory Laughing
Post 29 Nov 2012, 02:18
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sleepsleep



Joined: 05 Oct 2006
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sleepsleep
several choices nowadays,

virtualbox, microsoft virtual pc, vmware player,

btw, using virtualbox here for years.
Post 29 Nov 2012, 11:58
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OzzY



Joined: 19 Sep 2003
Posts: 1029
Location: Everywhere
OzzY
Speaking of virtualization, I found this software: http://www.sandboxie.com/

It runs programs inside a sandbox not allowing them to write to the registry or write files directly to your hard disk.

It looks pretty interesting from the security point of view. I wonder if anyone here ever used it.
Post 16 Dec 2012, 14:56
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f0dder



Joined: 19 Feb 2004
Posts: 3170
Location: Denmark
f0dder
OzzY wrote:
Speaking of virtualization, I found this software: http://www.sandboxie.com/

It runs programs inside a sandbox not allowing them to write to the registry or write files directly to your hard disk.

It looks pretty interesting from the security point of view. I wonder if anyone here ever used it.
DON'T consider it for security - it's fine for CONVENIENCE, though.

If you're testing out (well-behaved) software now and then, and don't want the overhead of a full-blown OS install in a virtual machine, sandboxe is an excellent piece of software. It's also decent enough for adding a bit of mitigation when running other software. But since it's not full virtualization, you shouldn't use it when dealing with untrusted code. Period.

When you need to play with other operating systems, or running possibly malicious code, you need full virtualization. And do keep in mind that things like vmware have been escaped a few times - if you're "just" testing normal code which could have malware, most solutions are going to be fine (only stupid people would put vm-escaping code in general malware, I can elaborate if need be), but if you're dealing with really nasty stuff you need a full emulator like bochs.

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Post 16 Dec 2012, 16:13
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OzzY



Joined: 19 Sep 2003
Posts: 1029
Location: Everywhere
OzzY
f0dder wrote:
OzzY wrote:
Speaking of virtualization, I found this software: http://www.sandboxie.com/

It runs programs inside a sandbox not allowing them to write to the registry or write files directly to your hard disk.

It looks pretty interesting from the security point of view. I wonder if anyone here ever used it.
DON'T consider it for security - it's fine for CONVENIENCE, though.

If you're testing out (well-behaved) software now and then, and don't want the overhead of a full-blown OS install in a virtual machine, sandboxe is an excellent piece of software. It's also decent enough for adding a bit of mitigation when running other software. But since it's not full virtualization, you shouldn't use it when dealing with untrusted code. Period.

When you need to play with other operating systems, or running possibly malicious code, you need full virtualization. And do keep in mind that things like vmware have been escaped a few times - if you're "just" testing normal code which could have malware, most solutions are going to be fine (only stupid people would put vm-escaping code in general malware, I can elaborate if need be), but if you're dealing with really nasty stuff you need a full emulator like bochs.


Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I really appreciate your post.

I was looking at it as a means to prevent Windows from getting bloated after too many installs/uninstalls of software. I don't know if exists a better solution? (only running portable apps, maybe).

Linux handles deleting left over config files much better. I'm testing revo uninstaller for Windows.

But if anyone has a better solution let me know. I'm tired of formatting Windows HD to clean it up.

I don't plan on testing malware on it or running banking. I would probably run VirtualBox for that.
Post 16 Dec 2012, 17:36
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