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Comparison of VirtualBox to LXC, Docker, Xen and KVM


Oracle VirtualBox is a free and open source hypervisor software. You can use it to run MS-DOS, FreeDOS, Windows, Linux and BSD family of operating system. VirtualBox itself installed on Linux, macOS, MS-Windows, and Solaris. I often use VirtualBox to create guest virtual machines for testing code or application. It is an easy to use and setup software. I often install the following operating system as a guest VM:

  • CentOS
  • RHEL
  • Fedora
  • Debian
  • Ubuntu
  • MS-Windows
  • FreeBSD
  • OpenBSD
  • NetBSD
  • Solaris

There are alternatives to VirtualBox such as Xen, KVM, LXD and more. This article compares them including awesome introduction to vboxmanage command – a cli to manage VirtualBox. From the blog post :

Well of course you are. It’s free, isn’t it? Ok, so then why not double the return on your investment? Why not find out how much more you can accomplish as a VirtualBox power user?
Oracle’s VirtualBox is easy to install, easy to use, and gives you the ability to run virtual versions of just about any modern operating system from within any other modern operating system. Windows 10 on Ubuntu Linux? I’ve done it myself. FreeBSD on CentOS Linux? Sure, why not?

I’d been using VirtualBox for years, but it wasn’t until I needed to pull together a number of physical machines sitting around the house to use as nodes in a Docker swarm mode network that things got complicated. After all, manually creating and launching VMs would require spending some serious time in front of each PC, babysitting OS installations and configurations. And that, in turn, would mean climbing stairs and sitting on the truly awful chairs in my kids’ rooms. Don’t tell them I said this, but I haven’t a clue why they put up with them.