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blog title

Virtual Box VS. VMware


Article written by and for front end developers
At home I run a Ubuntu (Linux) operating system. I have been a Linux user for years and am often pleased with all of the free tools it has to offer. However there is still some software the other operating systems have that I would like to use. Dual booting is all well and good but can get really annoying. So I have turned to virtual machines to run my Mac or Windows programs through a virtual OS. I have been using Virtual Box (VB) for years and after getting the hang of it was very pleased for the most part.

The one thing that always bothered me about VB was it limits your OS to only 128MB of video memory, which is a bit of a drag if you trying to edit video or graphics. Though there is claim of ways to increase VB video memory to 256 , I have tried them and VB is adamant about it's 128 cap. After getting recommended to try VMware (VMW) I figured "why not" and installed it with a copy of Windows XP (WinXP) to give it a try. Sad to say VMW still caps your video memory at 128MB. It's worth noting that both applications use emulated video memory and are not actually directly using your GPU's video memory.

As far as allocation of resources goes There isn't an advantage of one over the other. So it's more a matter of style preference. VMW is very easy to install and create new virtual operating systems on and has a cleaner look and feel. I found setting up things like shared folders and connecting hardware much easier to do in VMW. VB loses as far as user interface goes.

The biggest differance between the two comes to the community and support. Both applications are free to use, though VMW has upgrades and extra features that allow you to do a lot more, they are pay-ware. Also the VMW team seems to be pretty good with responding to questions and considering upgrade suggestions. VB "is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU", which in my opinion wins the community category but lose in the support category. VB is writen in C++, which I'm not great at but I could certainly enjoy tinkering with the source.

All and all I would recommend VMW to developers who are considering using a virtual operating system. As for me, I all ready have too much stuff set up in my VB and there is simply no great reason for me to switch any time soon, so until I reformat my OS or something I'll still be using VB.