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Windows 7: VirtualBox and VMware Player

04 May 2011   #1

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
VirtualBox and VMware Player

Hi All,

I have spent the last week experimenting with virtual machines. In particular with the two freebies. VirtualBox and VMware Player. I thought you might like to see my thoughts in the attached PDF.

Conclusion. They are pretty much the same. Both work well in hosting guests. VMware player is simpler to use, and has better host integration. VirtualBox performs slightly better and you can take snapshots. Both need VT to be enabled in the bios or they are real CPU hogs. With VT enabled they run just like a normal program except for the RAM that you assign to them cannot be used by other programs.

Which to chose? If you just want to run a guest and don't intend to make a great deal of changes to it VMware Player is the choice. If you do a lot of playing about and need to backout unsuccessful configurations then the snapshot feature of VirtualBox is essential.

Caveat; This applies to a Windows 7 x64 host and Linux guests (Mainly Ubuntu).

Attached Files
File Type: pdf VM Comparison.pdf (54.4 KB, 476 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

04 May 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Good summary. Snapshots are 1 feature of VMWare Player that I do miss. To workaround that, I simply shut down the VM and just make a file copy of the .vmdk file to a backup folder.

One thing that I don't like on vbox is the way it uses UUID's in hard drive files. See, I take a Windows image and run sysprep on it. Then I copy that .vmdk to a new VM folder, boot it up, go through a mini setup and I am off and running. With vmware it just works, with vbox, it complains that the UUID is the same as another hard drive and until I go through the command line utility to change the UUID of the hard drive file. That's a small thing, but for me, it makes a real big impact.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Yes you can take copies of the vmdk file but they retain their original size. You can zip them of course but the compression ratio is not great. The thing about snapshots is that they are differential and can be quite small compared to the vdi file.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 VirtualBox and VMware Player

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