VMware vs. VirtualBox: Which virtual machine to choose?

Virtualization is a technique that allows us to test and use one operating system over another so that each one runs at the same time, we can interact with both at the same time and, besides, being able to use the virtualized system with the security of that if something goes wrong, our main operating system is not affected. There are many applications that allow us to create virtual machine and work with them, although the best known with VMware and VirtualBox.

Both VirtualBox and VMware applications fulfill the purpose and are very simple to use


VMware is undoubtedly the leading virtualization platform. This platform is the most advanced in the virtualization sector allowing us to virtualize operating systems locally until we can manage them through the network as if it were a cloud. Although for a long time this platform has been paid and we could only use the “Player” version to run virtual machines (but not create them), VMware Player currently offers virtually all functions and features useful for home users (even to create virtual machines) Free of charge, reserving the advanced functions, and payment, for the business sector.


On the other hand, VirtualBox is a tool that allows us to create and load virtual machines owned by Oracle. Although this tool does not have the advanced features that VMware provides for the enterprise cloud, it does have everything you need so that any user can create and run their own machines. In addition, the entire VirtualBox platform is open source, completely free and available for any operating system.

If we want to compare the performance of these virtual machines, the colleagues of RedesZone have a performance comparison between VirtualBox and VMware Player .

Broadly speaking, VMware Player and VirtualBox are two very similar platforms, both functionalities and performance, even this proprietary software may be even more limited because, for example, it does not let to run several virtual machines at the same time, which VirtualBox does.

So, then, let’s see what are the main features of both platforms.

Top Features of VMware Workstation (Proprietary and Paid Software)

The VMware software is divided into several versions, the Player, which is the most simple and free, the Pro, something more advanced and paid and the Workstation version, the most complete of all and also the most expensive.

VMware Workstation 12

The main features offered by VMware Worskstation are:

It has numerous tools and functions for business environments, in which we will not go further.
It allows you to easily share files between the host and the virtualized system.
It supports smart card readers.
Support for USB 3.0.
It allows you to create snapshots to restore the state of a VM easily.
It has a tool to share virtual machines.
Integrates with vSphere / ESXi and vCloud Air.
3D graphics compatible with DirectX 10 and OpenGL 3.3.
In addition, many functions do not require additional configuration as they do in other tools, such as configuring the network and the printer. Another interesting feature with “Linked Clones”, a function that allows us to create copies of a VM without copying it completely and saving considerable space.

We can download VMware from its main web page.

Top Features of VirtualBox (Oracle’s Product: Totally free and open source)

As we have said, this tool, owned by Oracle, is completely free and open source for most users, although some extensions (such as USB 3.0, RDP or PXE) require the payment of a license for professional use.

Virtualbox create virtual machine

The main features that VirtualBox offers us are:

It is a multi-platform tool compatible with Windows, MacOS, Linux and Solaris.
It can be controlled through a command prompt.
It has special tools to share files between machines.
Allows you to create snapshots to restore the previous state of a VM easily.
Limited support for 3D graphics.
It allows you to use virtualized applications as if they were system applications “separating” them.
It is compatible with VMware virtual machines.
It has a video capture tool.
Encryption of virtual drives (with an extension).
Support for USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports (with an extension).

Download VirtualBox from its main website.

VMware, VirtualBox … Which one should I choose?

As we have seen, both tools are very complete and will meet without any problem with the needs of any user, at least in domestic environments. If we are a company and want to get the most out of computing and virtualization in the cloud, then we must choose VMware, specifically the “Workstation” version.

On the contrary, if we are amateur users, the choice is very subjective. Since both applications begin with the letter V, each one’s decision finally comes down to whether we are looking for an open source tool and totally free and functional, in which case we will choose VirtualBox, or we prefer to use proprietary and paid software, That we will choose VMware.

Both applications fulfill their purpose and are very simple to use. Which of the two is your preferred virtualization platform?