Which is better, VirtualBox vs VMware

Desktop virtualization is a computing phenomenon that allows you to use various operating systems on one physical machine. The virtual desktop providing tools are used to install another operating system on your device. There are various tools that are available such as VirtualBox, VMware, Hyper-V, Horizon 7, etc. Every tool has its advantages and disadvantages: whenever a virtual machine is created inside a tool, the virtual machine can be configured as per the requirements. For instance, users can specify the amount of disk space to be dedicated to the virtual machine; no. of CPU cores can be set, and a specific memory from your RAM can be allocated for the Virtual machine. These tools also allow the users to configure all these settings for the virtual machines. In this detailed guide, we will explain the difference between two competing tools VirtualBox and VMware:


VirtualBox is a virtualization tool being used to create virtual machines that allow users to operate multiple Operating Systems on a single computing device. Its initial release was available in 2007, and later the manufacturing company was purchased by Oracle corporation. The VirtualBox is installed on the primary operating system and is therefore called host OS. Similarly, the OS running inside the VirtualBox is known as guest OS. Some notable Pros and Cons of VirtualBox are given below:


  • It can manage various virtual machines simultaneously
  • This tool provides extensive support for well-known operating systems
  • Much easier for novice users that are using virtualization tools for the first time


It is sometimes stuck on machines that have less memory because it takes full use of your memory and CPU

You may face difficulties to able these VM’s to communicate with computer peripherals like printers


VMware is also a virtualization tool to provide virtual access to a specific operating system. VMware virtual support is also a multi-platform application, but it supports a limited number of operating systems when compared with VirtualBox. VMware provides its sub tools for various operating systems of Guest computers: such as VMware Fusion is used to install virtual desktop of guest OS on macOS (acts as Host PC). Moreover, Windows and Linux support VMware Workstation Player to install guest operating systems; here, Windows and Linux are acting as host PCs. Pros and Cons of VMware are listed below:


VMware supports various VM’s simultaneously on the Host PC

VMware supports an easy control layer component without security patches

If the users face any problem, or if they have made any mistake, VMware supports a rollback feature to get the settings as they were before, or you can end any irritating process with the help of this rollback feature.


The stability of various releases is quite questionable; the user may experience an unusual freeze for few minutes without any known reason

The new user may experience difficulties in using VMware for the first time

It is not one version; it means it releases different software for different operating systems

Differences between VirtualBox and VMware

VirtualBox and VMware are the trending virtualization tools that have extensive support to create guest operating systems and work on more than one OS simultaneously. Both tools differ in various functionalities that are described below:

VirtualBox takes a smaller number of resources to run than VMware, and the installation of VirtualBox tools is easy to perform. In this regard, the new user will prefer VirtualBox over VMware.

The user interface of VirtualBox provides an understandable environment for new users. Moreover, the terms in VirtualBox are easy to understand and configure for the new users as compared to VMware. Therefore, VMware is preferred more for server virtualizations.

VirtualBox is open-source, and its continuous updates are foreseen. The updates sometimes may contain bugs but are fixed with the new update. On the contrary, VMware bugs need to wait for an upcoming release.

VirtualBox does not allow you to run heavy tasks due to its limited support for 3D graphics. However, -VMware has better support available for high-level 3D graphics along with support for DX10 and OpenGL 3.3.

VirtualBox runs fast as compared to VMware: For instance, installation of guest OS on VirtualBox is easy and fast as compared to VMware. Moreover, the boot time of VirtualBox is also better than VMware.

Both desktop virtualization tools support the snapshots feature: the snapshots refer to the normal configuration of the operating system. For instance, if you make any mistake and your operating system is not performing well: In this case, the operating system must be installed to correct the mistake. The snapshots will enable you to get back to normal configurations. When a user takes a snapshot, a virtual disk image is created where all the changes in that session are recorded: you can take multiple snapshots, but it slows down the performance of the virtualization tool. It is observed that VMware workstation pro provides an unlimited number of snapshots while VirtualBox only allows a limited number of snapshots.

The VirtualBox provides a single version for all operating systems: on the other hand, VMware releases different versions for different operating systems: such as VMware Fusion is used on Host PCs containing macOS as a primary operating system, and VMware workstation helps to work on Windows and Linux based machines.

VirtualBox provides GUI and CLI support to access various features of the tool: the VBoxManage allows the users of VirtualBox to access the functionalities of the engine using the command line. Whereas -VMware also supports user-friendly GUI support as well as command-line support for VMware tools. It is noted that the command line allows you to access more functionalities even more than Graphical User Interface.


Desktop Virtualization is a computing feature that enables you to install various operating systems as a guest on your machine. This feature depends on virtualization tools such as VirtualBox and VMware. It is hard to decide which tool is best among both: In this article, we have enlisted differences of these tools to decide which suits you better. It truly depends on the preferences of what features you expect for a virtualization tool. VirtualBox is quite helpful for new users due to its easy installation and less resource consumption as compared to VMware. Moreover, due to this feature, it is also helpful for older machines.

About the author

Adnan Shabbir