Do you Want to run a different operating system on PC or laptop without ditching the one you are already running? Well, it is possible, and you can do that with Oracle’s VirtualBox. However, there are also some other VirtualBox alternatives that are much superior to it. To know more, keep on reading the post.
Whenever we think about running a different operating system on our PC or laptop without changing the existing one, the very first thing that crosses or minds is VirtualBox. Every computer user at one point wants to run a different operating system while keeping the existing one regardless of whether it is because of their curiosity or to run a specific program that is compatible with only one operating system.
Whatever the reason is, Oracle’s VirtualBox is one of the greatest tools that is used by the majority of users for this purpose. There are various reasons why VirtualBox is so popular. Perhaps the biggest reason that attracts the users most is it is a free and open-source tool, and is compatible with multiple operating system platforms, including Windows, OS X, Linux, and name a few.
Regardless of how popular VirtualBox is, it is also a fact that it has some flaws as well. Since it is an open-source program, and like various other free and open-source tools, it also not always the best solution available around.
The tool also lacks many of the new features and sometimes acts sluggishly. So, it is a great idea to look for some other alternatives. If you are also one of those users looking for the best VirtualBox alternatives, read on below to see some of them. So, let’s start!
6 Best VirtualBox alternatives
1- Qemu – Best VirtualBox alternatives
Qemu tops our list of best VirtualBox alternatives, and rightly so because it is another free and open-source program just like VirtualBox. It is capable of working on both host and guest operating systems flawlessly. Just like its name (Quick Emulator), it does what it claims. You can have the tool for major operating systems, such as Linux, Windows, macOS, as well as on Windows hosts and guest operating systems.
You don’t need to perform anything special to install it or set it up since it is an extremely straightforward process. Once you have set it up, you will have the full control over your VM. The only thing we don’t like about Qemu is that it isn’t as easy to operate as it sounds.
Sure, you can get help through its documentation, but it requires more than that. Besides that, once familiarize yourself with it, you will find it one of the greatest and most powerful VM program.
2- VMware Workstation Pro – Best VirtualBox alternatives
Another popular program and one of the best VirtualBox alternative is VMware Workstation Pro. It doesn’t need any introduction when it comes to virtualization of operating systems. VMware has been around for almost the last two decades and committed to delivering products that work flawlessly. Workstation Pro is also one of its greatest products that offers an excellent user experience.
Having it installed on your system, you will be able to turn your system into a host that is ready to run a range of operating systems that you want to test. It comes equipped with some of the most amazing features, including replicating tablets, syncing virtual cloud machines to provide you easy access to them regardless of where you are, virtual machine sharing, and much more.
The only thing that makes it a tough one to have is its hefty price tag, and if you want to have it, you will have to pay $250 for per license.
3- Window Virtual PC – Best VirtualBox alternatives
Another great VirtualBox alternative is Windows Virtual PC. Don’t let yourself confuse by its name and the fact that it might be not good only because it is developed by Microsoft. In fact, it works amazingly well, and what it does, it does flawlessly. It excels by working natively within Windows. However, you can use it to run only on Windows VM, which means it is a handy tool to run a test on both previous and latest Windows versions, as well as to run a sterile install for security measures.
Having installed it on your PC, you will find its interface similar to a Windows Media Player. Moreover, setting it up is a pretty easy process, and it doesn’t take more than a few minutes. It was designed for Windows 7, and since then, it doesn’t change at all. However, it works pretty well on Windows 10 as well.
Since Windows is the most dominating operating system in the world, we only recommending it for users who want to stay within Windows, as it is not one of the most powerful or flexible tools.
4- VMware Workstation Player – Best VirtualBox alternatives
VMware Workstation Player is a tamer version of its predecessor VMware Workstation Pro. Similar to other VirtualBox alternatives, it enables you to run multiple operating systems tests without ditching the currently running operating system on your machine.
Note that it can be only run on three virtual machines at once. Workstation Player is capable of running both Windows and Linux operating systems, with the fact that it fully integrates with Windows 10. Moreover, you can also use it for virtual machines that have limitations, such as those created with VMware Workstation Pro.
It is a great choice for educational purposes that lets you use it without spending anything on software or hardware. The thing we like the most about VMware Workstation is it is a portable tool. It means you can entirely transfer it using a flash drive or other storage tools to run it on another machine.
VMware Workstation Player is free for personal and non-commercial use; however, you will need to pay a $150 to buy its commercial license.
5- Parallels – Best VirtualBox alternatives
Initially, Parallels was built for macOS hosts to run Windows guests. Now, it has expanded its fnctionalities and includes all the host operating systems. It can be used on any PC that is manufactured by Intel. Since we didn’t find it so intuitive, the only reason why we have included it in our best VirtualBox alternatives list is it makes it easy to install the guest operating system. It is incredibly straightforward to set up.
However, you won’t be able to use it free since it has a price tag that will cost you $80 for personal use license, and if you want to use it for commercial purposes, you will have to pay a hefty price of $100 to get its pro license.
In our opinion, it is too much for personal use, but if you are really into VM and want to move further to get extreme macOS compatibility, it justifies its price.
6- VMware Fusion Pro – Best VirtualBox alternatives
Here is the third product of VM in our best VirtualBox alternatives list, and rightly so because they are extremely wonderful. This is the only products in our list that you can use for only a particular purpose since it is restricted to a particular operating system.
It only integrates with OS X, and lets you run Windows or Linux operating system on your Mac in a VM. What makes it so special is the fusion that it makes between the client and the host, which enables you to run Widows supported apps in Mac to get a feel like you are testing them natively.
What’s more, it also enables you to run Windows 10 advanced features, such as universal search and Cortana on your Mac machine.
If you are a new user and think you will be unable to handle such advanced features, you can opt for its slimmer version VMware Fusion. VMware Fusion is intended for users who wants to get a smooth experience for both Windows and Mac. If you have decided to get Fusion Pro, you will have to pay $200 for a single license, and if you have opted the Fusion, you will need to pay only $80.
So there you have some best VirtualBox alternatives. Though some people still prefer VirtualBox and the only reason is it is a free and open-source tool, but it doesn’t mean it will always perform at its best. If you are serious about virtualization and want to move forward, you have to shell out some money to get a reputable solution to get a seamless experience.
Q: How can I test Linux on my Windows PC without ditching the currently installed operating system?
Ans: If you want a free program, you can use VirtualBox to run Linux as a guest operating system. However, don’t expect it to be the best for you since it is free, and free things aren’t really always the best. We highly recommend VMware Pro to get a seamless experience. However, it is not free, and you have to pay a $250 amount.