Friday, January 6, 2017

VirtualBox Overview

Have you ever faced problem in understanding or confused about the terms like VirtualBox ,Virtual Machine. If yes, then this article would clarify all your doubts. Today we would discuss below topics:

What is VirtualBox?
Why one should use VirtualBox?

What is VirtualBox?

From - VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as for home use. 

From Wikipedia - Oracle VM VirtualBox (formerly Sun VirtualBox, Sun xVM VirtualBox and Innotek VirtualBox) is a free and open-source hypervisor for x86 computers currently being developed by Oracle Corporation. Developed initially by Innotek GmbH, it was acquired by Sun Microsystems in 2008 which was in turn acquired by Oracle in 2010.

  Still confused ? Don't worry, we would discuss it in a minute.

 VirtualBox is a cross-platform virtualization software.

We only need to understand two thing here:

Why we are calling this software, a cross-platform software?
Like any other software, It can be installed on our existing Intel or AMD-based computers, whether they are running Windows, Mac, Linux or Solaris operating systems.

What does this software do? 
It helps us to run multiple operating systems in our existing computer at the same time. For Example, we can run Linux on our Windows system or run Windows & Linux on our Mac system.

But you might be thinking how it is possible?
This virtualization software actually create a special environment called Virtual Machine by using system resources like disk space & memory from our existing operating system (Host OS) in which entire operating system (Guest OS) could run. 

In simple words, we can say that VirtualBox, let us create and run multiple virtual machine on a single physical machine and different virtual machine can run different operating system.

Note: Presently, VirtualBox runs on Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and Solaris hosts and supports a large number of guest operating systems including but not limited to Windows (NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10), DOS/Windows 3.x, Linux (2.4, 2.6, 3.x and 4.x), Solaris and OpenSolaris, OS/2, and OpenBSD.

Why one should use VirtualBox?

One could use VirtualBox in below scenarios :
  • For Learning Purpose: Suppose students wants to experience and work on Linux system but he owns a Windows system then he can easily install VirtualBox to create virtual machine with Gues OS as Linux. 
  •  For Testing Purpose: If we use VirtualBox feature called "snapshots", one can save a particular state of a virtual machine and revert back to that state, if necessary. Therefore we can experiment with the computing environment without having fear that something will go wrong if we install something or execute any program because we have the option to revert back to our previous state.
  • For Utilizing our Computer to the fullest: We all know that the we generally don't harness full performance of our computers. If we use VirtualBox, then we could utilize full potential of our system. In this way, one can significantly reduce hardware and electricity costs also because one can run multiple virtual machine in a single physical system.

Thank you for reading this article. Hope you would like it. If you have any suggestion or have any question do let me know in the comments. Happy Learning!!


  1. Thanks. So it means virtual box creates a virtual machine. That is, virtual machine (with different Operating system) can be launched once we have the virtual box installed in our system. Please confirm my understanding!

  2. Yes Rahul, you are right. Virtual machine can be launched using VirtualBox but you would also need the Guest OS ISO file. You have to either download it or create a new one corresponding to the Guest OS that you would like to have in your virtual machine.

  3. thnx for elaborating..... im gonna use it when needed