14 Best FREE Virtual Machine (VM) Software for Windows PC

A Virtual Machine (VM) is a software environment that emulates a computer system. It facilitates a substitute for a real machine. They mimic computer architectures and offer the same functionality as a physical computer. Virtualization Manager is a virtual machine monitoring and management tool that helps you to optimize performance issues. This tool supports varieties of software like VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Nutanix AHV.

Following is a handpicked list of Top Virtual Machines Software for Windows, Mac, and Linux with its download links. The list contains open-source (free) and commercial (paid) software.

Top Pick
Virtualization Manager

Virtualization Manager is a virtual machine monitoring and management tool that helps you to optimize performance issues. This tool supports varieties of software like VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Nutanix AHV.

Visit Virtualization Manager

Top VM Software Download for Windows, Linux & Mac

Name Platform Free Trial Link
πŸ‘ Virtualization Manager Windows, Mac, Linux βœ… Learn More
πŸ‘ VM Monitor Windows, Mac, Linux βœ… Learn More
VMware Fusion (Mac) Mac βœ… Learn More
Parallels Mac βœ… Learn More
VMware Workstation Player Windows, Linux βœ… Learn More

1) Virtualization Manager

Best for all types of organization, big or small. It is easy to deploy.

Virtualization Manager is a virtual machine monitoring and management tool that helps you optimize performance issues. This tool supports various software like VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Nutanix AHV. It provides multi-hypervisor remediation and alerting in a single pane of glass. With its AppStackβ„’ dashboard, you can automatically plot the relation between servers, hosts, applications, and data stores.

solarwinds

Features:

  • Manage virtual machines across hybrid, cloud, and on-premises.
  • It provides an entirely sleek and customizable dashboard. Its drag and drop widgets allow you to create your dashboard as per your needs.
  • It offers VMware log monitoring that can speed up troubleshooting.
  • The application can be integrated with the Hyper-V environment.
  • You can monitor the performance of Nutanix AHV.
  • Through VMsprawl and rightsizing, you can save virtual resources.
  • It provides predictive recommendations.
  • It efficiently decreases MTTR.
  • Supported Platforms: Windows.
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
Provides detailed storage information and performance statistics. It can be expensive.
Sends alerts.
Customizable dashboards.

Free Trial: 30-Days fully-functional trial.

Visit Virtualization Man.

30-Days fully-functional trial


2) VM Monitor

Best for its easy-to-use interface.

VM Monitor is a tool that continuously checks your Microsoft Hyper-V host and VMware vSphere in real time. It allows you to view CPU, memory usage, and the number of configured or running VMs.

solarwinds

Features:

  • Offers monitoring virtualization server.
  • It helps you to prevent the degradation of performance by viewing threshold-specific indicators.
  • It allows you to terminate powered-off VMs and VM snapshots, which are over-extending your resources.
  • You can see details like VM name, VM state, and guest OS.
  • With VM monitoring, you can quickly point out the root cause of the issues.
  • It sends you notifications about the issues with performance and availability.
  • Supported platforms: Windows
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
With up to 50 monitors accessible, you can keep an eye on your VMware ESXi hosts. It is only a Windows-based solution.
Keeps checking your VM hosts’ critical metrics, including CPU, memory, and disc use.
Rebooting the server can be automated.
It quickly monitors the problems.

Free trial: 30- Day fully-functional trial.

Visit VM Monitor >>

30-Day fully-functional trial


3) VMware Fusion (Mac)

Best for app developers, powerful users, and IT security admins.

VMware Fusion for Mac is Virtual Machine software. This tool is known for cloud computing and virtualization software. It allows you to use multiple applications on different OS simultaneously. Fusion also offers the facility of integration with many development tools.

VMware Fusion

Features:

  • It offers the best Desktop Hypervisor, Run Virtual machines, and Kubernetes clusters from Mac.
  • Allows you to modify virtual networking topology and also to simulate packet loss.
  • The Guest tool offers enhanced 3D graphics with 8GB vGPU support and DirectX 11.
  • You can connect with VMware vSphere. vSphere provides a cloud-based platform for virtualization.
  • Unity View Mode feature allows you to use multiple OSs sides by the side in your Virtual Machines such as Windows and Mac.
  • Offers drag and drop file sharing facility
  • With the help of this virtualization machine, you can use Windows, Linux, NetWare, Solaris, and many other OS on your Mac.
  • Supported platforms: Intel Mac models that support macOS 10.15 Catalina and newer versions.
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
No registration is required for the trial. It is quite complex software, which requires more knowledge to use it.
Allows you to run Windows side-by-side with Mac.
It supports a high-resolution Display, i.e., 4K/5K.

Free trial: 30-Day free trial.

Visit VMware Fusion

30-Day free trial


4) Parallels

Best for its speed and easy interface.

Parallels is the fastest, easiest, and virtual desktop application for running Windows or Mac devices without the need to reboot. It allows you to deploy hundreds of installations in no time with Parallels. Using Parallels, you can easily run several Windows apps like Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, Access, Quicken, QuickBooks, and even CAD programs without compromising their performance.

Parallels

Features:

  • Gets information like usage statistics and real-time licensing activities.
  • It allows you to enroll new users in a few clicks through automatically generated emails.
  • This Virtual machine works seamlessly to run Windows side by side on the Mac and switch between Mac and Windows with a single click.
  • You can run more than 200,000 Windows apps on your Mac.
  • Allows you to seamlessly move and share contents between Windows and Mac.
  • It offers you a feature like Coherence Mode, using which you can hide the Windows desktop and use it in the same way as you do with Mac apps.
  • Supported Platforms: Works with Windows 11, 10, 8.1, and 7, Linux, macOS*, and more.
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
Easy to set up. The Mac device gets heated up while using Parallels.
It is lightning fast.
It saves your disk space.
It gives you instant access, that is, launch and access Windows applications right from the Mac Dock.

Free trial: A 14-Day fully functional free trial.

Visit Parallels >>

14-Day fully functional free trial


5) VMware Workstation Player

Best for its feature-rich system and is free.

VMware workstation player is a system specially developed for IT professionals and developers. By choosing VMware Workstation players as your Virtual machine, you will be able to share files and data seamlessly between guests and hosts. It also allows you to connect to vSphere, which will act as the remote data center for your hypervisor. It is the best way to learn about Virtualization, Operating Systems, Containers, Kubernetes, or the VMware ecosystem.

vmware

Features:

  • It allows you to keep different privacy settings and network configurations for another virtual PC.
  • It Supports 200+ Windows instances.
  • The Snapshot feature allows you to create multiple instances of the virtual machine, and also, you can set several rollback points during the testing process.
  • Supports operation alongside Hyper-V, WSL2, Device Guard, and Credential Guard features of Windows 10.
  • Allows you to run Windows XP or Windows 7 in a virtual environment on modern hardware.
  • You can choose from hundreds of support guests and host OS.
  • It helps you transform data to and from the virtual machine to your PC.
  • You can purchase its license to run in a commercial environment.
  • Supported Platforms: Compatible with most 64-bit Windows and Linux Host operating systems: Windows 10, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, Windows 8, Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Oracle Linux, OpenSUSE, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
You can easily switch from SSH to Linux. Some features are only available for the paid version.
It offers enhanced 3D graphics to DirectX11, up to 8GB of vGPU Memory. The free application runs slower with every host you add to the virtual machine.
Allows you to push, pull, run, and build OCI container images with the latest vctl CLI.
Easy to use interface
Free for personal use.

Free trial: Free Download

Visit VMware >>

Free Download


6) Hyper-V

Best for its ability to create virtual environments for Windows 10 and Windows servers for free.

Hyper-V, earlier known as Windows Server Virtualization. It is a hypervisor designed to create virtual machines on x86-64 systems. A server computer that runs on Hyper-V can be configured to expose individual virtual machines to one or more networks. It supported multiple operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and Free BSD.

Hyper-V

Features:

  • It allows you to do hardware virtualization.
  • Hyper-V supports a cloud-based platform.
  • It offers support for many versions of Linux.
  • It helps you to run multiple virtual machines.
  • Offers you a snapshot feature using which you can clone several versions of VM in a secured environment for future use.
  • It offers a Virtual Switch tool, which allows you to employ resource tracking and view statistics of the visualization process between machines and display an overview image for administrators.
  • Supported platforms: Windows (Vista SP2, 7, 8, 8.1, 10), FreeBSD, Linux, CentOS, Red Hat Linux, SUSE, Oracle Linux, Ubuntu, and Debian guest OS
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
Allows live migration from one host to another. It does not offer advanced features like GPU acceleration.
Offers easy backs.
It is Native to Windows.
Perfect for new developers because of its easy interface and implementation.

Free trial: It is free software

Visit Hyper-V >>

Free Download


7) VirtualBox

Best for enterprise visualization, home use, and developers with hardcore Windows nostalgia.

VirtualBox is an open-source hypervisor for x86 computers. It is one of the best VM software that supports the creation and management of virtual machines. It runs on Windows, Linux, BSD, and others. One of the notable aspects of using VirtualBox is its ability to transfer the virtual machine from one host to another.

VirtualBox

Features:

  • You can resize the window.
  • This free VM software Windows 10, supports drag & drop functionality.
  • This Virtual machine tool gives you the flexibility to run any application on your PC.
  • It enables you to run several guest windows on the same machine simultaneously.
  • Its seamless mode allows you to run macOS and Windows applications side by side.
  • Supported platforms: Linux, Mac, Windows, Solaris, and OpenSolaris.
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
Multiscreen resolutions. It does not allow you to run macOS Mojave on a virtual machine using VirtualBox unless you have a Mac.
This hypervisor supports 3D virtualization, USB devices, and videos.
They also have a great information section with tutorials on the Oracle website.

Free trial: It is free software.

Link: https://www.virtualbox.org/


8) QEMU

Best for its ability to create virtual environments for multiple architectures and OS for free.

QEMU is a popular emulator and virtualization machine, a short form of Quick Emulator. This system is written in C language, can run apps for Linux, BSD, Windows, and other supported architecture, and supports full system emulation on supported platforms.

QEMU

Features

  • It is one of the best virtual machine software that supports multiple OS to be run on any system.
  • Offers hardware virtualization.
  • It can be used on any system. No restrictions for the host OS.
  • QEMU accomplishes near-native performance by executing the guest code directly on the host CPU.
  • Supported platforms: Linux, Windows, Mac, Open BSD, FreeBSD, and Solaris host OS
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
It is an open-source virtualizer. Not an easy learning curve.
It uses the mode emulation.
Also supports KVM and Xen at its native performance.
It can be used on any operating system.

Free trial: It is free software.

Link: https://www.qemu.org/


9) Gnome Boxes

Best for Linux virtualization.

Boxes is a creation and management tool used for virtualization. It is one of the best VM software designed for Linux and can help you customize all kinds of virtualization tools.

Gnome Boxes

Features:

  • It helps you to find your local and remote virtual systems.
  • Sets your machine preferences and monitors their performance.
  • It offers a safe and easy way to try out new operating systems.
  • This tool allows you to connect to a remote machine.
  •  Boxes share a lot of code with the virt-manager project, mainly in the form of libvirtlibosinfo, and qemu.
  • Allows you to take snapshots and is automatically saved in the list.
  • Supported Platforms: CentOS Stream, Debian, Fedora, Microsoft Windows, OpenSUSE, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Ubuntu.
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
Intuitively set your machine preferences and monitor its performance. Does not have many advanced features.
Allows your boxes to have USB device access.
It has features like keystroke, clipboard, keyboard shortcuts, etc.
Allows you to access, view, and manage the remote and virtual systems.

Free trial: Basic free version.

Link: https://wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Boxes


10) Red Hat Virtualization

Best for enterprise-level virtualization for the cloud-native environment.

Red Hat Virtualization is an open-source software-defined platform. It offers virtualization for Linux and Microsoft Windows OS. It is one of the best free Virtual machine software that offers single management and provision for new VMs, clone existing ones, and see how it all works together.

Red Hat Virtualization

Features:

  • Red Hat Virtualization is easy to use, set up, and manage.
  • It is an open-source system, so you can integrate with the systems as per your requirement.
  • Being a community-powered open-source, it delivers a high level of performance to Kubernetes, Linux, and Cloud environments.
  • Red Hat virtualization is easy to use, set up, and manage.
  • Supported platforms: Linux and Windows.
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
Easy to set up and use. Its customer support takes quite a time to revert you.
Cloud-native virtualization
Containerized environment

Free trial: It offers 60β€”days of Free Trail

Link: https://www.redhat.com/en/technologies/virtualization/enterprise-virtualization


11) Boot Camp

Best for those who want to run Windows applications on Mac with ease.

Boot Camp is a build Virtual machine software that comes with your Mac device. It is one of the best free VM software which allows you to switch between macOS and Windows.

Boot Camp

Features:

  • This Virtual Machine tool helps you to update AMD graphics drivers for Windows applications in Boot Camp.
  • You do not need to download it externally.
  • It allows you to use the same keyboard for Apple and Windows.
  • You can install Windows 7, 8.1, and 10.
  • Supported platforms: Latest versions of Mac and Windows.
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
Allows you to update AMD graphic drivers for Windows. It does not support an Apple Silicon Mac (with the M1 chip).
It allows you to use the same keyboard for Apple and Windows.
This accessible Mac VM helps you use an Apple keyboard or a keyboard designed for Microsoft Windows with your Mac devices.

Free trial: It is free software.

Link: https://support.apple.com/boot-camp


12) Proxmox VE

Best for its computing, storing, and networking features, and that too under a single platform.

Proxmox VE is another platform for virtualization. This free Virtual Machine for Windows 10 helps you to integrate KVM hypervisor and LXC containers and networking functionality on a single platform. It offers an integrated web-based user interface, using which you can manage Containers and VMs, integrated disaster recovery tools, or high availability for clusters.

Proxmox VE

Features:

  • This open-source virtual machine platform allows you to manage clusters and disaster recovery tools with a built-in web management interface.
  • It is one of the best free Virtual Machines that helps you combine two virtualization technologies under one platform.
  • Proxmox VE gives maximum flexibility in your production environment.
  • This free VM software offers full virtualization for Windows and Linux images.
  • Proxmox VE can use local storage like (DAS), SAN, and NAS, as well as shared and distributed storage (Ceph).
  • It helps you to create and manage lightweight containers.
  • Supported platforms: Firefox, Chrome, Safari, on windows and Mac devices.
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
Allows you to use the software and inspect the source code any time you want. It lacks in its ARM architectures support.
It always makes a personal contribution to the initiative.
It combines two virtualization technologies into a single platform.
Using Proxmox VE, get maximum flexibility in your production environment.

Free trial: It is completely free but does offer subscriptions.

Link: https://www.proxmox.com/en/proxmox-ve


13) Kernel Virtual Machine

Best for its full virtualization for Linux on x86 computers.

KVM is virtualization software for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions. It offers virtualization infrastructure and a processor-specific module. It consists of a core virtualization infrastructure for different modules, and also you can use unmodified Linux and Windows images on its free virtual machine app.

linux-kvm

Features:

  • It allows you to run multiple virtual machines running unmodified Windows or Linux images.
  • Hardware and Memory management support.
  • It helps you to do scheduling and resource control.
  • Lower latency and higher prioritization.
  • Supported platforms: Windows, Solaris, FreeBSD, Linux, React OS, and OS X.
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
Virtualization for x86 Linux environments. As its hardware is centralized, the risk of losing data in case of system failure increases exponentially.
Runs on Linux, Illumos, and FreeBSD
It is an open-source

Free trial: It is free software.

Link: https://www.linux-kvm.org/page/Main_Page


14) Citrix Hypervisor

Best for those Citrix Virtual App users who wants to test intensive workloads in a virtualization environment.

Citrix Hypervisor offers virtualization management across your environments. It is one of the best virtual machines for Windows 10 that simplifies your operational management, ensuring a high definition user experience for intensive workloads.

citrix

Features:

  • It offers a modern digital workspace by delivering apps and desktops to any device from any cloud.
  • Allows an easy and secured environment for users to store, access, and collaborate on large files.
  • Empower users with enhanced graphics workloads.
  • Speed, support, and secure virtual environments.
  • It gives its users robust security.
  • Supports complete cloud optimization.
  • Supported platforms:
πŸ‘ Pros πŸ‘Ž Cons
Offers Desktop virtualization. Its virtualization process needs to be more stable.
Provides Server virtualization.
It has centralized VM management.
It is a free app for Citrix virtual app users.

Free trial: No, free trial, Contact customer care for pricing

Link: https://www.citrix.com/en-in/products/citrix-hypervisor/

FAQs

❓ What is a Virtual Machine?

A Virtual Machine is a software environment that emulates a computer system. It facilitates a substitute for a real machine. They mimic computer architectures and offer the same functionality as a physical computer.

πŸ’» What are the best Virtual Machine Software?

Following are some of the best Virtual Machine software:

⭐ What are the common features of Virtual Machine?

Here, are some important and most common features of Virtual Machine:

  • Virtualization allows the creation of a separate computing environment within the same host.
  • It allows providing guests access.
  • A group of separate hosts can be tied together and represented to guests as a single virtual host.
  • The ability to control the execution of guest programs.

πŸ‘‰ What are the benefits of using a Virtual Machine?

Here are some benefits of using a Virtual Machine:

  • You can access the applications or operating systems installed on a centralized machine using virtualization.
  • You can also use virtualization for networking functions, servers, and data sharing.
  • It also helps in stimulating the environment by using one hardware that is also called a Hypervisor.
  • You can use the original machine and one more machine, which is virtual.
  • It offers security options and helps you in keeping your data safe.

⚑ How to set up a Virtual Machine?

Following is a step-by-step process on how to set up a Virtual Machine:

  • Step 1) Download any virtual machine software from the above-given list.
  • Step 2) Install the software on your system.
  • Step 3) Download the .iso file of the OS you want to install.
  • Step 4) Open the installation file and complete the installation of Virtual Machine software with the OS you want to install.
  • Step 5) Now, double click on the .exe file and open Virtual Machine.