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.

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

Top Free VM Software for Windows, Linux & Mac

1) 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.

Features:

  • Manage virtual machines across hybrid, cloud, and on-premises.
  • 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.
  • It provides predictive recommendations.


2) VMware Workstation Player

VMware workstation player is a system specially developed for IT professionals and developers. This help developers to develop the software to be compatible with multiple OS/platform like Linux or Windows PC.

Features:

  • It allows you to keep different privacy settings and network configurations for another virtual PC.
  • You can choose from hundreds of support guest and host OS.
  • It helps you to transform data to and from the virtual machine to your PC.
  • You can purchase its license to run in a commercial environment.


3) VMware Fusion (Mac)

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 at the same time.

Features:

  • Fusion also offers the facility of integration with many development tools.
  • You can connect with VMware vSphere. vSphere provides a cloud-based platform for virtualization.
  • You can integrate with third-party software for data center topologies.
  • With the help of this virtualization machine, you can use Windows, Linux, NetWare, Solaris, and many other OS on your Mac.


4) Parallels

Parallels is the fastest, easiest, and virtual desktop application for running Windows or in Mac devices without the need to reboot. It allows you to deploy hundreds of installations in no time with Parallels.

Features:

  • Get 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 run Windows side by side on the Mac, and switch between Mac and Windows with a single click.


5) Hyper-V

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.

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.


6) VM Monitor

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 total number of configured or running VMs.

Features:

  • Offers monitoring virtualization server.
  • It helps you to prevent the degradation of performance by viewing threshold-specific indicators.
  • You can see details like VM name, VM state, and guest OS.
  • Enables you to find the root cause of VM performance issues.


7) VirtualBox

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.

Features:

  • You can resize the window.
  • This free virtual machine software supports drag & drops functionality.
  • This Virtual machine tool gives you the flexibility to run any application on your PC.
  • Supported platform: Linux, Mac, Windows, Solaris, and OpenSolaris.

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


8) QEMU

QEMU is another popular emulator and virtualization machine, which is a short form of Quick Emulator. This system is written in C language.

Features

  • It is one of the best virtual machine software which provides support for multiple OS to be run on any system.
  • Offers hardware virtualization.
  • It can be used on any system. No restrictions for the host OS.

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


9) Gnome Boxes

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.

Features:

  • It helps you to find your local and remote virtual systems.
  • Set your machine preferences and monitor 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.

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


10) Red Hat Virtualization

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.

Features:

  • Red Hat Virtualization is easy to use, setup, and manage.
  • It is an open-source system. So you can integrate with the systems as per your requirement.
  • Red Hat virtualization is easy to use, setup, and manage.

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


11) Boot Camp

Boot Camp is a build Virtual machine software that comes with your Mac device. This software allows you to switch between macOS and Windows.

Features:

  • It helps you to update AMD graphics drivers for Windows Application in Boot Camp.
  • You do not need to download externally.
  • It allows you to use the same keyboard for Apple and Windows.
  • You can install Windows 7, 8.1, and 10.
  • This free VM for Mac helps you to use an Apple keyboard or a keyboard designed for Microsoft Windows with your Mac devices.

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


12) Proxmox VE

Proxmox VE is another platform for virtualization. It helps you to integrates KVM hypervisor and LXC containers and networking functionality on a single platform.

Features:

  • This open source virtual machine platform allows you to manage clusters and disaster recovery tools with a built-in web management interface.
  • It helps you to combine two virtualization technologies under one platform.
  • Proxmox VE is giving maximum flexibility in your production environment.
  • This free VM software offers full virtualization for Windows and Linux images.

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


13) Kernel Virtual Machine

KVM is a virtualization software for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions. It offers virtualization infrastructure and a processor specific module.

Features:

  • It allows you to run multiple virtual machines running unmodified Windows or Linux images.
  • Hardware and Memory management support.
  • It helps you do scheduling and resource control.
  • Lower latency and higher prioritization.

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


14) Citrix Hypervisor

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

Features:

  • It offers modern digital workspace by delivering apps and desktops to any device from any cloud.
  • It allows easy and secure for users to store, access, and collaborate on large files.
  • Empower users with enhanced graphics workloads.
  • Speed, support, and secure virtual environments.

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.

⭐ 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 guest 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

👉 What are the benefits of using Virtual Machine?

Here, are some benefits of using Virtual Machine:

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

⚡ How to setup a Virtual Machine?

Following is a step by step process on how to setup a Virtual Machine:

  • Step 1) Download any of the virtual machine software from 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 OS you want to install
  • Step 5) Now, double click on the .exe file and open Virtual Machine

💻 What are the best Virtual Machine Software?

Following are some of the best Virtual Machine software:

  • SolarWinds Virtualization Manager
  • VMware Workstation Player
  • Parallels
  • Hyper-V
  • QEMU
  • Red Hat Virtualization
  • Citrix Hypervisor

 

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