Ever since I started using Ubuntu two years back, I have been an avid user of VMware server. It fascinated me to a great extent that I could actually run an OS inside an OS. Recently, I tried out VirtualBox, another virtualization software like VMware server, and I was greatly impressed by it. Even though I love VMware server, I can’t deny the fact that VirtualBox actually runs faster and smoother, with less crashes. Here is my top 5 reasons why VirtualBox is better than VMware server.
1) File size
How long do you need to download a 20MB file with a broadband connection? A snap of finger! Yes, that is how small VirtualBox is: slighly over 20MB where you can download it in a snap. VMware server? About 102MB, well…not too long either, mayber after you have finished your tea session.
Ubuntu users can simply install VirtualBox from the repository. Simply open the Synaptic Package Manager, check the VirtualBox and click Apply to install. For other Linux disro, there is also debian and rpm package available for download. For VMware server, only if you like to compile and build the source code from command line.
3) Speed Boost
The real advantage of VirtualBox over VMware server lies in its performance. VirtualBox apparently runs faster than VMware server. A timed experiment of an installation of Windows XP as the guest OS took 20 mins in VirtualBox and 35 mins on VMware server. A similar test on the booting time of the guest OS also shows favor to VirtualBox with a timing of 45secs compared to 1min 39 secs on VMware server.
4) Remote File Sharing
When I was using VMware server, I have to install and configure Samba on my Ubuntu host so as to access the files in my guest OS. In VirtualBox, the remote file sharing feature is built right in the package. Setting up remote file sharing is easy and you only need to do it once: point the file path to the directory that you want to share.
5) Integration with Host OS
In VirtualBox, there is this mode call ‘seamless mode‘ where you can integrate the guest OS with the host OS. With this mode on, you can access the applications from the guest OS right from the host’s desktop. There is no need for you to traverse between the guest and the host. VMware server does not have this feature, although you can find the ‘unity‘ mode that does the same thing in VMware Workstation.
I have not tested VirtualBox on a server setting, thus I can’t comment on its performance for corporate use. However, for personal use, I would strongly recommend VirtualBox over VMware server because of its faster speed and user-friendliness.