Top 6 Virtual Machine Software in 2023

Looking for the best virtual machine software in 2023? Check out our top 6 picks for efficient virtualization and seamless performance.

Top 6 Virtual Machine Software in 2023
Top 6 Virtual Machine Software in 2023

Virtual Machine software works as a particular kind of OS on a different OS, so that you can work on different OS simultaneously. This VM software will also help you run different programs as well as transfer different apps between different OS. The best part is, you will be able to make use of all the features provided by all kinds of OS, all at once (something impossible for a single OS to provide to a user!). We have listed 6 such VM software that you can depend upon for an effortless working experience. 

#1. VMware Workstation

Workstation Pro and Workstation Player
Workstation Pro and Workstation Player | Image Source: VMware

VMware Workstation is considered one of the best VM software and is available to people since 1999. This software comes packed with a lot of features and functions like enabling open standards (it helps you run virtual machine operations even for competitor vendors!), permitting 3D solutions, and monitoring elaborate virtual networks. To help you to set up restoring points, by enabling the VMware snapshot option.

You can get this software in two versions: Workstation Pro and Workstation Player. While the player version is free but provides limited features and experiences (though, you will be able to support 200 guests at one time). The Pro version is a paid version where you can get access to features like snapshots, cloning, etc. The Pro version is designed for business organizations. This software is compatible with Linux and Windows platforms. 

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#2. VMware Fusion

VMware Fusion for Apple M-Series Silicon Chips
VMware Fusion for Apple M-Series Silicon Chips | Image Source: VMware

The functioning of VMware Workstation and VMware Fusion is similar (because both the software is developed by the same developer), just that the Workstation software is compatible with Linux & Windows platforms whereas the Fusion version is compatible with the Mac platform (macOS 12 and above). Some of the Mac-specific features provided by this software are 5K iMac displays and configurations based on retina and non-retina access.

This software also comes with Unity mode where you will be able to hide the Windows desktop, yet you can launch the Windows applications on macOS with x86-based processors. You will also be able to operate Windows via the Boot Camp application on macOS, and work as a guest VM (this will save you from rebooting your system when you return to your previous setup!). 

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#3. VM VirtualBox

Oracle VM VirtualBox
Oracle VM VirtualBox | Image Source: Oracle

This is software by Oracle Company and its home & business versions, are available for free (though you will need to pay for the extensions pack). VM VirtualBox software is compatible with all the major OS like Linux, macOS, Windows, and Solaris (you wouldn’t believe that its VM will allow running of OS/2 and DOS/Windows 3.1 if need be!). This VM will also allow switching between guest windows simultaneously and allow portability. Even if your hardware is not updated, still this VM will run smoothly on the given hardware.

Other features include options like 3D virtualization, video support, and transferring of files from clipboards between guest and host. If you are looking for stable and long-term VM solutions, then you should definitely go for VM VirtualBox by Oracle as this is one of the best-deploying applications for your OS. 

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#4. Parallels Desktop

Parallel Desktop for Apple Mac
Parallel Desktop for Apple Mac | Image Credit: Parallels

There are times when Mac users are supposed to run Windows systems along with the original OS, and Parallels come in very handy during those times. This software will make you feel like you are working on a Windows platform, while still using macOS. Some of the features of this software are, enabling access to the Safari browser and showing alerts of Windows on Mac Notification Centre. You will also be able to share files and contents of the clipboard between both OS, just with the drag-and-drop method. You can also monitor the usage of memory as well as set the limit to it.

Parallels software is available in three versions: Standard Edition, Pro Edition, and Business Edition.

The standard version is for using both OS at one time (for personal use); the pro version is commonly used by software developers and you can get a coupon for the Pro Version software. The Business version is used by various organizations. 

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#5. QEMU

QEMU
QEMU running the ReactOS operating system on Linux. Screenshot by Nurnware

For all the users of the Linux platform, QEMU is the VM that you should go for. This software comes without any price tag and works as an emulator of various machines with utmost ease and completion; the software uses dynamic translations to emulate hardware peripherals and enhances its overall performance. If you are using QEMU as a virtualizer, then it will function exactly like the host system (provided you have the right set of hardware).

You will still need administrative rights for several functions like opening a USB device. You can also get custom-built QEMU for Windows OS and macOS. 
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#6. Citrix Hypervisor 

Citrix Hypervisor software
Citrix Hypervisor software, showing the File, View, VM, and Help menus. | Image Credit: Citrix

This software is compatible with Linux only and is available for free use. It is very easy to use this software, and it works as both a virtual machine host and a machine emulator. Citrix Hypervisor can also avail security features to virtual machines with the help of VDI (VDI is powered by VDI Intellisense). The VDI technology can help you locate all the problems of the hypervisor and help you resolve them, as soon as it occurs.

You will also be able to use the Virtual Memory Safe option so that you make better choices. To speed up your device, you can use the PC optimizer software.

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Why Opt for These Virtual Machine Software?

Exploring the Benefits

Software > Cross-Platform Snapshotting Cloud Integration Performance Optimization Open-Source
VMware Workstation Yes Yes No Yes No
VMware Fusion Yes Yes No Yes No
VM VirtualBox Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Parallels Desktop No Yes No Yes No
QEMU Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Citrix Hypervisor Yes Yes Yes Yes No

Each of these virtual machine software options brings its unique set of advantages to the table. What makes them stand out and how they can benefit you:

  • Efficient Resource Utilization: Allowing you to maximize hardware resources by running multiple operating systems on a single machine, boosting efficiency and reducing costs.
  • Enhanced Testing and Development: Providing a controlled environment for testing software, debugging, and developing applications across different platforms.
  • Isolation and Security: Ensuring that each virtual machine operates independently, enhancing security by isolating potential threats and minimizing the impact of vulnerabilities.
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility: Enabling seamless integration between different operating systems, allowing you to work across platforms effortlessly.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Saving money by eliminating the need for separate physical machines for different tasks, reducing hardware and maintenance costs.

Conclusion

Selecting the appropriate software can have a significant effect on how efficient and productive you are. The Top 6 Virtual Machine Software in 2023 provide a variety of features to suit various needs and preferences. Whether you are a developer, a business owner, or an individual seeking to enhance your computing experience, these software choices enable better performance, adaptability, and creativity.

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FAQs

Can I run Windows applications on a Mac using virtual machine software?

Yes, software like Parallels Desktop allows you to run Windows applications on macOS seamlessly.

Which virtual machine software is best for Linux systems?

KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is an excellent choice for Linux-based systems, known for its performance optimization and scalability.

Are there any free virtual machine software options available?

Yes, Oracle VirtualBox and QEMU are open-source virtualization platforms that offer powerful features without a price tag.

Can I run virtual machines in the cloud using these software options?

Yes, Microsoft Hyper-V integrates with Azure, allowing you to extend your virtualization capabilities to the cloud.

What is the advantage of using VMware Workstation Pro?

VMware Workstation Pro provides a user-friendly interface and seamless integration, making it a preferred choice for professionals and businesses.

How can I benefit from using virtual machine software in my business?

Virtual machine software can enhance resource utilization, streamline testing and development, improve security, and offer cost-effective solutions for businesses.

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