Virtual machines are ideal for testing operating systems, such as newly released Windows 8 or Linux operating systems. You can also use virtual machines to run software on operating systems that are not compatible, for example, you can run programs for Windows on Macs using virtual machines.
On the other hand, users may not have to pay anything because there are a few great free virtual machine programs to experience.
What is an virtual machine?
Virtual machine is a program that acts like a virtual computer. It runs on the current operating system - the host operating system and provides virtual hardware to the guest operating system. The guest operating systems run on the windows of the host operating system, just like any other computer program. For guest operating systems, the virtual machine presents itself as a physical physical machine.
Virtual machines provide virtual hardware, including virtual CPUs, virtual RAM, hard drives, network interfaces, and other devices. Virtual hardware devices are provided by the virtual machine and are mapped to real hardware on the real machine. For example, the virtual hard drive is stored in a file located on the actual hard drive.
You can install multiple virtual machines on real machines and are only limited by the amount of storage space available to them. Once you have installed a few operating systems, you can open the virtual machine program and select the virtual machine you want to boot, start the guest operating system and run in a window of the host operating system or you can also run in virtual machine mode. full-screen mode (full-screen mode).
The effect of virtual machines
Virtual machines have several common uses:
1. Try the new operating system
Let's say you want to stick with Windows for life, but you feel adventurous and want to experience Linux. You have a number of options to try out Linux, including a dual boot setup, but virtualization is a great way to try with very little risk.
On a Windows system, you only need to install VirtualBox (or another virtualizer) and create a new virtual machine. Then take any Linux installation ISO (like Ubuntu or Linux Mint) and install it as a virtual machine. Now, you can run Linux in a window in Windows system like any other program.
Even if you're new to this, you can rest assured because the virtual machine acts like a sandbox. If an error occurs in a guest operating system, such as malware infection or a corrupted installation, then the main operating system is also unaffected.
2. Run old or incompatible software
You may have switched to a Mac many years ago, but there's a software for Windows only. Or maybe you need to run an ancient program that doesn't work on Windows 10 anymore.
Virtual machines provide a great environment to run software that is incompatible with existing machines. As long as you have access to the installer, you should have no trouble installing it on virtual operating systems.
In addition, running outdated software this way is much safer, since it has been sandboxed in the virtual machine.
3. Software development for other platforms
Another important application for virtual machines is to simplify the workflow to test applications and websites on multiple platforms.
For example, suppose you are developing a game that works on both computer and mobile platforms. You can use the emulator to test different versions right on your computer. Instead of moving the installation files back and forth between your phone and other test computers, you can only emulate them.
Virtualization also allows you to compile to other executable file types. Even using a cross-platform framework, you can compile APP files on Mac and EXE files on Windows. Instead of dual booting for every build, virtualization simplifies the process.
4. Deal with potential malware safely
One of the main benefits of a virtual machine is that it's separate from your main system. This means that you can accept security risks that you often want to avoid.
For example, suppose you want to download a program but are not sure whether the source website is legitimate, or you may want to check your antivirus software without worrying about the risk of infection.
Less realistic, you may want to see what the virus does to the operating system. You can even check for things that could damage your computer, such as when deleting System32 in Windows.
5. Discover more about the system
If you're particularly tech-savvy, virtual machines allow you to discover and test an operating system without fear of consequences. This can be a fun way to learn more about operating systems.
For example, you can virtualize a copy of Windows 10 and use that copy to edit the Registry or learn some Linux commands without fear of accidentally damaging something.
6. Take advantage of "image" capture systems in virtual machines
Another great feature of virtual machines is the ability to create snapshots at the system level that you can restore immediately whenever needed.
Let's say you want to install a new, untested and possibly unstable application, or uninstall a bunch of software you've accumulated over the past few months. Another time, you may want to adjust some system configurations. But in any case, you're hesitant to be sure whether edits will cause anything wrong.
You can take a snapshot of the complete copy of the VM at any time. If an error occurs, you can recover this "snapshot" and continue as if nothing had happened. Therefore, these backups are like a comprehensive System Restore.
On top of that, they are stored as unique files that you can move and store elsewhere on your computer. With snapshots acting as backups, you can first try the risky processes in the virtual machine before making changes on the main system.
7. Copy a system to another
Since the entire contents of a virtual machine are stored in several files, you can easily transfer them to another computer and load the VM without any problems (of course, you have to use the same one). virtualization process).
For example, VirtualBox stores VM settings in a small VBOX file. Another major component is a VDI file, which acts as a virtual storage drive.
Regardless of the server operating system you originally used, you can copy those files and load them into VirtualBox on another computer. This effectively replicates a copy of the guest system that you can use anywhere.
VMware Workstation Player has a related function called vCenter Converter. This feature allows you to install an existing non-virtual operating system and turn it into a virtual image, which you can then load into VMware Workstation Player on another computer.
Virtual machine software
VirtualBox is an excellent open source virtual machine application that runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. One of the best things about VirtualBox is that there is no commercial version. You get all the features for free, including advanced features like "snapshots" that allow you to save virtual machine status.
VMware Workstation is a well-known virtual machine creation software that supports newly released operating systems such as Windows 10, the latest hardware, an easy-to-use interface, good 3D graphics processing, good connectivity, etc. This software is available for Windows and Linux and is very popular with users. [Reputable Pwn2Own hack contest: Hacker has surpassed VMware Workstation virtual machine to infiltrate the server]
VMware Player is another high quality virtual machine program for Windows and Linux. Vmware Player is a free copy of Vmware Workstation, a commercial application, so you will not get the full advanced features as with VirtualBox. However, both VirtualBox and VMware Player are reliable programs that provide the basic features that allow creating and running virtual machines for free.
To install an operating system on a virtual machine, you need an operating system installation disc or you can use the ISO image file that Linux distributions provide for download. Virtual machine programs provide an easy, user-friendly interface to create virtual machines and install operating systems.
You can also download virtual machines that have already been created and preinstalled from another person and simply download the virtual machine into the virtual machine program to boot it. To download the created virtual machine image files, visit the VirtualBoxes website.