VirtualBox allows you to run a simulated computer with a different OS, contained within your own PC

  • Category:

    Operating Systems

  • Version:

  • Works under:

    Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows 8.1 / Windows 2003 / Windows 2000 / Windows Vista / Windows NT / Windows XP

  • Program available in:In English
  • Program license:Free (GPL)
  • Vote:
    6.4 (241)
VirtualBox 4.3.8

One of the free and open source software options available, VirtualBox runs for all the operating systems on a virtual basis. You can install almost any version of the system. For example, you have Linux, Windows and Solaris versions. The first thing that you will learn about VirtualBox is how you can set it up easily and start using it. This software will hold your hand as you go through it, and you never feel like you have stepped out of line with it.

Integrates with the Native Environment

The software feels impressive with its many features, and you can use VirtualBox to declare a specific host of directories and declare them as a shared folder. After this point, you will have access to the operating system, and you can run it from within VirtualBox. Along with the USB connecting devices, VirtualBox uses a simple process, and it will automatically detect a new device on the software. When it does this, it will ask you if you want to use them. Unfortunately, you don't have a drag-and-drop features where you can take items from your desktop and drop them somewhere else. However, because it is free, we can't complain. In fact, when you compare it to similar products like VMware Fusion, you will see how this product costs you $79.99 in comparison.

Not the Choice for Everyone

Before you decide on this product, however, you should understand the true cost of free. With VirtualBox, most of the features you might find with Parallels or Fusion will be worth the money, but they aren't available with VirtualBox. For example, you can't print to the main printer automatically, and you will have to set up the integration features manually before you can get them to perform automatically. This system is somewhat unreliable and like a fussy baby at times.

Easily Customizable

What's cool about this software is how you can personalize it to yourself. You can, for example, install virtual Linux, Windows or a different guest system, and you will have access to the advanced dialog and a variety of the custom settings. VirtualBox does disable the integration features by default, and you will have track down the settings to turn each of them on if you want them. Through the menu of this program, you will have fine-tuned control and drag-and-drop features. You won't find the same level of customization by any of the other apps.

VirtualBox should be able to get the job done, and you can run tests for the Windows and other operating systems. For those who don't want to pay for the cost of virtualization, and they just need the basics, VirtualBox will get the job done.


  • You don't have to pay for virtualization.
  • Customize your programs easily through this software.


  • Getting some of the features with VirtualBox can be a pain compared to some of the alternatives.

VirtualBox is a Windows program that allows the user to run other operating systems in a so-called "virtual machine." This means that the alternate operating system runs like any other program on top of Windows and can still be used with near-full functionality. VirtualBox is used primarily by software developers, tech enthusiasts and people who need to run programs that are incompatible with their version of Windows.

One of the benefits of running programs in VirtualBox is that viruses or poorly programmed software will not affect the base operating system. Some privacy advocates will use VirtualBox to avoid having their location or true identity revealed while browsing the web.

Another common use of VirtualBox is to test, and sometimes use regularly, Linux-based operating systems. VirtualBox will basically "trick" the tested operating system into thinking it is running on a computer rather than inside of a program. This is why it is a virtual box. As long as the computer has enough RAM and processing power, the virtual operating system can often be used as the primary operating system.

Other versions of Windows can sometimes be used with VirtualBox as well if the user owns a proper Windows license that permits it. For programs that only work in a newer or older version of Windows, using VirtualBox to run them is a popular solution. Likewise, if a license is owned, Mac OS X can be used in VirtualBox.

On compatible computers, VirtualBox can utilize most of the computer's hardware power. That is, VirtualBox has the capacity to use the full power of graphics cards, the CPU and other features like built-in webcams. Other virtual machine software often cannot use 64-bit processors, graphics cards or other features of the computer. VirtualBox usually can do this.


  • Compatibility with most Linux distributions
  • Compatible with most versions of Windows and recent versions of Mac OS X
  • Can use full hardware power of the host computer


  • Doesn't quite match dual-booting or hard drive installation
  • Some systems do not benefit from ability to use hardware power

Other programs to consider

  • Bluetooth Driver Installer
    Bluetooth Driver Installer

    Get the drivers you need in order to connect all of your Bluetooth enabled devices

  • Corrupt MS BKF Recovery 5.4.1
    Corrupt MS BKF Recovery

    Best Corrupt MS BKF Recovery Tool

  • Ubuntu (Xenial Xerus) 16.04

    Use this tool to access other programs that have a high level of graphics inside

  • Andy OS 0.44
    Andy OS

    Andy OS is an operating system that allows you to run an Android environment in your PC

User Opinions on VirtualBox