VirtualBox

VirtualBox vs. VMware vs. Parallels

Feature VirtualBox Parallels Workstation / Desktop VMware Fusion / Workstation / vSphere
Supported host operating systems Windows XP, 2003, Vista, 2008 Server, Windows 7, 2012 Server, Windows 8, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris 10U5+, OpenSolaris, FreeBSD Windows XP, Vista, 7, Linux, OS X Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 7, 8, Linux (32bit and 64bit), Mac OS X
Supported guest operating systems DOS, Windows 3.1, 95, 98, NT, 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2003/2008/2012, Linux, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, OS/2, Solaris, OpenSolaris, others DOS, Windows 3.1, 95, 98, NT, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, Linux, OS/2 DOS, Windows 3.1, 95, 98, NT, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris
64bit host OS support yes yes yes
64bit guest OS support yes yes yes
Intel VT-x support (CPU virtualization extensions) yes yes yes
AMD-V support (CPU virtualization extensions) yes yes yes
Virtual network cards up to 36 up to 5 up to 4
Virtual Disk Controller IDE or SATA (up to 32 disks in a guest) or SCSI IDE (up to 4) IDE or SCSI
USB support yes yes yes
iSCSI support (VMs can directly access storage servers over iSCSI) yes no no
Serial ports up to 4 up to 4 yes
Parallel ports up to 2 up to 3 yes
CD/DVD writing yes no no
3D acceleration yes (OpenGL 1.5) no limited
Support of VMware images yes no n/a
Headless operation yes no yes
Remote VM access Integrated RDP server no limited
Remote USB support Yes, arbitrary devices no no
Seamless Windows yes yes yes
Shared Folders yes yes yes
Guest power status reporting yes no yes
API Full API, 100% scriptable no yes
Open source yes (dual licensed, some enterprise features are closed source) no no
Customizations yes, upon request no no
License costs Free Workstation for Windows/Linux - $49.99, Desktop for Mac OS X - $79.99 Workstation for Windows/Linux around $199, Fusion for Mac - $79.99, vSphere starting at $900

(last updated 2012-11-30)

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