Hypervisor Choices

Hypervisors are applications, or operating systems, or both, that allow you to run one or more virtual machines on a single set of hardware.  They come in two flavors: (1) applications that run on a workstation to allow it to run a VM, and (2) "bare metal" hypervisors that act as stand-alone operating systems.  For now this page focuses on the former.

Virtual Box

  • Owned by Oracle.
  • Free download at VirtualBox.org.
  • Runs on Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Solaris.

VMware Player

  • Owned by vmware, the same folks who make the vmware bare metal hypervisor.
  • Free download at the Download VMware Player page
  • Runs on Windows and Linux


  • Commercial Product, about $80.
  • Mac OS.
  • Info at the Parallels Desktop for Mac page.
  • Disclaimer: I own several copies of this product and use it daily; that does not mean that the other options won't work as well or better for you.