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I building a virtual machine box and need to know what virtualization software is best. I'm running Ubuntu server and have some VMWare images I want to use. Is VMWare the "best"? If not, can I migrate the images to the "best"?

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Should be community wiki. –  jtbandes Jul 25 '09 at 1:25

5 Answers 5

up vote 7 down vote accepted

VMWare Server

It's free, and is much the same as VMWare Workstation with a few differences (I think the main differences are limited snapshot tools, and lack of simple VM cloning - nothing major)

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VirtualBox. It's free, open-source, and works pretty well. And yes, you can import VMWare disks.

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VMware Workstation. It's not free, but it's worth every penny.

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On the Mac I use VMware Fusion and on Windows I use VMware Workstation. Neither are free, but you get what you pay for.

The virtual machines are compatible between the two products, so you can easily move them about. The only snag is that if you want to use your VMs on both Operating Systems, you'll need to put them on a Fat32 drive (mainly so OS X can read / write on the drive, because by default it can only read NTFS).

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Pauk: You can always install ntfs-3g on Mac OS X. Works great! macntfs-3g.blogspot.com –  njsf Jul 25 '09 at 20:06
njsf, thanks for that. I'd heard of it a while back, but wasn't sure if it worked OK. –  Pauk Jul 25 '09 at 20:45

In addition to VirtualBox, I also use Microsoft Virtual PC 2007. For one, you can drag and drop files into it to copy them to the VM, which you can't do with VBox.

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That's useful, though VirtualBox lets you share folders with the VM guest, so you can drag and drop files into there and they appear in the VM. –  jtbandes Jul 25 '09 at 1:19
It's not nearly as convenient as being able to drop them directly into the VM, however. Which is one reason I keep it around. –  Factor Mystic Jul 25 '09 at 18:32
so the deciding thing is having to do one extra step to open a folder? –  Earlz Mar 17 '10 at 22:30

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