Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is there a way to install software like VMware player on your HD and run that software without an Operating System?

share|improve this question

migrated from stackoverflow.com Sep 15 '11 at 17:48

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

See this question: serverfault.com/questions/23738/… –  jakub.g Sep 15 '11 at 17:23

1 Answer 1

Yes. You will need something called a "bare-metal/hypervisor-based" virtulisation solution. This runs a basic OS with very little overhead which the Virtulisation Software runs on top of.

The three big ones are:

  • VMWare ESX(i)
  • Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Citrix XenServer

Each have their own upsides and downside, ranging from costs to supported OS's and platforms.

The Wikipedia Hypervisor page has the concept in more technical detail.

share|improve this answer
Also Xen, which Citrix bases their solution on but which is both Free and free. –  CarlF Sep 15 '11 at 19:51
Technically, it's not a "bare metal" solution you are looking for, but rather a hypervisor that installs without a host partition. For example, all the above solutions allow you to install the hypervisor after you install a host partition. –  surfasb Sep 16 '11 at 9:34
@surfasb, you are correct, of course, but I was trying to keep it simple as possible as virtulisation is a confusing enough concept with it's own terminology as well. –  tombull89 Sep 16 '11 at 9:37
I'll admit that was a nitpick . . . –  surfasb Sep 16 '11 at 9:42

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.