What software is good for virtual machine over Windows for Linux and Mac OS? I want to host Linux (Web development related to Rails and PHP) and Mac (iPhone and iPad) both over Windows XP.

My specs are:

Intel Processor 3.4Ghz dual core
D955xbk Motherboard
4 GB Ram  

This is all I can provide relative to my requirement

  • Are you asking for a VM to host Windows under Linux or MacOS? Or are you trying to run Linux or MacOS as a guest under a VM in Windows? – Gabe Apr 10 '11 at 20:33
  • Want to run Linux or MacOS as a guest under a VM in Windows – Syed Raza Apr 10 '11 at 21:26

The main alternatives are:

  • VMWare
  • Virtual Box
  • Virtual PC

All of them are free (or have a free version) for personal use, and usually also for some commercial uses.

Regarding performance, from my experience it's by the order I specified - but it's not based on a comprehensive evaluation.

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VirtualBox is available for running on Windows, Linux and MacOS X. It fully supports running Windows, Linux and MacOS X as guest operating systems, so which ever combination you want to use should work OK.

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  • Mac OS X isn't officially supported as guest OS on non-Mac host machines (machines that are not branded with an apple logo, as required by the OS X EULA) – lajuette Apr 10 '11 at 21:23
  • for more info see virtualbox.org/manual/ch14.html – lajuette Apr 10 '11 at 21:25
  • @lajuette true, but if you have virtualisation support in hardware then OS X works on VirtualBox. – Majenko Apr 10 '11 at 21:26
  • @lajuette and I didn't say that the company supported it - the software supports it. It may not be "official", but it does. – Majenko Apr 10 '11 at 21:27
  • @lajuette Mac OS X Server is licensed to be used as a client on Apple Hardware. If you run Windows using Boot Camp, you should be in the clear. At least license terms of three years ago stated: You may also install and use other copies of Mac OS X Server Software on the same Apple-labeled computer, provided that you acquire an individual and valid license from Apple for each of these other copies of Mac OS X Server Software – Daniel Beck Apr 10 '11 at 21:28

As i understood your question you want to run Linux & Mac OS X in a virtual machine on a Windows host.

As the other answers stated there are multiple options.

  • VirtualBox - open source, free (for private use?)
  • VMWare - my choice since it's the most flexible and stable option (...personal opinion)
  • Virtual PC - I used it once and i wasn't really happy with it.

About running OS X: It's not allowed to run OS X on non-Mac host machines (machines that are not branded with an apple logo, as required by the OS X EULA) That includes virtual machines. So running OS X on a PC might be possible but not legal.

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  • Is any free version of VMWare available for free whihc you consider a best option over Virtual Box – Syed Raza Apr 10 '11 at 21:42

VMWare is by far the best virtual machine solution, but only VMPlayer is free, not VMWorkstation (which is far superior). Virtual Box and Virtual PC are good too and are free, but both are a far cry from VMWare.

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  • VMWare Player is free and the later versions allow you to create your own virtual machines. – Matt H Apr 10 '11 at 21:42
  • @Matt H I have updated my answer to reflect that fact. – ubiquibacon Apr 10 '11 at 22:39

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