From what I gather a virtual machine makes use of a technology provided by the CPU; a technology called V.T., or "Virtualization Technology" in certain designs of Intel processors. I don't know how this works or how virtualization programs can use this exactly, but I was wondering this:

Say I run Windows 7 inside of Bochs, an x86-64 emulator, or the such. Inside Windows 7 I download VirtualBox, VMware, etc. Will they work? Can a virtual machine work running on a guest emulated OS in an emulator on the host architecture which does not support it? Would there be any issues?

I don't know if any x86-64 emulators support Intel's virtual features, but assuming one did, how feasible could this be in theory?

NOTE: Not a v.m. in a v.m.; a v.m. in an emulator, which has a host CPU that doesn't support V.T.

Think of it this way: program emulates V.T. which also emulates x86-64/etc. Guest OS is running on that, and VirtualBox/etc. can be "tricked" into working on an emulated virtual technology within the emulator's platform, but with a real host CPU that does not support it. Is it possible to emulate virtualization?

  • 1
    You made my brain hurt.
    – fixer1234
    Sep 23, 2014 at 18:55
  • 1
    Good thing you don't live inside mine then.
    – user371494
    Sep 23, 2014 at 18:55
  • Give it a shot, if it isn't supported it's likely that the system will fail to boot.
    – Adam
    Sep 23, 2014 at 18:59
  • Seems easy enough to try it..."Is it possible to emulate virtualization?" no its not.
    – Ramhound
    Sep 23, 2014 at 19:00
  • @Ramhound What's impossible about it?
    – user371494
    Sep 23, 2014 at 19:03

3 Answers 3


In theory this ought to be possible.

Logic dictates that if the emulator emulates the entire x64 environment perfectly, including Vt-x features, it should be indistinguishable from the real thing and thus support running a VM inside the OS running on the emulator.

Performance would probably be awful though.

I don't know if there is any real emulator out there that has the capability.
I strongly suspect Intel has one for internal use, that they can use as "virtual CPU" to simulate/test/verify new instructions, before making any real hardware with those instruction.


It could work, but it would be deathly slow.

Firstly Boshs is a virtual machine, just like VirtualBox or VMware Player. The difference is that it emulates 100% of it's hardware. A virtual machine is just a non-physical computer.

It doesn't provide any CPU virtualization features

While Boshs does emulate CPUs that natively provide virtualization support, BoshS doesn't include that function in it's emulation.

It's also worth noting that in Boshs you must specify which features you want the cpu to have from a list of available ones. See: http://bochs.sourceforge.net/cgi-bin/topper.pl?name=New+Bochs+Documentation&url=http://bochs.sourceforge.net/doc/docbook/user/index.html

Virtualization suppport is not a requirement of all virtual machine programs. Some versions of Virtual PC will run without it, as will VirtualBox.

  • "Virtualization suppport is not a requirement of all virtual machine programs. Some versions of Virtual PC will run without it, as will VirtualBox." Elaborate?
    – user371494
    Sep 23, 2014 at 19:20
  • virtualbox.org/manual/ch01.html#hostossupport read section 1.3 , and virtualbox.org/manual/ch10.html#hwvirt section 10.3 . hardware virtualization assistance is required for 64bit guests, but not 32bit. Performance does improve with support thought.
    – Robin Hood
    Sep 23, 2014 at 19:27
  • I did not know that. Thanks! This info will help others as well.
    – user371494
    Sep 23, 2014 at 19:28

What you call it VT may not be supported in all systems but They run VMware. HOW? They use software processing, I mean a program takes the role of processing VM's data.

ALso VT is a technology to use hardware directly in VMs, If your motherboard supports it, then you should have more speed on inner VM (second i mean).

About problems, No I dont think any problem will occur, Just speed is the issue ...

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