KVM vs. Oracle VM VirtualBox

As of May 2019, KVM is ranked 3rd in Server Virtualization Software with 6 reviews vs Oracle VM VirtualBox which is ranked 4th in Server Virtualization Software with 7 reviews. The top reviewer of KVM writes "I find the density of the product most valuable". The top reviewer of Oracle VM VirtualBox writes "It is great for creating test environments, and saves a lot of time". KVM is most compared with Oracle VM VirtualBox, Hyper-V and VMware vSphere. Oracle VM VirtualBox is most compared with KVM, Hyper-V and Proxmox VE. See our KVM vs. Oracle VM VirtualBox report.
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KVM Logo
Read 6 KVM reviews.
69,184 views|48,882 comparisons
Oracle VM VirtualBox Logo
66,514 views|30,615 comparisons
Most Helpful Review
Find out what your peers are saying about KVM vs. Oracle VM VirtualBox and other solutions. Updated: May 2019.
339,526 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members

We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:

I find the density of the product most valuable. It is density that a technologist can just assign page merging. This is what makes KVM one of the important players of the virtualization market.The initial setup was simple.It is an open ecosystem, and we see there is a benefit in open-source solutions.I think nine out of the ten supercomputers in the world use Linux KVM, so I think that attests to the fact that it is a scalable product.KVM has a rich options set which can be directly used or via wrappers, such as libvirt.If you are a Linux desktop user, KVM is the solution to go with if you have to start virtual machines with Linux or other operating systems with almost zero extra configuration needed.A very reliable solution which can be used for x86 architecture virtualization with reasonable overhead.

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The cloning is a very useful tool.This solution creates a snapshot of virtual machines so you can create test environments.This is a highly scalable solution.The flexibility and the closed platform, so it allows you to run in multiple platforms, Windows, Linux, Macintosh.The flexibility and the closed platform, so it allows you to run in multiple platforms, Windows, Linux, Macintosh.VirtualBox provides an isolated, consistent environmentThe configuration and installation is pretty straightforward.The flexibility as well as performance wise and as well as data volume, we have huge volume stored.

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The stability of this solution is less than other products in the same category.The KVM tech support is really bad. They are not very responsive.We would like to have a software lifecycle solution included in this solution. We can handle the software needed for KVM, but also the software that we provide. A lifecycle component would be very beneficial.Technical support is not top-notch.The only negative aspect of needing hardware support is a fully functional KVM can be dropped. It would be nice if the support for other platforms, like ARM or Risk, were as good as the x86 one. However, with the democratization of Chromebooks based on these chips and mobile devices, it will not take long for that to happen.

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The communications setup lags. It does not connect properly so the batching and networking is a bit slow.I think that this solution should be more user-friendly.This solution needs improvement with the business continuity planning, disaster and recovery management and using centralized data storage.We're working with them to be able to allow the local USB ports to be ported over to the remote desktop, running VirtualBox.We're working with them to be able to allow the local USB ports to be ported over to the remote desktop, running VirtualBox.It's not as robust as server platforms, nor does it need to be.One valuable feature would be for it to work right the first time but it doesn't necessarily do that.

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Pricing and Cost Advice
This solution came with the Linux license.It is cheaper than other solutions out there on the market.It is cheaper than other competitors like VMware or Hyper-V.​It is free and can be run from your laptop, if needed, unlike VMware.​

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Pricing does not apply for us, we do not have to pay for the service.It is a very cost-effective solution.

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Answers from the Community
Miriam Tover
Игорь ЖдановReal User

As for the differences, KVM (currently project is owned by Red Hat) does not perform any emulation. Instead, it exposes the /dev/kvm interface, which a userspace host can then use to:

Set up the guest VM's address space. The host must also supply a firmware image (usually a custom BIOS when emulating PCs) that the guest can use to bootstrap into its main OS.
Feed the guest simulated I/O.
Map the guest's video display back onto the system host.
On Linux, QEMU versions 0.10.1 and later is one such userspace host. QEMU uses KVM when available to virtualize guests at near-native speeds, but otherwise falls back to software-only emulation.

Internally, KVM uses SeaBIOS as an open source implementation of a 16-bit x86 BIOS.

There are some comparison charts you could look at:

I would recommend to consider the other possibilities - Citrix Hypervisor (https://www.citrix.com/downloads/ if proprietary software is ok for you) or The Xen Project (https://www.xenproject.org/ - if you wanna go opensource) .

11 January 19
Paresh TripathiReal User

Well VirtualBox is not meant for heavy usage, it is okay for someone who has just started with virtualization. Virtualbox is simple software which can be used to create VMs. KVM is one of the most used opensource industry standard virtualization which can be used with any IaaS tool such as Cloudstack/Openstack and it performs exceptionally well when used with shared storage or ceph. You can dedicate RAM, CPU, overcommit physical resources and scale as much as you want.

11 January 19

Virtualbox is great, but like java, and Xen, some time down the track, they will disable features and apply a license fee - once there is a critical mass of users that is.
KVM is opensource and a lot of development is done as part of a larger openstack ecosystem, and the only Group A hypervisor in the stack - when a new openstack feature/standard appears, KVM will be the first to be compatible.
I've tried both, and I like Oracle VM Virtualbox for its ease of use, but I also like KVM because of its extensive capabilities, modability and automatability. XCP-ng (Xenserver fork). is another great alternative.

10 January 19
Chinnajee RaoReal User

Oracle Virtual box and KVM both fall under Type 2 hosted Virtualization technique.
Oracle Virtual box - Compatible with both Microsoft and all UNIX run on x86 architecture. Managed by GUI. to managed by CLI we need Vagrant tool.
KVM - Is Open source but compatible only with UNIX flavours. And managed by both GUI & CLI using commands.

11 January 19
Fábio RabeloReal User

Well, this is one of those "Oranges and Apples" scenario .

KVM are a very mature and very flexible solution, Enterprise ready .

Oracle Virtualbox is an interesting solution for occasional and development
use, not enterprise ready in any way .

If I have to choose one big difference, I will peak Performance .

Do not need to thrust my word, just search the Internet for benchmarks and
you can get what I saying .

10 January 19
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KVM (for Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is a full virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions (Intel VT or AMD-V). It consists of a loadable kernel module, kvm.ko, that provides the core virtualization infrastructure and a processor specific module, kvm-intel.ko or kvm-amd.ko.

Oracle VM Virtualbox is a cross-platform virtualizer for x86 servers and desktops, and is also for embedded usage. With this product, you can run multiple operating systems on a single machine, all at the same time, making it a powerful tool to test, develop, demonstrate and deploy solutions.

Oracle VM Virtualbox is a professional solution that is also freely available as Open Source Software. It is for both enterprise and home use. This x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization software is high performing and rich in features. 

Oracle VM Virtualbox currently runs on Windows, Linux, Solaris and Macintosh. It also supports many guest operating systems, such as Windows, DOX/Windows 3. Linux, OS/2, OpenBSD, Solaris and OpenSolaris.

For more information on Oracle VM VirtualBox, visit Oracle.com

Learn more about KVM
Learn more about Oracle VM VirtualBox
Sample Customers
MediaWiki, Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia, Wikivoyage, Wikidata, Wikiversity, Commons Airbus, Colorado State University, SCS Africa, Wolf Medical Systems.
Top Industries
Comms Service Provider56%
Insurance Company10%
Manufacturing Company8%
Financial Services Firm8%
Financial Services Firm15%
Software R&D Company15%
Aerospace/Defense Firm15%
Energy/Utilities Company8%
Find out what your peers are saying about KVM vs. Oracle VM VirtualBox and other solutions. Updated: May 2019.
339,526 professionals have used our research since 2012.
We monitor all Server Virtualization Software reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.

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