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Oracle VM VirtualBox OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Oracle VM VirtualBox is the #5 ranked solution in our list of best Server Virtualization Software. It is most often compared to KVM: Oracle VM VirtualBox vs KVM

What is Oracle VM VirtualBox?

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

Buyer's Guide

Download the Server Virtualization Software Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Oracle VM VirtualBox Customers

Airbus, Colorado State University, SCS Africa, Wolf Medical Systems.

Oracle VM VirtualBox Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Oracle VM VirtualBox pricing:
  • "It is pretty good for the price, which is free."
  • "Everything is free within limitations. Once you go over a certain level of usage you have to license the product."
  • "This is an open-source product and it can be used free of charge."
  • "There are no licensing fees."

Oracle VM VirtualBox Reviews

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OL
Director of Engineering at a manufacturing company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
A free and versatile open-source solution that supports multiple platforms and is easy to set up

Pros and Cons

  • "The good thing is that it is multi-platform. Once you create a virtual machine in one particular environment, you can switch over to see if you can run it in other environments. For example, if you are on Windows and you create this virtual machine, you can actually go ahead and change the operating system. You can switch it over to Linux or Mac OS and see if you can run the VirtualBox on those particular machines. It even runs on some of the commercial operating systems that are not mainstream, such as Solaris and BSD. These kinds of operating systems are also supported by VirtualBox. The other thing that is good about VirtualBox is that it is open source. So, if you need to do any modifications for your own purposes, you can just download the source, modify it, and deploy it in your environment. It is pretty good and very versatile. You can create and manipulate virtual machines from the command line, which is also very important. It's something that some other products on the desktop side do not have. VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop don't have a good command-line interface to create and manipulate virtual machines, whereas VirtualBox has it out of the box, which is pretty good."
  • "It has some issues when you have some weird device drivers. For instance, when you have a weird sound driver working on your machine, and the VirtualBox needs to output the sound of the virtual machine into the sound driver of the physical machine, the bare metal, it doesn't work too well. If you tweak lots of drivers and play around with the different kinds of drivers and machines, you will probably break something. I have not played with it too much and maybe it already supports it, but it would probably be good to have the ability to use a container from the virtual machine environment instead of spinning off a complete virtual machine. There are other tools for that. On Linux, you have a DXE, LXC framework, and you have Docker as well. Docker is good because it is multi-platform, and you can run Docker on pretty much anything, even different processors, but it would be good if we had a VirtualBox running on it while spinning off containers instead of full virtual machines. The other thing that will become important, and I'm pretty sure that they are thinking about it as well is that there's this new hardware platform that Apple is releasing, which is an ARM-based new chip. So, VirtualBox will probably have to work on ARM-based CPUs as well."

What is our primary use case?

My personal one is to create virtual machines to do different things within the house. I have a few servers in the house, and the servers themselves run lots of the services that we need, but sometimes you need to have a service that is run on a kind of a "dedicated machine." So, instead of having a physical machine to run those services, we just create a virtual one. It just spins off like a virtual machine, and everything works okay. Some of the machines that are for more home automation and other such things don't need very powerful processes or much memory. They are very suitable to be run on virtual machines. They can have their own IP addresses and can be reached from the outside of the home.

What is most valuable?

The good thing is that it is multi-platform. Once you create a virtual machine in one particular environment, you can switch over to see if you can run it in other environments. For example, if you are on Windows and you create this virtual machine, you can actually go ahead and change the operating system. You can switch it over to Linux or Mac OS and see if you can run the VirtualBox on those particular machines. It even runs on some of the commercial operating systems that are not mainstream, such as Solaris and BSD. These kinds of operating systems are also supported by VirtualBox.

The other thing that is good about VirtualBox is that it is open source. So, if you need to do any modifications for your own purposes, you can just download the source, modify it, and deploy it in your environment.

It is pretty good and very versatile. You can create and manipulate virtual machines from the command line, which is also very important. It's something that some other products on the desktop side do not have. VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop don't have a good command-line interface to create and manipulate virtual machines, whereas VirtualBox has it out of the box, which is pretty good.

What needs improvement?

It has some issues when you have some weird device drivers. For instance, when you have a weird sound driver working on your machine, and the VirtualBox needs to output the sound of the virtual machine into the sound driver of the physical machine, the bare metal, it doesn't work too well. If you tweak lots of drivers and play around with the different kinds of drivers and machines, you will probably break something.

I have not played with it too much and maybe it already supports it, but it would probably be good to have the ability to use a container from the virtual machine environment instead of spinning off a complete virtual machine. There are other tools for that. On Linux, you have a DXE, LXC framework, and you have Docker as well. Docker is good because it is multi-platform, and you can run Docker on pretty much anything, even different processors, but it would be good if we had a VirtualBox running on it while spinning off containers instead of full virtual machines. 

The other thing that will become important, and I'm pretty sure that they are thinking about it as well is that there's this new hardware platform that Apple is releasing, which is an ARM-based new chip. So, VirtualBox will probably have to work on ARM-based CPUs as well.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for a long time. It was a standalone product before it became an Oracle product.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For my users, it is very stable. We do home automation on it, and it works really well. It has some advanced features like auto restart of the virtual machine. If your virtual machine crashes, or even when you have a power outage and the server comes back up on its own, it spins off the virtual machines automatically. You don't have to do anything about it. It is pretty good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I don't have any impressions on the scalability because I only use it at home, and one of the machines that we have is not so powerful. The other one is a little powerful. So, we can run lots of virtual machines, but we don't run that many.

How are customer service and technical support?

I needed support just once. It was mostly because I decided to do something that I should not have done. One of the machines that we have is a little older, so I decided to use a method to install a newer version of the operating system, which theoretically is not supported on the machine. There are lots of articles on the web where you can patch this and that to make it work. So, I did it, and unfortunately, it broke VirtualBox. I did not reach directly to customer support, but I posted a question in the community, and we agreed that what I did wasn't a good idea.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is pretty straightforward, and anyone can do it as long as you know how to install a particular operating system. You just download the executables from the website and run them. They install VirtualBox, and then you just open it up and point it to the disk where you have your operating system, and it does it really fast.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is pretty good for the price, which is free.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate VirtualBox a nine out of ten. It is really good, and I like it very much. It is definitely not a ten because even though it has lots of support from Oracle itself, it is an open-source product. If you look at the user interface, it is very decent, but it is not the most polished user interface. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
EN
IT Manager at a non-tech company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Enables you to easily create virtual environments and it is simple to use with Linux

Pros and Cons

  • "This is a good and easy solution for running virtual environments."
  • "This should have better support for multiple network cards and some parts of the GUI should be improved."

What is our primary use case?

My main purpose in using this solution is to run Windows machines on top of my Linux servers. I am running a Windows server on top of a Linux machine and then another four machines just to create an environment for our clients so that people can log in. Because they don't find Linux easy to use, I give them windows on top which they find more familiar.

What is most valuable?

The thing is I like is the simplicity in Linux when I'm using the Oracle VirtualBox. In terms of networking, it doesn't need any special configuration, especially when working with Linux. The other thing I like about it is being able to share folders. It makes life very easy to transfer things from one person to another. I don't have to worry about mounting a USB device. You just create a folder and give privileges then I can share information very fast.

What needs improvement?

The product needs better support for multiple network cards. That is the major area that sometimes it can be a bit of a mess to configure multiple network cards to communicate well with each other. That's the major thing for me.

Another thing I've run into is that it would be nice on Oracle if you can use something like a Hyper-V environment. You can just install the environment and then start installing all your virtual machines on top of that. Rather than having to install Windows or Linux when you need them, you just install the VirtualBox. If it can just roll out on its own and had its own hyper vista software — that would be something I've been praying to see from Oracle VirtualBox.

I think also that a challenge I've seen some people have after I convince them to use the product is when they are switching to various views. In some situations, the view switches to a seamless full screen and the menu bar disappears. When this happens they may not know how to switch it back. I don't know if Oracle can put a button on-screen so that when you are in a seamless view or scale view or something like that so those familiar things still fit where you can find them. In fullscreen, you still have the menu, but in some of these screen views that don't have the menu, they could put a visible button that can bring the menu back up. With that, you can easily get back familiar controls and eject your USB or whatever you need to do. If you don't know the shortcuts, it can be difficult to navigate or do even common tasks. They need something else instead of just using keyboard shortcuts.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using VM VirtualBox since it came out around 19 years ago

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Oracle with VirtualBox rarely crashes since about version four onwards. It rarely crashes and rarely hangs. Although — I think it is on version six — sometimes I may take a snapshot and try to revert or even when I try to save a snapshot using Windows XP, sometimes the whole virtual machine crashes. But I am not sure if it is a fault with the software or something else because it only happens with one particular machine.

When you take three or four snapshots and you accumulate snapshots, it is as if at some point the snapshots get a bit mixed up in the machine, especially if you do not shut down. I have been helping some of my friends because they're not ready to move from XP. So I've gotten them to use Oracle VirtualBox for some solutions. One guy's machine crashed because they had been taking snapshot after snapshot. When we tried to restore it, we could not restore the machine back. So it happens, but rarely. But all in all, from Windows 7 downwards, I have not seen any problems with the VirtualBox. I actually love it. It's really stable for me.

I noticed also that if you do not shut it down regularly and you are constantly hibernating or pausing, that can be a really big headache. Sometimes the computer may freeze and you have to go back to the machine's original state.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

So far my needs have been really static. I've not really tried to invest in scalability because my needs are fixed currently, so I do not have too much to say about scalability. But it should not be an issue.

How was the initial setup?

The installation of VirtualBox itself is easy.

What about the implementation team?

All of the implementations I have I did myself.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Right now I am mainly using the free versions of the solutions. I'm not ready to spend a lot because I don't have too many machines. I do not qualify to be charged yet. So I've never worried too much about the pricing because most of my pricing is academic for the machines at school. But even being a school, I have a special agreement with Microsoft.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale of one to ten where ten is the best, I would rate this product as a nine.

I recommend it, especially for people who are beginners because most things they will want to use will virtually be plug-and-play. It's click-and-use. I would recommend it to those people who are beginners. Because most other products, you really need to know a lot of networking and how to use them to maintain them. But with Oracle, it is simple. For most needs where you have to only have a really small network, this will be fine.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Find out what your peers are saying about Oracle, Microsoft, KVM and others in Server Virtualization Software. Updated: October 2021.
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SM
IT Manager at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Easy to use, stable, and reasonably priced

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is very convenient and easy to use."
  • "The solution needs to improve the methods used for starting and stopping the machine."

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use the solution to build a machine and transfer it to vCenter. I also occasionally use it to transform from a VirtualBox machine to an ESXi machine.

What is most valuable?

The solution is very convenient and easy to use.

I tend to use it for personal use, and I also use it for testing the Fortnox platform and it works very well.

The starting and stopping of the machine are much faster than other solutions.

The pricing is reasonable.

What needs improvement?

The solution needs support for the USB 3. 

The solution needs to improve the methods used for starting and stopping the machine.

The product needs to make dramatic changes to the guest machines. For example, they need to improve changing the disks, and the resources used and to make the back and forth transfer to other platforms like Nutanix, VMware, or Microsoft.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for five years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable when you start the machine. We don't experience bugs or glitches. It works quite well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The personal version isn't so scalable. You have to shut down the guest and change the parameters and restart the guests.

How are customer service and technical support?

The solution leverage a passionate user community that is very, very informed. There's lots of documentation within the community that is quite helpful.

I've never actually contacted Oracle directly. I rely on what's online to assist me when I need to troubleshoot something.

I did, however, use the official support for VMware, and I took advantage of insights I could find from their community as well. I found VMware lacks clear documentation for a lot of items, especially if you were integrating with virtual storage other than VMware or Dell.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I've previously worked with VMware and Workstation. In those cases, the starting and stopping of the machine took far too long. Oracle is much faster.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is lower for VirtualBox. It's much cheaper than VMware, for example, which has very high pricing in comparison.

What other advice do I have?

We're just Oracle customers. We don't have any business relationship with the solution.

We're using the latest version of the solution.

While I can recommend the solution for personal use, in a professional context, I've never actually tried it. A company would have to do some research first to ensure it fits their needs.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten overall if I was rating it on personal use alone.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AT
IT Staff; Programmer at a university with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Free to use and easy to set up, but needs to use less memory

Pros and Cons

  • "It's a pretty good product in terms of monitoring."
  • "The memory and hardware usage could be a little bit lighter. Right now, it's quite heavy on the usage. The CPU usage should be lower."

What is our primary use case?

We use VirtualBox for client purposes. It's a legacy software.

What is most valuable?

The fact that it is free is the solution's most valuable aspect.

The management and interface are pretty good. 

It's a pretty good product in terms of monitoring.

Integrations are pretty easy to implement.

What needs improvement?

I would like there to be a web version of the solution, wherein I can access it over my network. It would be ideal if it was more web-based.

The memory and hardware usage could be a little bit lighter. Right now, it's quite heavy on the usage. The CPU usage should be lower.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for more than five years at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. It doesn't have bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is okay, however, it is limited. It's only about 50% as scalable as I expected it to be.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've only ever had minor issues in the past, and, when I did reach out to technical support to get assistance, they were able to help. They seem to be quite knowledgeable and responsive. So far, I am satisfied with the level of service provided to my organization.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex. It's very straightforward.

Deployment only takes a few hours. It's quite a fast process.

We had it on just one server. It wasn't a big deployment.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We use the solution for free. We don't have to pay for licensing.

What other advice do I have?

I'm not sure which version of the solution we are using.

I'd rate the solution seven out of ten.

If you're going to use VirtualBox on a small scale, I would recommend it, especially if you are using it for a legacy application.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ST
Founder at a retailer with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 5
A stable solution with useful Pause and Snapshot features, but we should be able to use Hyper-V Windows subsystems with Linux and VirtualBox on the same instance

What is our primary use case?

I use it for experimenting with different operating systems in user environments. I also use it to have a backup to the Windows so that I can access Windows, and it is up and running. I don't have to worry about building a system from scratch.

What is most valuable?

The pause feature is valuable. I can pause, which is something that not all hypervisors allow. The snapshot feature is also valuable.

What needs improvement?

It would be good if we could use Hyper-V Windows subsystems with Linux and VirtualBox on the same instance. Currently, to be able to use VirtualBox, we have to restart the machine into an instance of Windows where Hyper-V is disabled, which is understandably very inconvenient.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been…

What is our primary use case?

I use it for experimenting with different operating systems in user environments. I also use it to have a backup to the Windows so that I can access Windows, and it is up and running. I don't have to worry about building a system from scratch.

What is most valuable?

The pause feature is valuable. I can pause, which is something that not all hypervisors allow. The snapshot feature is also valuable.

What needs improvement?

It would be good if we could use Hyper-V Windows subsystems with Linux and VirtualBox on the same instance. Currently, to be able to use VirtualBox, we have to restart the machine into an instance of Windows where Hyper-V is disabled, which is understandably very inconvenient.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for more than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. It is more stable than it used to be.

How are customer service and technical support?

I don't have any experience with their technical support.

How was the initial setup?

Its initial setup is straightforward. The duration depends on whether you're using it on Windows or Linux. It takes slightly longer on Windows than Linux.

What about the implementation team?

I deployed it myself. Currently, I am the only user of this solution.

What other advice do I have?

I plan to keep using this solution. I would rate Oracle VM VirtualBox a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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MM
Pr. Scientist at PIEAS
Real User
User-friendly, good documentation, and cost-effective

Pros and Cons

  • "This product is very user-friendly and easy to use."
  • "When I select the Ubuntu operating system from within the virtual machine, it sometimes hangs."

What is most valuable?

This product is very user-friendly and easy to use.

It has a good user manual and it's easy to find information about it.

What needs improvement?

When I select the Ubuntu operating system from within the virtual machine, it sometimes hangs. There are times when I need to reboot the system to resolve the problem. I have 64 gig RAM in my machine, and an i7 processor, so there is no issue as far as memory is concerned.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Oracle VM VirtualBox for approximately six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are not very many bugs in the application.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There are between 15 and 20 students using this product. This is going to be expanding in the future because we are doing several migrations in the environment.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not been in touch with technical support. Since it's open-source, I just downloaded it from the internet and we are using it fine.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This is an open-source product and it can be used free of charge.

What other advice do I have?

This is a product that I suggest to people because it's free of cost, open-source, very user-friendly, and all of the information for the end-user is available in the manual.

In summary, this is a good product but there is always room for improvement.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Vincent Cheng
Sr. Director at LogiCorner Info Tech.
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Allows us to run multiple operating systems at the same time

Pros and Cons

  • "The snapshot feature is very powerful; it protects us from disaster."
  • "The AI and the UI could be improved. The user interface is a little outdated and the AI is not very attractive."

What is our primary use case?

We use Oracle VM VirtualBox in combination with Oracle Database. We also run Tomcat inside VirtualBox.

Within our organization, there are five people using this solution. 

What is most valuable?

The snapshot feature is very powerful; it protects us from disaster. 

What needs improvement?

The AI and the UI could be improved. The user interface is a little outdated and the AI is not very attractive.

Currently, when pilot testing VMs, sometimes we have to test them on the cloud — this is complicated. In the next release, it would be nice if there was a convenient way to migrate the VM images from the local server to the cloud server.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Oracle VM VirtualBox is stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Although we haven't needed to scale out, I'd imagine it's quite scalable. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was quite straightforward. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also evaluated VMware.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution to others. It's easy to use. Everything you need to know can be found with a simple Google search — the whole process. 

Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of eight. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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ITCS user
Manager at a tech vendor with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Simple and quick to install, but the interface could be improved and could be more flexible

What is our primary use case?

We use Oracle VM VirtualBox for testing. Oracle VM VirtualBox is like a virtual machine. it helps to run multiple operating systems.

What needs improvement?

They have to improve the user interface and the installation. Oracle VM VirtualBox is not flexible. It's not like VMware. They could also improve the market position. Customers are more familiar with the VMware brand and prefer to use it. Because they don't push the market a lot, the customers are not aware of Oracle VM VirtualBox, and its capabilities. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Oracle VM VirtualBox for one month.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. We don't have any issues with the technical support.

How was the

What is our primary use case?

We use Oracle VM VirtualBox for testing.

Oracle VM VirtualBox is like a virtual machine.

it helps to run multiple operating systems.

What needs improvement?

They have to improve the user interface and the installation.

Oracle VM VirtualBox is not flexible. It's not like VMware.

They could also improve the market position. Customers are more familiar with the VMware brand and prefer to use it.

Because they don't push the market a lot, the customers are not aware of Oracle VM VirtualBox, and its capabilities. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Oracle VM VirtualBox for one month.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. We don't have any issues with the technical support.

How was the initial setup?

It is easy to install Oracle VM VirtualBox and did not take a lot of time.

For one engineer who has two to three years of experience, it is simple to implement.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

There are no licensing fees.

What other advice do I have?

At this time, I cannot recommend this solution to others.

I would rate Oracle VM VirtualBox a five out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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