What Is The Biggest Difference Between KVM And Oracle VM VirtualBox?


One of the most popular comparisons on IT Central Station is KVM vs Oracle VM VirtualBox.

People like you are trying to decide which one is best for their company. Can you help them out?

What is the biggest difference between KVM and Oracle VM VirtualBox? Which of these two solutions would you recommend to a colleague evaluating server virtualization software and why?

Thanks for helping your peers make the best decision!

ITCS user
66 Answers

author avatar
Real 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) .

author avatar

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.

author avatar

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.

author avatar

Oracle VM Virtualbox is personal Virtualization Solutions
If you want OS Virtualization is good. But not Enterprise Virtualization Solutions
Oracle Virtualibox have some Constraints on network functions. Etc...

KVM is Opensource Virtualization Solutions, No have limit functions about Virtualization
You can choice 2 version KVM
choice 1 is opensource KVM
choice 2 is KVM Enterprise Virtualization ( Name is RHV)

If you want personality Virtualization solutions? you can choice Oracle VM Vritualbox or KVM
but If you want development and main product solutions? I recommend KVM or RHV

author avatar

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.

author avatar
Top 5Real 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 .

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