When you want to implement virtual machines, it is necessary first of all to choose the type of hypervisor to use, either type 1 or type 2, remember that the main difference between these two types, is that type 1 interacts directly with the hardware and also acts as “operating system” instead, type 2 are those that you may have already used, are those that run as an “application” within the host operating system, an example of this type of hypervisor is Oracle VM VirtualBox and those of VMware.
Starting from this, we will see the main differences between these two type 2 hypervisors previously named, but first we must understand something, “VMware” is the company, not the hypervisor and, the VMware company has as such, two type 2 hypervisors which are, VMware Workstation Player and VMware Workstation Pro.
In this case, we will compare Oracle VM VirtualBox with VMware Workstation Player, since this is the “free” version of VMware due to the fact that VMware Workstation pro is paid and is one of the most complete type 2 hypervisors currently available.
On the other hand, the type 2 hypervisor that most people use referring to it as “VirtualBox” is really called Oracle VM VirtualBox, but, in order not to complicate our lives, we are going to say “VirtualBox”, but know that we are talking about Oracle VM VirtualBox, since there is another edition of VirtualBox called Oracle VM VirtualBox Enterprise, which is oriented to companies and, if it is paid.
Differences between VirtualBox and VMware Workstation Player
The main difference, and why most users prefer VirtualBox over VMware Workstation Player, is that in VirtualBox we can run as many virtual machines as we want simultaneously (as long as the hardware resources allow it), whereas in VMware Workstation Player this is not possible, since it only allows us to run one virtual machine at a time.
Next, VirtualBox allows us to take snapshots of all the virtual machines created, while the VMware Workstation Player edition does not.
Also, if we talk in terms of licensing, you should know that Oracle VM VirtualBox has the GPLv2 license, although, the extension package to add additional functionality to the hypervisor, has the license they call “PUEL” which stands for Personal Use and Evaluation License and, as we can read, Now, VMware Workstation Player, has a license similar to the previous one named because it allows us to use the hypervisor only if it is for personal or educational use, not commercial, if we want to make a commercial use, we must purchase a license of VMware Workstation Pro.
Finally, if we talk about performance, VMware Workstation Player provides us with a much more optimal performance in the execution of the virtual machine than VirtualBox.
In conclusion, we must understand that, for starters, both hypervisors are fine, although if you are looking for a solution that offers more features and is free, we recommend VirtualBox, because it allows us to do many more actions and work more comfortably with virtual machines than VMware Workstation Player, although the decision of which hypervisor to use will always be yours, always work with the one that makes you feel more comfortable, this way you will be more efficient and enjoy the process even more.