VirtualBox 3 vs Vmware Workstation 6.5.2

By Pratik Shivarkar | Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

A Head to Head comparison between VirtualBox 3 and Vmware Workstation / Player 6.5.2 Features and Benchmarks.

VirtualBox Version – 3.0.2
Vmware Workstation Version – 6.5.2
Vmware Player Version – 2.5.2 (Vmware Workstation 6.5.2 Compatible)
Guest OS Specifications – ( Same for Both Installations )
CPU – 1 [1.86GHz]
RAM – 512 MB
Video Memory – 128 MB
Comparison – VirtualBox 3 vs VMware Workstation 6.5.2
Advanced Yes + Advance
Yes Yes
No No

VirtualBox 3 Vmware Workstation 6.5.2
Cross-Platform YesAdvanced Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, FreeBSD, OpenSolaris Yes Windows, Linux, Mac OS X
64bit guest OS ( Using CPU Virtualization Support ) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Intel VT-x and AMD-V Support Yes Yes Yes Yes
USB 2.0 support Yes Yes Yes Yes
Serial ports Yes Yes Yes Yes
Parallel ports No No Yes Yes
Support for other hard disk image format Yes Supports .vmdk Yes Does not support .vdi
Convert physical into virtual machines and import virtual machine formats from Microsoft, Symantec, Storage­Craft, and Acronis
Use of Physical / Actual Disk or Partition Yes Have to do it from CLI YesAdvanced Can be done using GUI
Network Management Yes Good YesAdvanced Better on Linux Hosts + Virtual Switches, Network Teams
Snapshots Yes Yes Yes Yes
Memory Yes 2560 MB of 4GB Physical ( Depends on Physical Memory Available, Halts on allocating more than 50% of Physical Memory ) YesAdvanced 8GB Per Machine ( However I never tried this much )
Virtual CPUs YesAdvanced 32 CPUs ( Performance decreases if allocated more than physical cores available ) Yes 2
Remote VM access Yes Integrated RDP YesAdvanced Integrated VNC Server and Web Appliance
Desktop Integration Yes Seamless – Not Perfect with Linux YesAdvanced Unity – Works perfect
API YesAdvanced Scriptable Yes Basic
Clipboard YesBidirectional YesAdvancedBidirectional + File Drag n Drop Copy
Shared Folder Yes Yes Yes Yes
Audio YesAdvanced Better on Linux hosts ( Supports Pulse audio, can have multiple sound output ) Yes May block your sound device on host OS
Paravirtual Kernel Support No No Yes Yes (VMI 3.0)
Software Emulation Speed ( 1MB Digit of PI calculated in ) YesAdvanced Fast – 30 Seconds Yes Fast – 32 Seconds
Image Capture and Recording No No Yes Yes
Open Source Yes Yes No Only VMware Player (Modified)
Free Yes Yes No Only VMware Player
Size ( Wont matter that much ) Yes Lightweight No Heavyweight
Video and 3D (OpenGL/Direct 3D) Acceleration YesCompared Separately YesCompared Separately
Video and 3D Acceleration Features Comparison -

VirtualBox 3.0 Vmware Workstation 6.5.2
DirectX 9c ( Shader 2.0 ) Yes Yes (Experimental) YesAdvanced Yes (Works Seamless)
OpenGL Yes 2.0
Yes 1.1

Performance Yes ( Faster but buggy )

YesAdvanced ( Slow but Perfect )
Video Memory YesAdvanced Flexible 6-128 MB Yes Fixed 128 MB
Conclusion -
So which one is the best?
Actually none or both …… Both have their own Advantages and Disadvantages.
VirtualBox 3 is quite Faster, Easy to get, Free, Easy to setup but lacks some mission critical features.
(Compiled/Modified versions can be buggy too, OSE Version lacks some features)
If you want to deal with Applications dealing with 3D rendering, make sure they have supported to run on OpenGL natively
( Google Earth can be run on OpenGL, or Even some games like Counter Strike: Source support OpenGL Rendering )
VirtualBox 3 supports PulseAudio which good for Linux hosts. allowing both Guest and Host to use it. (Vmware will block the host device)
On the other hand….
Vmware Player is free, You can get pre-configured machine from (Workstation trial) and run it under Vmware Player
Vmware is definitely reliable while using Direct 3D Acceleration. but not OpenGL. ( As you can see this in Results )
With Vmware Network configuration is quite easier and less complicated on Linux host. and also better with handling USB devices

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