I'm looking for a FREE virtual machine server to host windows and linux virtual machines.
I prefer to run it under Linux, without any GUI and control it from a different workstation (that way all the resources are free for the virtual-machines work).

There's anything like that for free? unfortunately there is no budget for stuff like that right now.

Thank you!

asked 12/16/2011 04:18

V4705's gravatar image

V4705 ♦♦

7 Answers:
this is the best:



GlobaLevel's gravatar image


Best is a matter of opinion.

If the best from every perspective were truly virtualbox, VMWare would be out of business.

The big virtualization players are all free.  They are just expensive if you need support.  Hyper-V from Microsoft is free - it's a Type 1 Hypervisor that is managed remotely and can have a third party tool, VTCommander (if memory serves, that's the name) manage directly on the box.  

Otherwise, ESXi is free from VMWare.

answered 2011-12-16 at 12:21:17

leew's gravatar image


XEN is free and is usually included in your distro, and so is KVM. And as leew noted, ESXi is also free, and that, provided it is supported by your hardware, is probably the best when it comes to performance.

VBox on the other hand is a type 2 hypervisor and you won't get anywhere near to the performance of type 1 hypervisors with it.

answered 2011-12-16 at 12:27:44

rindi's gravatar image


Type 1 or Type 2 Hypervisor?

e.g. Bare Metal or not?

answered 2011-12-16 at 12:33:50

hanccocka's gravatar image


Linux Hypervisor Downloads

1. VMware Player 4.0 Free Download (free)

2. VMware Server 2.0.2 Free Download (discontinued and free)

3. Oracle Virtualbox 4.0

4. Xen Hypervisor

5. VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) (no Linux Bare Metal)

answered 2011-12-16 at 12:36:01

hanccocka's gravatar image


> Type 1 or Type 2 Hypervisor?
> e.g. Bare Metal or not?

Essentially.  Check wikipedia for greater details.

answered 2011-12-16 at 12:50:44

leew's gravatar image


VMware Workstation is a Type 2 Hypervisor, other Type 2 Hypervisors include, VMware Server 2, VMware Player 3.0, Virtualbox 4.0, and Parallels.

Type 2 Hypervisors are SLOW.  In most reviews and experience, they perform at roughly 30-40% hardware capability.  That means an OS in a VM run off VMWare Workstation will likely perform at best like it has an 800 MHz CPU if you have 2 GHz physical CPU. You install Type 2 hypervisors onto of an existing host operating system.

If you use a Type 1 Hypervisor, you get MUCH better performance. ESX, ESXi, are all Type 1 hypervisors - they (based on experience and reviews) typically get 80-90% hardware capability - so that same VM run off the same 2 GHz CPU should operate more like it has a 1.6 GHz CPU instead of 800 Mhz. Type 1 hypervisors are installed on the bare metal of the server.

answered 2011-12-16 at 13:20:56

hanccocka's gravatar image


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Asked: 12/16/2011 04:18

Seen: 1945 times

Last updated: 12/17/2011 07:38