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Virtualization Software for Linux

Jul 17, 2010, 19:05 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jun Auza)

VirtualBox is currently my favorite virtualization software and used it mainly for trying different Linux distributions, testing codes, and running Windows as guest operating system on my Ubuntu workstation. Some of its supported guest OS are BSDs, OS/2 Warp, Windows, Solaris, Haiku, Syllable, ReactOS and SkyOS. VirtualBox supports hardware virtualization for both the Intel VT-x and the AMD AMD-V extensions. Hard disks are emulated in one of three disk image formats: VirtualBox Virtual Disk Image (VDI); VMware Virtual Machine Disk Format (VMDK); and Microsoft Virtual PC VHD format. This means that a VirtualBox virtual machine can use disks that were created in VMware or Microsoft Virtual PC aside from its own native disk format.

Xen is a hypervisor that supports x86-64, Itanium, PowerPC 970, and IA-32 architectures. It can run a number of guest operating systems on a single computer hardware simultaneously. Xen utilizes a form of virtualization known as paravirtualization, which means guests run a modified operating system using a special hypercall ABI in place of specific architectural features. Because of this, Xen can achieve high performance even on x86 host architecture that is known to have an issue with traditional virtualization procedures.

Based on the Linux kernel and operating system, OpenVZ is an operating system-level virtualization technology."

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