Everything You Need to Know About Virtual Machines

Virtual machines allow us to simultaneously use multiple operating systems on a single computer. In this article we will get acquainted with these machines.

Virtual Machines (Vms) allow you to set up other operating systems on your current operating system.

A virtual operating system runs like a program on a computer’s main operating system.

This feature is desirable to test other operating systems such as Windows 10 or Linux operating systems.

The virtual machine is also used to run software that is not designed for the main operating system of the computer.

For example, you can run Windows applications on a Mac with the help of a virtual machine.

Are you interested in working with virtual machines? You do not need to pay for this. There are many virtual machines provided with great power.

Virtual Machine

What is a virtual machine?

A virtual machine is a program or software running as a virtual computer. This machine runs on the host or main operating system and prepares virtual hardware for guest operating systems.

A guest operating system, like any other program on the main operating system, runs in a separate window. From the perspective of the guest operating system, the virtual machine is a real computer.

Virtual machine virtualization software, called hypervisor, employs virtual hardware including processor, memory, hard drive, network interface and other devices.

Virtual hardware tools are provided with the help of the hypervisor map for the actual hardware on the computer.
For example, a virtual hard disk is stored on a file on a computer’s hard drive.

You can install multiple virtual machines on a system. The only limitation in their number is the amount of space you have to install.

When you have installed multiple operating systems, you can choose one of them to boot by opening a virtual machine.

The virtual operating system starts up and runs in a separate window. Of course, it can be run as full-screen as possible.

vmware player virtual machine

Practical applications for the virtual machine

The virtual machine has a variety of common uses:

Test new version of the operating system

You can run Windows 10 before the Windows 7 update, with the help of the virtual machine on Windows 7 and try it out.

Experience the space of other operating systems

Installing multiple versions of Linux in a virtual machine allows you to work with all of them and learn how to work.

Use of software that requires an older operating system

If you have an app that only runs on Windows XP, the problem is fixed by installing Windows XP on the virtual machine and running the program.

The virtual machine provides an environment where you can actually use software that only works on Windows XP without installing Windows XP on your computer.

Particularly since Windows XP has no longer received support from Microsoft, this issue has become important.

Run software designed for another operating system

Mac and Linux users can set up Windows in a virtual machine so that they can easily use Windows software.

Unfortunately, we’re having trouble running games. 3D games with heavy volumes in the virtual machine do not run as smoothly as Windows.

Testing software on various platforms

To test the functionality of a particular software on different platforms, with the help of a virtual machine, you can install it on several platforms and try it out.

virtul machine

Server integration

For businesses that use multiple servers, you can run multiple servers on a single computer in a few virtual machines.

Each virtual machine is a completely separate server; therefore, it does not find a security problem that usually involves running different servers on the operating system.

Virtual machines also have the ability to switch between physical servers.

Recommended software for virtual machine

VirtualBox is an open source virtual machine running on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.

One of its best features is the lack of a commercial version. That means all the advanced features like taking snapshot are also for free.

This feature is suitable for storing a particular position and mode of the virtual machine and returning it to the future for testing.

Vmware Player is another well-known program for virtual machines in Windows and Linux.

Vmware Player is a free counterpart to the Vmware Workstation software. So it does not include the advanced features that VirtualBox gives us.

However, both of these software programs are programs that provide some basic features for free. If you’re not comfortable with one, try another one.

Run an operating system in a virtual machine

To install an operating system on a virtual machine, you will need to install the operating system. Creating a CD for Windows 10 makes it easy to work.

You can also use an ISO ISO file that is often use to install Linux.

Virtual machine applications provide simple and functional wizards that guide you through the steps to create a virtual machine and install a guest operating system.

Virtual machines are not limit to desktop operating systems, even on Android, you can run Vidoz 10 virtual machines.

Have you ever had the experience of working with virtual machines? In the comments section, you can share your experiences with us and readers.

What are the types of virtual machines?

virtual machinesYou can classify virtual machines into two types. The first one, called a system virtual machine, mimics all the components and processes of a real computer. It allows you to use a single server as different machines and you can even run multiple operating systems on it.

The second type is called a process virtual machine, and it is used to run only a single application or process. This virtual machine doesn’t exist when the application is not in use. This type of virtual machine is mainly used to run a single program that’s incompatible with the underlying operating system.

What is the use of VMs?

virtual machines

VMs are useful for experimenting with different operating systems and applications without having to install them on your physical hardware.

For example, you can try a new Linux distribution on your operating system to check out its look and feel. Once you’re done experimenting, you can delete this VM and continue with the operating system on your host machine.

This flexibility is what makes VMs so popular. In fact, it’s not just restricted to operating systems. You can use it to create a test environment for a specific set of users, too, and once they’re done, you can delete them.

Another advantage is whatever you do inside of a VM is sandboxed from the rest of the system. This way, you can test different apps and systems to see what they do without worrying about them affecting your physical system.

Lastly, you can use VMs to run software that are not otherwise supported by your host’s operating system. A good example would be running Windows XP or other old applications that are no longer supported by existing operating systems.

How can I set up a VM?

virtual machines

Setting up a VM is fairly easy. Here are the steps. Though these instructions are based on VirtualBox, it’s pretty much the same for other VM apps, too.

  • Open your VM app and click on a link or button for creating a new VM.
  • This will open a wizard. Simply follow through the instructions on it. Sometimes, the default values appear, especially when you choose operating systems. So, make sure you change the values you want.
  • First off, ensure that the name and version are right.
  • The wizard will next prompt you to create a virtual database. You can skip this option if you already have a virtual disk you want to use.
  • Next, you’ll have the choice to create a dynamically allocated or a fixed-size disk.
  • In the next step, choose the size of your disk. You can go with the defaults or customize it for your needs.
  • Finally, when you click the “Create” button, your virtual hard disk is created.
  • After this, you’ll see the main app window. If you have multiple VMs, choose the one you want and hit the “Start” button.

That’s it. Your VM is set up and ready to use.


Virtual machines have been exploding in popularity for a number of reasons. Have you taken the plunge into the virtual world? If you haven’t — or even if you have — this guide can give you both knowledge and ideas.

What is a virtual machine?

Virtual machines (VMs) are guest operating systems or application environments that run on a physical machine called the host, but give you the perception that you’re connected to a different physical box.

For example, let’s say you have a Windows and a Linux operating system installed on the same physical computer. When you use the Windows OS, it gives you a different look and feel compared to the Linux one. You can’t see your Windows documents in your Linux and vice-versa. This gives you a perception that each OS is connected to a different computer when in reality they are connected to the same box.

Likewise, you can use the same physical machine for both your production and test environments, so what you do in the test environment doesn’t affect your data or application in the production environment.

This differentiation is achieved through virtualization software that imitates a dedicated hardware to ensure that your experience on a virtual machine is the same as that on a dedicated server.

Do virtual machines need any specific hardware?

Though virtual machines don’t need any specific hardware, they nevertheless require a lot more bandwidth and processing capacity than a traditional one.

What are the types of virtual machines?

virtual machinesYou can classify virtual machines into two types. The first one, called a system virtual machine, mimics all the components and processes of a real computer. It allows you to use a single server as different machines and you can even run multiple operating systems on it.

The second type is called a process virtual machine, and it is used to run only a single application or process. This virtual machine doesn’t exist when the application is not in use. This type of virtual machine is mainly used to run a single program that’s incompatible with the underlying operating system.

What is the best way to scale a virtualization setup?

The most cost-effective way to scale up an existing virtualization system is by adding some extra memory. This will allow you to run more machines concurrently and at the same time, will improve the overall performance.

Let’s look at an example. Say your virtual machines are running on a 32-bit Microsoft Virtual Server. So, VMs are restricted to about 3.6GB of physical memory. When you increase the memory, subject to the amount that’s supported by the host’s operating system, you can increase the memory of each VM. In turn, this will lead to better performance.

You even have the choice to add more VMs when you have extra memory.

How can I back up my virtual machine?

Use tools like Windows Backup to create backup files and copy them to a host computer or any other external device. Alternately, use a cloud backup service that supports VMs to store your data on the cloud. You’ll most likely have to install third-party software like a cloud client to back up your files on the cloud.

If you want to back up the entire VM, keep the VM in saved state, copy all the related files, and resume it again. You can also automate it using Virtual Server COM API.

Is there a limit to the number of VMs I can install?

The number of VMs you can install is limited only by your system’s resources. Since each VM requires a certain amount of CPU, RAM, memory, and other resources, your physical system’s configuration determines the number of VMs you can install on it.

However, remember virtualization adds some overhead to your system, so it may be slower than what you may experience on real hardware. For this reason, it’s not a good idea to install multiple apps or games that demand a ton of resources.

What is the use of VMs?

virtual machines

VMs are useful for experimenting with different operating systems and applications without having to install them on your physical hardware.

For example, you can try a new Linux distribution on your operating system to check out its look and feel. Once you’re done experimenting, you can delete this VM and continue with the operating system on your host machine.

This flexibility is what makes VMs so popular. In fact, it’s not just restricted to operating systems. You can use it to create a test environment for a specific set of users, too, and once they’re done, you can delete them.

Another advantage is whatever you do inside of a VM is sandboxed from the rest of the system. This way, you can test different apps and systems to see what they do without worrying about them affecting your physical system.

Lastly, you can use VMs to run software that are not otherwise supported by your host’s operating system. A good example would be running Windows XP or other old applications that are no longer supported by existing operating systems.

What’s the difference between a dynamically allocated and fixed-size disk?

In a fixed-size you allocate a certain amount of space for a VM, and this space is locked regardless of how much of the allotted space you use. On the other hand, a dynamically allocated disk adjusts according to your requirements. This doesn’t mean the disk will expand forever, rather you set the upper limit and this disk will expand as you use until it reaches the specified limit.

Setting this upper limit is important to ensure that one VM doesn’t use up all the space in your system.

In terms of performance, fixed-size disks are better and you’ll also know how much disk space you’ve used.

How can I set up a VM?

virtual machines

Setting up a VM is fairly easy. Here are the steps. Though these instructions are based on VirtualBox, it’s pretty much the same for other VM apps, too.

  • Open your VM app and click on a link or button for creating a new VM.
  • This will open a wizard. Simply follow through the instructions on it. Sometimes, the default values appear, especially when you choose operating systems. So, make sure you change the values you want.
  • First off, ensure that the name and version are right.
  • The wizard will next prompt you to create a virtual database. You can skip this option if you already have a virtual disk you want to use.
  • Next, you’ll have the choice to create a dynamically allocated or a fixed-size disk.
  • In the next step, choose the size of your disk. You can go with the defaults or customize it for your needs.
  • Finally, when you click the “Create” button, your virtual hard disk is created.
  • After this, you’ll see the main app window. If you have multiple VMs, choose the one you want and hit the “Start” button.

That’s it. Your VM is set up and ready to use.

Can my virtual machine access my computer’s files?

By default, no. Your virtual machine is an isolated container that will have no access to your computer’s file system.

But you can allow a virtual machine to access your computer’s files by setting up shared folders in your VM app. This way, the guest operating system accesses a folder just like how it would access a shared folder on a network.

How can I migrate a VM?

You can migrate a VM using the software’s migrate function.

  • Choose the VM you want to migrate.
  • Click on the migrate option to begin the process.
  • Choose the destination host computer (the one you want to migrate to). The software will also give you a list of choices based on compatibility. You can select from one of these choices, if you’re unsure of your destination computer.
  • If your virtual software has a drag-and-drop feature, use it to move your VM folders to the destination computer.

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