Review: VirtualBox 5.0 vs. VMware Workstation 11

VirtualBox 5.0's new features add ease and flexibility, but VMware Workstation 11 leads in performance and convenience

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Oracle VirtualBox and VMware Workstation have been duking it out for several years now. VirtualBox occupies the “free and open source” corner of the ring, while VMware Workstation is a proprietary commercial application. For the price, Workstation has generally led in features and performance, while also providing close integrations with the rest of the VMware virtualization line.

Fundamentally, though, the two products are quite similar. Both run on Windows or Linux hosts, and both support a broad range of Windows, Linux, and Unix guests. (VirtualBox also runs on OS X, whereas VMware offers Fusion for Macs.) Both VirtualBox and Workstation let you create large VMs and complex virtual networks. Both let you take as many snapshots of VMs as you can store, and they give you a graphical timeline to navigate among them. Both support linked clones, which base copies of VMs on snapshots to save disk space.

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