Top 10 virtualization software for Linux [2023]

Virtualization software is popular because of its use cases and benefits. You can try, test or run a program that requires a specific version of the operating system.

Virtualization provides an abstract concept of computer hardware to help you create virtual machines (VMs), networking, storage, and more. Benefits include solitude, security, and the freedom to test things to your heart’s content.

Different types of virtualization software cater to the needs of desktop users, server administrators, and organizations.

While I’m listing all kinds of virtualization software, I mention who it’s intended for.

1. VirtualBox

VirtualBox running Ubuntu

virtualbox It is the top-rated open source virtual machine software for Linux, Windows, and macOS.

It is suitable for all kinds of users, whether you are just someone who wants to Run Linux on a virtual machinea professional who wants to build a virtual machine for testing or an organization that needs a VM solution.

You can consider it an all-in-one solution for most users. Although it is primarily suitable for desktop use, you can try headless mode to run a virtual machine as a remote desktop server by exploring documentation.

the main points:

  • Supports a wide range of guest operating systems
  • Simple user interface and fast performance
  • Updated regularly
  • Feature rich

2. OpenVZ


Do you want to create isolated Linux containers on servers? OpenVZ Must help.

You can create containers that behave like a standalone server. Containers contain all the essential functions to help you manage them efficiently.

Containers only run on Linux because OpenVZ is built and distributed as a Linux distribution.

OpenVZ is an excellent choice for new users learning to work with containers given that it is easy to configure and manage. In addition, OpenVZ powered VPS hosting is much more affordable compared to some others.

the main points:

  • Resource efficiency
  • Easy to use and manage

3. KVM

Kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) is built into Linux, which is its biggest advantage. You can run VMs out of the box on Linux with KVM. that it The first kind Any hardware based.

KVM turns a Linux host into a hypervisor to run virtual machines with bare metal-like performance.

Unlike OpenVZ, KVM is highly customizable and built into Linux without the need to install separately. Considering that KVM provides hardware-level virtualization with the help of hypervisor, it needs relatively more memory and other system resources.

You can create guest/virtual machines for different operating systems with KVM. To set it up, you can explore it Official Ubuntu blog post On KVM installation.

the main points:

  • Highly customizable and complex to setup
  • Cache with Linux


a Hypervisor It is software that creates and runs virtual machines (VMs).

4. Gnome Boxes


the main points:

  • Modern user experience
  • Simple and easy to use

GNOME Boxes is the simplest virtualizer for users looking to download test distributions as fast as possible.

Compared to some other solutions, GNOME Boxes may not have all kinds of features but the basics. The user experience is simple and beginner friendly.

5. VMware Workstation (NOT FOSS)

vmware on linux

the main points

  • Butler and Enterprise offerings
  • easy to use
  • Premium version with more features

VMware It is incredibly popular virtual machine software for Linux, Windows and macOS.

While it is a proprietary solution, it is one of the industry leading options used by both personal and enterprise users. There are many other offerings by VMware related to cloud computing.

So, if you want desktop virtualization software, VMware Workstation Player can be a good choice for you. For others, there are plenty of other versions for server and cloud providers.

6. Zen

beautiful It is one of the oldest virtualization software used by Amazon and Red Hat. While most have switched to using KVM over Xen, it is still an option for cloud infrastructure.

Yes, Xen is designed to use more server than desktop virtualization. It supports Linux, Windows and FreeBSD.

the main points:

  • Designed for server infrastructure
  • Supports semi-virtualization (which others don’t)

7. OVirt


Overt It is an excellent open source solution for communities and organizations looking for a server architecture management tool. It is a management tool that uses KVM.

You get a rich web-based user interface to manage everything in it, hosts, storage, and network configuration. It also supports direct migration of virtual machines for convenience.

Since it does not support the Windows platform, it is designed to work with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and CentOS Linux.

the main points:

  • Enterprise focused
  • It uses KVM Hypervisor
  • Distributed virtualization solution
  • Not suitable for beginners

8. Proxmox


proxmox It is another open source virtualization platform designed for businesses.

You need to have a subscription to receive software updates and technical assistance. Depending on your requirements, you can choose one of them. Not only are they virtualization platforms, but they also offer email backup and security solutions if you plan to explore your enterprise infrastructure.

the main points:

  • Easy to setup
  • Well documented



QEMU It is a beautiful virtual machine program (and emulator) available across multiple platforms.

It supports a wide range of hardware architectures and guest operating systems. You can pair it with KVM to run virtual machines that work well because KVM is a hardware-level virtualization tool, and QEMU is a software-level virtualization tool.

Technically speaking, QEMU is Type 2 Hypervisor.

If you want a tool that uses QEMU at its core and makes it easy for beginners to create virtual machines, you can explore quick qui.

the main points:

  • Wide range of OS support
  • Provides flexibility without being dependent on your hardware

10. Hyper-V


Hyper-V It is a hypervisor that comes with the Microsoft Windows operating system.

Although it is not for Linux, it supports running Linux as a guest operating system. You can run distros like Kali Linux and Ubuntu using Hyper-V on Windows.

There are some feature differences with Hyper-V on the Windows desktop and server edition. Therefore, you may want to review the Official documents depending on your use case.

the main points:

  • Available for Windows as a Type 1 monitor
  • Fast performance
  • Supports Windows and Linux operating systems
  • Works for desktop and server users

Virtualization was a concept that started to advance a decade ago. Now almost every computer-savvy person knows it.

The software available for facilitation is easy to use and offers features that make things simple for professionals and home users. For the most part, solutions like VirtualBox, GNOME Boxes, and VMware should be the choice for new users.

If you are an enterprise or a technician, you can look for other options according to your requirements.

💬 What is your favorite virtualization software to run on Linux? Would you prefer to use hypervisors instead of Linux or another host operating system? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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