Laravel Homestead vs VirtualBox: What are the differences?
Developers describe Laravel Homestead as "The official Laravel local development environment (Vagrant box)". Laravel Homestead is an official, pre-packaged Vagrant "box" that provides you a wonderful development environment without requiring you to install PHP, HHVM, a web server, and any other server software on your local machine. Homestead runs on any Windows, Mac, or Linux system, and includes the Nginx web server, PHP 5.6, MySQL, Postgres, Redis, Memcached, and all of the other goodies you need to develop amazing Laravel applications. On the other hand, VirtualBox is detailed as "Run nearly any operating system on a single machine and to freely switch between OS instances running simultaneously". VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers, it is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2.
Laravel Homestead belongs to "Virtual Machine" category of the tech stack, while VirtualBox can be primarily classified under "Virtualization Platform".
Some of the features offered by Laravel Homestead are:
- Ubuntu 14.04
- PHP 5.6
On the other hand, VirtualBox provides the following key features:
- No hardware virtualization required
- Guest Additions: shared folders, seamless windows, 3D virtualization
"Easy to setup" is the primary reason why developers consider Laravel Homestead over the competitors, whereas "Free" was stated as the key factor in picking VirtualBox.
Laravel Homestead is an open source tool with 3.14K GitHub stars and 1.32K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Laravel Homestead's open source repository on GitHub.
Lyft, Coursera, and Typeform are some of the popular companies that use VirtualBox, whereas Laravel Homestead is used by Timekit, Pitcherific, and HigherMe. VirtualBox has a broader approval, being mentioned in 724 company stacks & 977 developers stacks; compared to Laravel Homestead, which is listed in 21 company stacks and 24 developer stacks.