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Qemu vs VirtualBox: What are the differences?

What is Qemu? A generic and open source machine emulator and virtualizer. When used as a machine emulator, it can run OSes and programs made for one machine (e.g. an ARM board) on a different machine (e.g. your own PC). By using dynamic translation, it achieves very good performance When used as a virtualizer, it achieves near native performance by executing the guest code directly on the host CPU. it supports virtualization when executing under the Xen hypervisor or using the KVM kernel module in Linux. When using KVM, it can virtualize x86, server and embedded PowerPC, 64-bit POWER, S390, 32-bit and 64-bit ARM, and MIPS guests..

What is VirtualBox? 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.

Qemu and VirtualBox belong to "Virtualization Platform" category of the tech stack.

Some of the features offered by Qemu are:

  • machine emulator and virtualizer

- dynamic translation

On the other hand, VirtualBox provides the following key features:

  • Portability
  • No hardware virtualization required
  • Guest Additions: shared folders, seamless windows, 3D virtualization

According to the StackShare community, VirtualBox has a broader approval, being mentioned in 981 company stacks & 6172 developers stacks; compared to Qemu, which is listed in 4 company stacks and 6 developer stacks.

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- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Qemu?

When used as a machine emulator, it can run OSes and programs made for one machine (e.g. an ARM board) on a different machine (e.g. your own PC). By using dynamic translation, it achieves very good performance. When used as a virtualizer, it achieves near native performance by executing the guest code directly on the host CPU. it supports virtualization when executing under the Xen hypervisor or using the KVM kernel module in Linux. When using KVM, it can virtualize x86, server and embedded PowerPC, 64-bit POWER, S390, 32-bit and 64-bit ARM, and MIPS guests.

What is VirtualBox?

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.
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Why do developers choose Qemu?
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        What are some alternatives to Qemu and VirtualBox?
        KVM
        KVM (for Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is a full virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions (Intel VT or AMD-V).
        VMware vSphere
        vSphere is the world’s leading server virtualization platform. Run fewer servers and reduce capital and operating costs using VMware vSphere to build a cloud computing infrastructure.
        Proxmox VE
        It is a complete open-source platform for all-inclusive enterprise virtualization that tightly integrates KVM hypervisor and LXC containers, software-defined storage and networking functionality on a single platform, and easily manages high availability clusters and disaster recovery tools with the built-in web management interface.
        VMware Fusion
        It gives Mac users the power to run Windows on Mac along with hundreds of other operating systems side by side with Mac applications, without rebooting. It is simple enough for home users and powerful enough for IT professionals, developers and businesses.
        Parallels Desktop
        Parallels Desktop for Mac allows you to seamlessly run both Windows and MacOS applications side-by-side with speed, control and confidence.
        See all alternatives
        Decisions about Qemu and VirtualBox
        No stack decisions found
        Interest over time
        Reviews of Qemu and VirtualBox
        Avatar of SauloNunes
        Business Analyst with skills in FullStack Development Desktop Web and Mobile at LeanWork
        Review ofVirtualBoxVirtualBox

        Sometimes you will need to customize your virtualbox and you can easily add virtualbox commands inside your vagrantfile

        Example of USB connection Share Between Host and VM

        #Use $VBoxManage list usbhost To list Usb Ports and Get Your Device VENDORID and PRODUCTID
        
        v.customize ["modifyvm", :id, "--usb", "on"]
        
        v.customize ['usbfilter', 'add', '0', '--target', :id, '--name', 'ESP', '--vendorid', '0x22b8', '--productid', '0x2e76']
        
        How developers use Qemu and VirtualBox
        Avatar of Ana Phi Sancho
        Ana Phi Sancho uses VirtualBoxVirtualBox

        Network and security programs. install and run multiple operating systems. Good to understand computer networks - internet and multiple services, such as the world wide web; and the opportunities they offer for communication (combine a variety of software and services)

        Avatar of Dynamictivity
        Dynamictivity uses VirtualBoxVirtualBox

        We use Virtualbox in combination with Vagrant during development to ensure a consistent test/development environment. This helps to reduce the number of defects when our software goes to production.

        Avatar of Cyrus Stoller
        Cyrus Stoller uses VirtualBoxVirtualBox

        For running a VM locally with Vagrant. It can be a little irritable, but it's open source and free, so I'm not complaining. I would probably use VMWare, but I don't want to pay for it right now.

        Avatar of davidk01
        davidk01 uses VirtualBoxVirtualBox

        Virtualbox is managed by Vagrant and it sets up a local development environment so that anyone can test their changes before pushing the changes upstream.

        Avatar of Tim De Lange
        Tim De Lange uses VirtualBoxVirtualBox

        Development test boxes. I dont like virtualbox that much - but for a while it was the only free vmware alternative.

        How much does Qemu cost?
        How much does VirtualBox cost?
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