5 Best VirtualBox Alternatives On Linux [Guide]

Oracle VM VirtualBox is a popular virtualization tool on the Linux platform for one reason: out of all the virtual machine tools available, it’s one of the easiest to use. The program has an excellent amount of features and is widely available on a lot of  Linux operating systems.  Still, Oracle isn’t exactly a great company, and lots of Linux users have problems with their business practices.

If you’ve been trying to find a VirtualBox replacement on Linux with equivalent features, look no further than this list! Here are the five best VirtualBox alternatives on Linux!

1. Gnome Boxes

Gnome Boxes is the Gnome Project’s attempt at making complex virtualization operations on Linux simple. Many people in the Linux community praise the tool for its quick setup wizard, ability to load up an OS image directly from a URL, and more.

This application is quite useful, even for advanced Linux users with complex needs. The app is quite similar to other virtualization programs on Linux and is quite competitive in features despite its basic appearance.

Notable Features:

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  • Intuitive, easy to understand user interface that lets even complete newbies create and manage virtual machines quickly.
  • Boxes can automatically detect the OS based on what ISO you choose during setup. During the detection process, the program will automatically assign the correct amount of virtual disk space and allocate RAM.
  • Useful “clone” feature lets users instantly make complete copies of existing virtual machines.
  • Gnome Boxes has a compelling search feature that when paired with Gnome Shell can be used to launch VMs directly from the desktop.
  • The Boxes application has a robust command-line user interface that scratches the itch of more advanced VM users.

2. Virtual Machine Manager

If you’re working with virtual machines a lot on VirtualBox for multiple server jobs, the most logical alternative is Virtual Machine Manager.

What is Virtual Machine Manager? It’s a graphical user interface for Libvirt on Linux. It can handle the standard Linux KVM virtual machine, as well as other VM types like Xen and even LXC containers.

The VirtManager tool is excellent, especially for those who use VMs on Linux in the enterprise.

Notable Features:

  • Virtual Machine Manager can interact with KVM, Xen or QEMU style virtual machines.
  • The Virtual Machine Manager application can not only manage VMs locally but remotely too.
  • Even though Virtual Machine Manager is mainly for VMs, it is also possible for users to interact with LXC containers using the same interface.
  • Aside from stellar support for many Linux features (KVM, etc.,) Virtual Machine Manager also can interact with FreeBSD’s bhyve hypervisor technology.
  • Virt-Manager lets users add and remove physical hardware on the fly with a simple user interface.

3. VMWare Workstation Pro

VMWare Workstation Pro is a commercially developed virtualization platform for Linux, Windows, and other OSes. Users must pay for the software, and as a result, it packs in some of the most useful virtualization tools on the market.

This program isn’t free, and to use it you’ll need to pay a pretty penny. However, if free virtualization tools like VirtualBox aren’t enough for you, VirtualBox may be the answer.

Notable Features:

  • VMWare Workstation has a stellar networking editor tool that lets users customize how their VMs interact with networks and each other.
  • The “scan for virtual machines” wizard makes setting up pre-configured VM appliances refreshingly simple.
  • VMWare works with both remote and local VMs, on a variety of hypervisors.
  • The program has an excellent set of easy to access ESXi Host options (which improves in variety with each release), and makes dealing with VMWare ESXi servers dead simple.
  • VMWare Workstation Pro has one of the best snapshot systems in virtualization. With it, users can create and revert to a snapshot in an instant, without too much downtime.
  • Users can quickly test and share virtual machines in a “simulated production” environment.
  • VMWare virtual machines are in one standard format and ecosystem. Having a single ecosystem enables users to run VM appliances on Linux, Mac and Windows hosts with little effort.

4. UCS Virtual Machine Manager

UCS Virtual Machine Manager is a Linux VM management tool for Linux, which specializes in working with cloud VMs, clusters, and other enterprise-level virtual systems.

The software is free and open source, and though its primary target is the enterprise, average users can take advantage of it for things like Amazon Private cloud, etc.

Notable Features:

  • Out of the box support for cloud hosts like Amazon EC2 and OpenStack.
  • UCS supports private clouds via Amazon AWS.
  • UCS Virtual Machine Manager has it’s own unique Linux distribution that is crafted to run in clusters and UCS style VMs.
  • The tool has a web-based management center which makes managing VMs anywhere very easy.
  • Managing virtual machines is done through Libvirt and KVM, ensuring that nearly every Linux distribution has excellent support.
  • UCS has support for paravirtualization, which uses hardware much more efficiently.
  • Users can quickly migrate running instances from server to server very quickly.

5. AQEMU

AQEMU is a slick GUI tool for kernel-based virtual machines on Linux and BSD. It is written with Qt4 and allows users to create VMs for many different operating systems very quickly.

While it’s not anyone’s first choice in the “easy to use” section of virtualization tools on Linux, AQEMU is still an excellent alternative to VirtualBox due to how much it lets users customize and configure their VMs.

Notable Features:

  • AQEMU has a useful folder sharing feature that makes accessing directories on the host OS quick and easy.
  • With AQEMU, users can add/remove devices from any VM on the fly, thanks to the Device Manager feature.
  • The HDD image creation tool can also convert images to other formats.

Conclusion

VirtualBox is an excellent tool for virtualization on Linux, but it’s not the only choice. If you’re trying to get away from Oracle, the alternatives on this list are sure to satisfy your virtualization needs. Be sure to click on the links to learn how to get them for your Linux operating system!

5 Best VirtualBox Alternatives On Linux [Guide]
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