10 Best VMware Alternatives and Similar Software

Best VMware Alternatives

VMware allows you to run different operating systems as virtual machines on a single computer, including Windows VMs. There are, however, a plethora of cheaper VMware alternatives for a range of systems, including Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, and BSD.

What is VMware?

What is VMware?

VMware is a software company located in Palo Alto that specializes in virtualization and cloud computing. VMware is currently a Dell Technologies subsidiary, having been founded in 1998. The ESX/ESXi bare-metal hypervisor in x86 architecture is the foundation for VMware’s virtualization products.

Without the requirement for a main operating system, bare-metal embedded hypervisors can operate directly on a server’s hardware. A hypervisor is placed on the physical server using VMware server virtualization to allow several virtual machines to operate on the same physical server.

Each virtual machine may run its own operating system, allowing many operating systems to coexist on a single physical server. The hardware components and resources are then shared between all of the VMs.

VMware’s services include virtualization, networking and security management tools, and storage, to name a few. VMware vSphere is a server virtualization tool for deploying and managing large-scale virtual machine infrastructures. VMware vSphere, often known as a virtualized data center system, allows IT departments to deploy workloads on the most cost-effective computational resource.

VMware has apps for both PCs and servers. Linux, Windows, and macOS are all supported by VMware’s desktop applications, such as VMware Workstation, VMware Fusion, and VMware Player.

VMware ESX Server, VMware ESXi Server, and VMware Server are among the company’s server software products. VMware as a SUSE Alliance Partner supports Linux on-site and in the cloud.

SUSE and VMware have worked to deliver cloud solutions for both private and public clouds, in addition to providing a trustworthy data center virtualization solution. On the most recent vSphere version, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has been certified and is supported.

Best VMware Alternatives

When it comes to virtualization, there are several upfront fees. You must purchase software, storage gear, and software implementation services. These and other expenses might make projecting your ROI more difficult.

If you’re looking for methods to save money, you can search for a less expensive option to VMware. Here are some of them;

1. VirtualBox


This alternative to VMware is a virtualization software for x86 hardware, desktops, targeted servers, and embedded devices. This program is both powerful and free to use.

VirtualBox is available on all main OSs. It uses XML files to make navigating easier. It may be used in conjunction with specialized software that allows users to share drives and folders across host and guest operating systems.

This program is similar to VMware, and includes features such as 3D virtualization and hardware compatibility. Compatibility with virtual Oracle Cloud computers, support for nested hardware, 3D support, and more are among the newest enhancements.

VirtualBox now supports a broad number of guest operating systems and operates on Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and Solaris hosts. VirtualBox is constantly evolving, with regular patches and an ever-growing list of features, and it supports various OSs and platforms.

VirtualBox is a community project with a devoted corporation behind it. Everyone is invited to participate, and Oracle assures that the software satisfies professional quality standards at all times.



QEMU is yet another VMware alternative that emulates the entire operating system. This application is capable of simulating the entire procedure as well as numerous peripherals.

QEMU may be used to run many processors for a single CPU on separate CPUs. It also has a User mode emulation that allows you to move processes from one CPU to the next.

Users of one operating system can utilize the operations and features of another operating system thanks to the open-source hardware virtualization platform. They can be deployed in a virtual environment on host operating systems.

QEMU also allows users to run applications from other computers from within their operating system. QEMU’s great performance is ensured via a dynamic translation.

It is run on a generic hosted hypervisor that may be used instead of VMware and other applications. This is an excellent utility for starting the Wine Windows API emulator.

3. Hyper-V


Hyper-V is Microsoft’s contemporary for VMware. It allows you to construct and run a virtual machine, which is a software replica of a computer. Each VM has its own operating system and applications and acts as a full computer.

Virtual machines provide you with greater flexibility and help you save time and money when you require computer resources. They are also a more productive use of hardware than running a single OS on CPU.

Each virtual machine in Hyper-V is operated in its own isolated environment, allowing you to run several virtual machines on the same hardware. You could do this to prevent issues like a crash that affects other tasks, or to grant access to various systems to different users.

An x86 operating system can run on a Hyper-V VM. However, Microsoft does not verify and support all operating systems that can be used.

Hyper-V makes use of the Windows hypervisor, which necessitates the usage of a physical CPU with specified capabilities. In most circumstances, the hypervisor is in charge of managing the interactions between the virtual machines and the hardware.

The isolated environment, in which virtual machines run, is provided by hypervisor-controlled access to the hardware. A virtual machine or the operating system executing in the virtual machine may have direct access to graphics, networking, or storage hardware in specific circumstances.

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4. Citrix Hypervisor

Citrix Hypervisor

This substitute for VMware is Citrix’s comprehensive server virtualization product. The software includes everything you’ll need to set up and manage a virtual x86 machine deployment using Xen, an open-source paravirtualization hypervisor that offers relatively great performance.

Both Windows and Linux virtual servers can benefit from Citrix Hypervisor. Citrix Hypervisor operates on server hardware without the need for an underlying OS, resulting in a solution that is both efficient and flexible.

It operates by automatically extracting actual computer parts like hard disks and assigning them to VMs operating on it. A VM is a system that is entirely made up of software and can run its own operating system and programs much like a real computer.

It is a computer that has its own virtual CPU, RAM, hard disk, and network interface card. Citrix Hypervisor allows you to construct VMs, take VM disk snapshots, and manage their workloads.

5. Azure Virtual Machines

Azure Virtual Machines

Azure Virtual Machines are one of the numerous forms of scalable, on-demand computing resources like VMware. VMs are typically used when you want greater control over any computer system than the other options provide.

Azure VM provides virtualization flexibility without the need to purchase and maintain the actual new hardware that operates it. You must still administer the VM by customizing, updating, and deploying the applications it runs.

With support for various OS like Linux, Windows Server, and Oracle, it provides you the versatility of virtualization for a wide range of computing technologies, including development, running applications, and extending your datacenter.

6. Parallels Desktop

Parallels Desktop

This competitor of VMware has a lot of great capabilities that might be useful for you. It is especially convenient to run Xbox games on Windows 10.

Moreover, you can run it with Sidecar on Mac OS. When you require specialized software that works on the platform, you can use this program to run Windows alongside your native operating system.

Parallels provides a number of attractive features, such as displaying Windows alerts in the Mac Notice Center and using a single clipboard. Parallels can deploy Linux, Mac OS, and Chrome OS in addition to Windows.

7. Proxmox VE

Proxmox VE

Proxmox VE is an open -source server virtualization application that can replace VMware for free. This software is compatible with a variety of guest operating systems.

A web-based administration portal, a virtualized environment, and command-line tools are all included in the package. Users that wish to utilize third-party tools or pre-packaged server software appliances can use its REST API.

On a single platform, this program combines software-defined storage, KVM hypervisor and LXC, and networking features. Its user-friendly interface makes managing high-availability clusters, VMS and containers, and integrated disaster recovery tools simple.

Proxmox runs on a modified Linux Kernel that is based on Debian Linux/GNU. You can run Linux and Windows under VMs using Proxmox, with each VM having its own virtualized hardware and components. Proxmox is best for personal servers, whereas VMware is best for businesses.

8. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization

This Red Hat’s free alternative to VMware implements the KVM type 1 hypervisor. With a Red Hat-based centralized management server, it leverages Virtual Desktop Server Manager and the SPICE protocol.

Red Hat’s KVM and Linux platform give virtualized resource-intensive workloads agility, security, and ease of use. It helps businesses optimize their IT infrastructure by providing high performance and a Red Hat environment.

Red Hat is one of the greatest free virtual machine management and provisioning applications available. While Red Hat is a type 1 hypervisor that is open-source and Linux-based, VMware creates hypervisors and ensures that businesses may run several applications on a few physical servers.

9. Virtuozzo


This substitute for VMware is a hybrid server that provides efficient KVM, system containers, and software-defined storage for hypervisors. Virtuozzo manages approximately five million virtual environments, despite not being as well known as other technologies.

It offers twice the density and twice the performance of VMware. Virtuozzo’s hypervisor core is based on the open-source KVM. AES-256 at-rest encryption is also included.

The degree of virtual server generation is the primary distinction between Virtuozzo and VMware. Virtuozzo generates virtual servers at the OS level, whereas VMware constructs them directly with its hardware.

It is the platform to think about if you want to combine and simplify hypervisors, storage, and applications.

10. Boot Camp

Boot Camp

Boot Camp is a Mac virtual machine program. It allows you to transition between Mac and Windows operating systems. Dual boot technology is used by Boot Camp to offer exceptional performance for Intel-based Macs running Windows.

Boot Camp transforms your Mac into a full-fledged Windows PC, taking use of its memory and processing capacity to run Windows and its software. You may utilize Boot Camp’s driver program to install Windows. Though, the process of running Windows on a Mac might be difficult.

Before you can get Windows to function at maximum speed on your Mac OS device, you’ll need to be patient. However, after everything is finished, you will be able to use a variety of Windows applications and games. Boot Camp is a Mac-only application that employs boot technology.


As you can see, when it comes to the best virtual machine software for hardware virtualization, there are a lot of alternatives and features to select from. VMware is fantastic virtualization software. However, because individuals have diverse needs, it is not a one-size-fits-all application.

You’ll discover a VMware alternative that meets your demands if you look through this list. VirtualBox, which is both free and open source, is the best alternative.

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