KVM vs Oracle VM VirtualBox comparison

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Read 10 KVM reviews
54,020 views|44,447 comparisons
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39,009 views|27,860 comparisons
Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Mar 29, 2022

We performed a comparison between KVM and Oracle VM VirtualBox based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Users of both KVM and Oracle VM VirtualBox say that deployment is straightforward.
  • Features: Valuable features of both KVM and Oracle VM VirtualBox include ease of use and management, and good stability.

    Valuable features of KVM include good performance and flexibility. Reviewers would like to see improvement in scalability and better integration capabilities.

    Users of Oracle VM VirtualBox like that it is user friendly and has good integrations and good scalability. Reviewers mention that the product has some issues with starting and stopping, and also comment that they would prefer if there was a web version.
  • Pricing: Reviewers of both solutions like that there is an open-source version available. Users of both solutions say for the paid version, pricing is reasonable.
  • Service and Support: Most KVM users have not needed to rely on technical support. Of the few that did, they say it could be better. Users of Oracle VM VirtualBox feel that service and support have been responsive.

Comparison Results: Both KVM and Oracle VM VirtualBox have their strengths and weaknesses. Oracle VM VirtualBox seems to be the more favorable choice of the two, since it offers good scalability whereas scalability seems to be an ongoing issue for KVM users.

To learn more, read our detailed KVM vs. Oracle VM VirtualBox Report (Updated: November 2022).
656,862 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"KVM is stable.""Good screen and keyboard sharing feature.""Very cost-effective.""The most helpful aspect of KVM is the fact that the interface is so minimal. It includes just what you need to set up the VMs and manage them, and it's very simple to do so.""The GUI interface makes the management of KVM easier than ever before.""This solution is open source and easy to configure.""It is easy to use, stable, and flexible. It is a pretty mature product, and it is faster than VirtualBox.""If you prefer command-line, there are all kinds of command-line options."

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"Oracle VM Virtualbox is easy to use and does not require much training.""Technical support is good.""This product is very user-friendly and easy to use.""Oracle VM VirtualBox is easy to use.""The good thing is that it is multi-platform. Once you create a virtual machine in one particular environment, you can switch over to see if you can run it in other environments. For example, if you are on Windows and you create this virtual machine, you can actually go ahead and change the operating system. You can switch it over to Linux or Mac OS and see if you can run the VirtualBox on those particular machines. It even runs on some of the commercial operating systems that are not mainstream, such as Solaris and BSD. These kinds of operating systems are also supported by VirtualBox. The other thing that is good about VirtualBox is that it is open source. So, if you need to do any modifications for your own purposes, you can just download the source, modify it, and deploy it in your environment. It is pretty good and very versatile. You can create and manipulate virtual machines from the command line, which is also very important. It's something that some other products on the desktop side do not have. VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop don't have a good command-line interface to create and manipulate virtual machines, whereas VirtualBox has it out of the box, which is pretty good.""The snapshot feature is very powerful; it protects us from disaster.""I like that it is free and runs on Linux/Ubuntu - I wouldn't use any other solution. I am able to perform small developing tests.""It is easy to use and does not require complex knowledge."

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Cons
"One thing that maybe could be improved is making it easier to scale. It needs to be more clear on how to scale the storage space for virtual machines.""I have previously used VMware and KVM is easier to use. However, they both have their strengths depending on their use cases. They are mostly equal. One of VMware's advantages is it has better support.""Technical support could be better. In the next release, I would like to see an improved user interface and dashboard. This type of improvement will make it easy or help our engineers understand the solution from a requirement point of view.""In our setup, we do not have any dashboards or orchestration, and it is hard to manage. We have 25 gig network cards, but the software driver we have only supported 10 gigs.""Business continuity features need to be added.""Its resource usage can be improved.""Monitoring and resolution could be improved.""Lacks high availability across clusters as well as support for Apache CloudStack."

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"Basically, the GUI and command-line interface need improvement.""Having live migrations to move a running server to other hardware would be great.""The solution could be more user-friendly.""The installation is difficult and could be improved.""The AI and the UI could be improved. The user interface is a little outdated and the AI is not very attractive.""It has some issues when you have some weird device drivers. For instance, when you have a weird sound driver working on your machine, and the VirtualBox needs to output the sound of the virtual machine into the sound driver of the physical machine, the bare metal, it doesn't work too well. If you tweak lots of drivers and play around with the different kinds of drivers and machines, you will probably break something. I have not played with it too much and maybe it already supports it, but it would probably be good to have the ability to use a container from the virtual machine environment instead of spinning off a complete virtual machine. There are other tools for that. On Linux, you have a DXE, LXC framework, and you have Docker as well. Docker is good because it is multi-platform, and you can run Docker on pretty much anything, even different processors, but it would be good if we had a VirtualBox running on it while spinning off containers instead of full virtual machines. The other thing that will become important, and I'm pretty sure that they are thinking about it as well is that there's this new hardware platform that Apple is releasing, which is an ARM-based new chip. So, VirtualBox will probably have to work on ARM-based CPUs as well.""The user interface needs to be improved.""There are a few bugs that need to be updated."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "It is free for everyone."
  • "The price is fair compared to others. But in our local market, it's a problem to get budget approval from management. That's why they are trying to get those products so we can give them the price benefit. But if you consider the international market or other products, it's sometimes better than their price."
  • "We had some problems with the licensing."
  • "KVM is priced reasonably."
  • "There is no cost involved in the use of KVM, as it is open source."
  • More KVM Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "It is pretty good for the price, which is free."
  • "This is an open-source product and it can be used free of charge."
  • "There are no licensing fees."
  • "The license I use is free."
  • "The solution is free."
  • "No licensing is required as it is open-source."
  • More Oracle VM VirtualBox Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:KVM scales better, orchestration better, performs better and supports a wider range of hardware and, also, you can implement at ZERO cost and with a very powerful web interface for management, from… more »
    Top Answer:Small support team, small cluster, low core count, use VMware products Large support team, large clusters with many cores, use KVM. KVM scales better, orchestration better, performs better and… more »
    Top Answer:Far from being an expert, my opinion is that the positive sides of KVM are: Lower costs and open-source which gives the abilities to customize it according to the specific needs of each customer.
    Top Answer:KVM is easy to use, stable and flexible. It is mature and very fast. It is an affordable open-source solution that is easy to set up and manage. It offers very good security. It has a virtual manager… more »
    Top Answer:We're still dealing with POCs. In the future, if it works okay, we'll try it in a larger environment.
    Ranking
    Views
    54,020
    Comparisons
    44,447
    Reviews
    10
    Average Words per Review
    441
    Rating
    7.5
    Views
    39,009
    Comparisons
    27,860
    Reviews
    12
    Average Words per Review
    392
    Rating
    7.9
    Comparisons
    Learn More
    KVM
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    Overview

    KVM stands for Kernel-based Virtual Machine, which is an open-source virtualization technology that is embedded in Linux. KVM allows users to seamlessly transform their Linux system into a hypervisor that, in turn, will enable a host machine to run numerous, isolated virtual environments or virtual machines (VMs).

    KVM is part of Linux. Users with Linux 2.6.20 or newer already have KVM. As KVM is already a component of the current Linux code, it automatically improves with every new Linux fix, feature, or upgrade. So KVM users are always current and up to date.

    KVM automatically transforms Linux to a type -1 (bare-metal) hypervisor. All hypervisors need operating system components, such as a process scheduler, I/O stack, device drivers, memory manager, and more, to run a VM. KVM already has these components embedded, as it is part of the Linux kernel. Each VM is generated as a basic Linux proces,s which is maintained by the standard Linux scheduler, with dedicated hardware such as a graphics adapter, memory, disks, network card, and CPUs.

    KVM Key Features:

    KVM has many valuable key features. Some of its most useful features include:

    • Storage: KVM has the ability to use any storage protocol supported by Linux, including network-attached storage (NAS) and some local disks. Multipath I/O can be utilized to provide redundancy and improve storage. Disk images use thin provisioning, ensuring storage is used on demand. KVM is also able to use shared file systems, enabling VM images to be shared on multiple hosts.
    • Hardware: KVM is able to use a vast number of Linux-certified supported hardware platforms. As hardware vendors routinely contribute to kernel improvement, the most up-to-date hardware features are generally quickly added to the Linux kernel.
    • Memory: KVM effectively utilizes the memory management features of Linux, such as kernel same-page emerging and non-uniform memory access. The memory of a VM can easily be switched, supported by large volumes for improved performance, then backed by a disk file or shared.
    • Migration: KVM actively supports live migration so users have the ability to move any running VM between physical hosts with no downtime.
    • Security: KVM uses a blend of secure virtualization (SVirt) and security-enhanced Linux (SELinux) for improved VM security and isolation. SELinux determines security boundaries surrounding VMs. sVirt expands SELinux’s processes, permitting Mandatory Access Control (MAC) security to be used for guest VMs and preventing any manual labeling issues.

    Reviews from Real Users

    “The most helpful aspect of KVM is the fact that the interface is so minimal. It includes just what you need to set up the VMs and manage them, and it's very simple to do so. KVM, as a native virtualization solution, is a complete and fully adequate system for small businesses that need to reduce costs, and also to make maintenance easier. “ - Georges E., Business Engineer and Consultant at All-Tech

    “The most valuable feature of KVM is the hypervisor environment and how we can configure it with ease. Additionally, the interface is intuitive.” Sonu S., Senior Solution Architect at Micro Focus

    Oracle VM VirtualBox is a robust AMD64/Intel64 and x86 next-generation virtualization solution that functions well for home use and is also powerful enough to handle the needs of a busy enterprise organization. This professional solution is open source and provides super-fast high performance in addition to many outstanding value-added features. VirtualBox functions effectively on Windows, macOS, Solaris, Linux, and more. Users can benefit from VirtualBox's dedication to continually developing the product and providing continual progressive updates and releases. The solution is supported by a trusted dedicated professional community and is backed by Oracle, which guarantees that the product is able to consistently meet and exceed quality controls and protocols at all times.

    Oracle VM VirtualBox Features

    Oracle VM Virtual Box provides many value-added features.  Some of these features include:

    • Consolidation: Oracle VM VirtualBox makes it easy for users to seamlessly run numerous virtual machines on a small number of hosts and will also facilitate comprehensive balancing of the loads between VMs. This helps to minimize and consolidate the hardware needed throughout the organization.
    • Diagnostics: VirtualBox provides excellent testing and disaster recovery. Users can use the virtual hard disk like a container. This container can be copied, frozen, backed up, or transported between hosts. Using the virtual machines (VMs), users can easily test multi-node network services for any networking, software configuration, or operating system issues.
    • Snapshots: Using snapshots, users are able to save or freeze a specific state of a VM and choose to revert back to the protected state if/when they desire. Users are able to make changes or experiment within the computing space. Should a problem arise, users can revert back to the selected snapshot; this makes the need for frequent backups and restores unnecessary.
    • Flexibility: The solution makes it easy to run different operating systems (OSes) at the same time. Users can run software designed for one OS on another OS. For example, users can easily run Windows on a MAC and not have to perform a reboot. As users can configure the kinds of virtual hardware to be presented with each OS, there is greater flexibility on which OS can be selected, and users can even choose older OSes or ones that are not currently supported by the original OS.
    • Cost-effective: Virtualization with Oracle VM VirtualBox enables users to considerably minimize overall costs by reducing the amount of hardware needed and the associated expenses of running the physical machines throughout an organization. This tremendous cost savings results in ROI being achieved in a very short period of time.

    Reviews from Real Users

    “Oracle VM VirtualBox is easy to use and does not require much training. It uses fewer resources. Teams using new operating system releases can quickly test and implement. This would make the development of new software releases faster and easier. It also helps users to write the program, test, and support it on multiple platforms. It has a good community as it is open-source.” - Satishbabu G., Oracle ACE

    “It is easy to use and does not require complex knowledge. It uses less resources, which is a requirement as it is used to onboard hardware with very little resources available.” - A PeerSpot user who is an IT Architect - AI at CGI

    Offer
    Learn more about KVM
    Learn more about Oracle VM VirtualBox
    Sample Customers
    MediaWiki, Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia, Wikivoyage, Wikidata, Wikiversity, Commons
    Airbus, Colorado State University, SCS Africa, Wolf Medical Systems.
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Aerospace/Defense Firm22%
    Computer Software Company22%
    Energy/Utilities Company22%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider26%
    Computer Software Company19%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company5%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm19%
    Manufacturing Company11%
    University11%
    Government7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider22%
    Computer Software Company16%
    Government9%
    Educational Organization7%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business52%
    Midsize Enterprise11%
    Large Enterprise37%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business24%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise57%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business45%
    Midsize Enterprise27%
    Large Enterprise27%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business22%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise59%
    Buyer's Guide
    KVM vs. Oracle VM VirtualBox
    November 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about KVM vs. Oracle VM VirtualBox and other solutions. Updated: November 2022.
    656,862 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    KVM is ranked 4th in Server Virtualization Software with 10 reviews while Oracle VM VirtualBox is ranked 5th in Server Virtualization Software with 12 reviews. KVM is rated 7.6, while Oracle VM VirtualBox is rated 8.0. The top reviewer of KVM writes "Reduces OpEx and is easy to maintain, along with low memory usage and a minimal interface". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Oracle VM VirtualBox writes "A free and versatile open-source solution that supports multiple platforms and is easy to set up". KVM is most compared with Proxmox VE, Hyper-V, VMware Workstation, Oracle VM and VMware vSphere, whereas Oracle VM VirtualBox is most compared with Proxmox VE, Hyper-V, Oracle VM, VMware Workstation and VMware vSphere. See our KVM vs. Oracle VM VirtualBox report.

    See our list of best Server Virtualization Software vendors.

    We monitor all Server Virtualization Software reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.