Miriam Tover - PeerSpot reviewer
Service Delivery Manager at PeerSpot
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What Is The Biggest Difference Between KVM And Oracle VM VirtualBox?

One of the most popular comparisons on IT Central Station is KVM vs Oracle VM VirtualBox.

People like you are trying to decide which one is best for their company. Can you help them out?

What is the biggest difference between KVM and Oracle VM VirtualBox? Which of these two solutions would you recommend to a colleague evaluating server virtualization software and why?

Thanks for helping your peers make the best decision!

PeerSpot user
6 Answers
Technical Support Specialist at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Jan 11, 2019

As for the differences, KVM (currently project is owned by Red Hat) does not perform any emulation. Instead, it exposes the /dev/kvm interface, which a userspace host can then use to:

Set up the guest VM's address space. The host must also supply a firmware image (usually a custom BIOS when emulating PCs) that the guest can use to bootstrap into its main OS.
Feed the guest simulated I/O.
Map the guest's video display back onto the system host.
On Linux, QEMU versions 0.10.1 and later is one such userspace host. QEMU uses KVM when available to virtualize guests at near-native speeds, but otherwise falls back to software-only emulation.

Internally, KVM uses SeaBIOS as an open source implementation of a 16-bit x86 BIOS.

There are some comparison charts you could look at:

I would recommend to consider the other possibilities - Citrix Hypervisor (https://www.citrix.com/downloads/ if proprietary software is ok for you) or The Xen Project (https://www.xenproject.org/ - if you wanna go opensource) .

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Cloud Solutions Engineer at a comms service provider with 501-1,000 employees
Jan 11, 2019

Well VirtualBox is not meant for heavy usage, it is okay for someone who has just started with virtualization. Virtualbox is simple software which can be used to create VMs. KVM is one of the most used opensource industry standard virtualization which can be used with any IaaS tool such as Cloudstack/Openstack and it performs exceptionally well when used with shared storage or ceph. You can dedicate RAM, CPU, overcommit physical resources and scale as much as you want.

sedstr - PeerSpot reviewer
Jan 10, 2019

Virtualbox is great, but like java, and Xen, some time down the track, they will disable features and apply a license fee - once there is a critical mass of users that is.
KVM is opensource and a lot of development is done as part of a larger openstack ecosystem, and the only Group A hypervisor in the stack - when a new openstack feature/standard appears, KVM will be the first to be compatible.
I've tried both, and I like Oracle VM Virtualbox for its ease of use, but I also like KVM because of its extensive capabilities, modability and automatability. XCP-ng (Xenserver fork). is another great alternative.

Senior Systems Engineer at Dell Technologies
Jan 14, 2019

Oracle VM Virtualbox is personal Virtualization Solutions
If you want OS Virtualization is good. But not Enterprise Virtualization Solutions
Oracle Virtualibox have some Constraints on network functions. Etc...

KVM is Opensource Virtualization Solutions, No have limit functions about Virtualization
You can choice 2 version KVM
choice 1 is opensource KVM
choice 2 is KVM Enterprise Virtualization ( Name is RHV)

If you want personality Virtualization solutions? you can choice Oracle VM Vritualbox or KVM
but If you want development and main product solutions? I recommend KVM or RHV

Technical Learning HR Manager at Mphasis
Jan 11, 2019

Oracle Virtual box and KVM both fall under Type 2 hosted Virtualization technique.
Oracle Virtual box - Compatible with both Microsoft and all UNIX run on x86 architecture. Managed by GUI. to managed by CLI we need Vagrant tool.
KVM - Is Open source but compatible only with UNIX flavours. And managed by both GUI & CLI using commands.

IT Manager at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
Real User
Jan 10, 2019

Well, this is one of those "Oranges and Apples" scenario .

KVM are a very mature and very flexible solution, Enterprise ready .

Oracle Virtualbox is an interesting solution for occasional and development
use, not enterprise ready in any way .

If I have to choose one big difference, I will peak Performance .

Do not need to thrust my word, just search the Internet for benchmarks and
you can get what I saying .

Find out what your peers are saying about KVM vs. Oracle VM VirtualBox and other solutions. Updated: January 2023.
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Related Questions
Oct 2, 2022
Hello community,  I work at a large wholesale company and am researching Oracle VM VirtualBox Enterprise and Oracle VM Premier. What are the differences and similarities between the two? What are the pros and cons of each product? Thanks for the help!
Content Manager at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Jan 12, 2022
How does Proxmox VE compare with Oracle VM VirtualBox? Which is better and why?
See 2 answers
Janet Staver - PeerSpot reviewer
Tech Blogger
Dec 15, 2021
Proxmox VE is a very fast and powerful solution. It offers feature-rich virtualization, has open-standards compliance, and also includes redundancy and failover capabilities. What I like about Proxmox VE is that it lets you rack and stack two or more nodes and enables you to be up and running with a one-node failure tolerance in very little time. Proxmox VE’s integration with ZFS is also fantastic. It allows you to create pools to store your VM images and data on very easily and their great web UI makes it easy to check drive health, ZFS scrub status, and other things. I think the best part of the web UI is that everything is configurable from the web user interface without having to use the command line. It also has graphs and additional visualizations so you can evaluate the performance of everything. Beyond that, even though you can use Proxmox VE on a single server, the solution makes it easy to set up a high availability cluster on multiple hosts if needed. Regarding Oracle VM VirtualBox, I would say its most valuable features are its virtualization, its compatibility with older OSes, and its testing of environments without causing interruptions or any harm to production. Besides making it possible to run multiple VMs on a laptop or desktop, its ease of deployment makes the solution appealing. Not only is it easy to set up, but the software is free. Moreover, it has a nice interface. However, I think Oracle VM VirtualBox could use some improvements on its reporting as well as on its network settings for VMs, which can sometimes be hard for the average user to find and understand. Conclusion: While Oracle is a safe and excellent option when it comes to virtualizing an operating system, I would suggest Proxmox VE because it is newer, has a lot of powerful features, and is a very reliable and stable solution.
Luis Apodaca - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Support and Network Admin at Escuela Carlos Pereyra
Jan 12, 2022
Proxmox = professional environments (any size). VirtualBox = small environments or test purpose Sorry for the short response but it is exactly like that.
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