2 Advantages of Virtual Box over VMware Workstation Pro

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2 Advantages of Virtual Box over VMware Workstation Pro (other than it is free)

Virtual Box and VMware Workstation Pro are two of the most popular virtualization type 2 hypervisors. Virtual Box is opensource and free without any advanced feature limitations. All advanced features such as snapshots, cloning and running multiple VMs at the same time are unrestricted and available. This one of the core advantages of Virtual Box over VMware.

VMware Workstation Player is free, but the Pro version you will have to pay for a license. Without the VMware license you will not get the advanced features.

Anyways, even though you have to pay for VMware Workstation Pro there are a few advantages Virtual Box has over VMware Workstation pro. We will take a look at 2 advantages of Virtual Box over VMware Workstation Pro.

Advantage 1 – Virtual Box can better support older Windows Operating Systems

First advantage of Virtual Box over VMware Workstation Pro is support of older Windows Operating Systems. Virtual Box has better out of the box support for older versions of Windows (Such as Windows 2000 Server and Windows NT). For applications where virtualization of these older Windows systems is necessary Virtual Box guest additions (or tools) will be easier to install. 

With VMware you will have to fuss around and install Windows Updates to get it to work. Installing the extra windows updates may impact what you are trying to virtualize. For example the way the applications behave may change or not be compatible. As an example if you are trying to virtualize Windows 2000, VMware tools will not install without KB891861. VMware Workstation can support these older windows operating systems but you will spend extra time searching the VMware forums. Virtual Box guest addition installation on these older Windows Operating Systems is hassle free. If you are virtualizing older Windows systems (NT, 2000) you will have an advantage with Virtual Box.

Advantage 2 – Virtual Box Still Supports the Recording Feature

The second advantage of Virtual Box over VMware Workstation Pro is the recording feature. VMware Workstation used to have the record / playback feature but was removed because of functionality and performance issues. Virtual Box as of version 6.0.24 (the most recent release as of this post) still allows users to record the Virtual Machine to a .webm file (open source media). This enable recording gives options to record video only, audio only, or video and audio for future playback of the virtual desktop.

VirtualBox Record Settings

This is useful troubleshooting tool if an error occurs on an application or you need to playback what a user did to cause an error. Here is a quick demo of the feature in action on Virtual Box Windows 2016 Server. As long as the destination file has enough disk space you can record forever. The video below is the unmodified generated .webm file created by Virtual Box.

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