VirtualBox lets you play "what if" games with your system

screenshot of VirtualBox

Got a new app you want to try on for size? How about a new operating system? Unless you've got a closet full of computers, it's a non-trivial undertaking to set up a new system, to say nothing of the havoc the process will wreak on your current setup.

VirtualBox allows you to create "virtual machines"—a system that lives inside of another system. This allows you to do things like try a new operating system on for size without breaking the one you already have installed. Suppose you're running an XP system, but need to do something on a Win2k or even Win98 system. You don't want to throw away your XP stuff, so you go ahead and create a virtual machine. You can now run your down-rev application without impacting the "real" operating system on your machine. Want to try Vista on for size? It works the other direction, too: create another virtual machine and install it there.

VirtualBox runs on most x86 systems under Windows and many flavors of Linux.

Download VirtualBox

3 Responses to “VirtualBox lets you play "what if" games with your system”

  1. JC says:

    Whooa there! My Windows XP system really did not want me to download this programme (regrettably). As soon as the download began – a dire warning came up telling me that if I continued, the operating system may become unstable etc. etc. As you may surmise, I didn’t take the risk and continue – what a shame!

    Love your website though – and pay a visit every day. Thank you and a happy 2008 to you all.

    JC

  2. Sam Handel says:

    I haven’t tried to use VirtualBox under Windows, but I do use it under 64-bit Gentoo linux to run Windows XP in a virtual machine, it works great.

    I haven’t tried it myself, but I’ve heard Vista resists being virtualized as suggested in the article. I need Vista like I need a third eye located in my armpit, so this doesn’t affect me, but might be a disappointment to some.

  3. Scott Houdek says:

    hey it’s a great idea but it’s confusing without a certain things like ROM files and, or System files to run that “Sos” (Simulating Operating System!)