Nov 01, 2011

Is there a cost effective way to use virtualization to test functionality over different OS?

We have one guy assigned to check the function/reliability of new applications when accessed by users on different operating systems. I would like for him to use one machine to do the testing, don't want to spend significant money, and want the testing to be done fairly quickly. Is there a cost effective way to use virtualization to achieve these goals?

Hi wstark,

VirtualBox is free virtualization software that should run on pretty much any computer. It's probably the most cost effective solution for what you need.

You can download it free here:


"VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers, it is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2. See "About VirtualBox" for an introduction.

Presently, VirtualBox runs on Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and Solaris hosts and supports a large number of guest operating systems including but not limited to Windows (NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7), DOS/Windows 3.x, Linux (2.4 and 2.6), Solaris and OpenSolaris, OS/2, and OpenBSD.

VirtualBox is being actively developed with frequent releases and has an ever growing list of features, supported guest operating systems and platforms it runs on. VirtualBox is a community effort backed by a dedicated company: everyone is encouraged to contribute while Oracle ensures the product always meets professional quality criteria."
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