When testing our software on several different systems (98-XP-Vista-Seven-Linux-etc), I think that the best choice is to use virtualized systems.

What's your choice: VMware, Virtual Box or MS Virtual PC/Server? and why?

+9  A: 

We use VMWare here at work. Really any VM software that supports snapshots (or some way of saving the state of the machine) will work well. Snapshots make it easier for testing installs and rolling back. It can also help if you program goes and modifies files for returning back to a known-good state.

Adam Peck
Interesting, I never thought about "Snapshots" before. Thanks!
Click Ok
Well with most VM's you can just copy the "Virtual Drive" but I find snapshots much easier than copying virtual harddrives around (also they can start to take up a lot of size).
Adam Peck
+2  A: 

Microsoft's VirtualPC. It free and simple.

One bit of functionality that is nice is the differenced VHDD that makes it easy (and space wise cheep) to keep backing up/reverting the image

+1  A: 

VMWare, that's what we use here. We have both the full blown ESX for virtual servers and the VMWare workstations for development / testing. ESX resource management is very good, and easy to configure.

Otávio Décio

VMWare works pretty well, but for high cpu server apps we have found that Microsoft's Hyper-V works better because it has better cpu reservation abilities.

The key is that the system has snapshots, so you can easily roll back to several states (most do) and we have found that both VMWare and Hyper-V have excellent API's allowing us to kick off our automated tests when a new build completes.

+8  A: 

Virtual Box is the way to go. It has snapshots and is platform independent (Good for Mac users who want to test on other OS's). And it is free.

Agreed -- Virtual Box is really a nice piece of software, even without considering it's free.
William Brendel
VMWare Fusion works on Mac OS X, so VirtualBox is not the only piece of software that will allow Mac users to test their stuff.
+1 for Virtual Box

Microsoft Virtual PC for Microsoft OS's, Virtual Box for *nix. Virtual PC seem to be slightly faster and more stable, but it does not support linux.

We might have used VMWare if it was free,but our company would not spend the money.

Virtual box is great. It does have some stability issues if you run it inside Mac OS X. if you need a single solution to run multiple OS's this would be the one.

erm... VMWare is free.
you can install Linux on Virtual PC. I've done it with SuSE9, the latest four Ubuntu distros and Redhat (don't remember the exact version)
I have installed Linux on virtual pc, but it required a lot of work a rounds, and some features were missing.
+1  A: 

I've used VMWare (when the company would pay for it), VMWare Server (when the company would not), VirtualBox (because it's free, decent, and supports snapshots), Parallels on the Mac (which I bought), and Xen.

All work fine.

My current workhorse is VirtualBox, largely because it's free, supports snapshots, and runs on the various host platforms I have to use.

Brian Clapper
+2  A: 

Go VMware. My reason is simple: before VMware released VMWare player and VMware server (the virtualisation platform formerly known as VMware GSX), the market for VM hosts was limited and expensive.

When VMware released these for free, all the other manufacturers (yes, I'm looking at Microsoft here) had to follow suit, so if it wasn't for the beneficence of VMware, we'd still be looking at having to buy our VM host software.

So, support VMware for being the good guys.

Oh, and their enterprise products are the business, they work well with Linux, have some excellent memory-saving tricks (here's the tech details), multiple snapshots and snapshots off a base image, and have features such as VMotion (load spreading) that other products don't support nearly as well (if at all).

Would you please expand on memory saving tricks? I haven't heard that before.
See "Memory overcommit" for details:
perhaps a better link is this one, that describes their Transparent page Sharing in better detail (ie with pictures!):
+2  A: 

If it's available, Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 is a powerful and full-featured entry including snapshot trees and all the niceties you'd expect with a quality UI.

If you're planning on using the VM on your local dev machine so you can (e.g.) bring it home on your laptop to work from there, then the more client-oriented virtualization software is probably the way to go.

If you're planning on using the virtualization in a primarily professional environment, a number of Hyper V machines in a computer lab that you can remote into is a powerful paradigm that we've been using at my office for a few months now.

My own preference is to use a local VM (Virtual PC is the easiest one for me) as my development environment because I can bring my work laptop home and use the VM there also (I don't VPN into the office). I then use the lab's Hyper-V machines for tests, deployments, etc because they have a better story for taking and restoring snapshots.

Greg D

Linux/OpenSolaris on top of Virtual Box on top of Linux.


I need to know the machine that can be use to develop and testing all reading developing machine, please what is the soft ware that i can use for that. thanks...........