There are several VM managers and in this post I will show you the most popular ones.

Table of Contents

Oracle VirtualBox

One of the most popular VM managers on Linux and Windows. Easy to use.

VirtualBox

QEMU

A command-line VM manager. You need a bit of learning to be able to use it but there are two main commands:

  • Create a disk image:
    qemu-img create -o size=20G disk.img
    

    More parameters:

    • -f <raw|qcow2>: specify image type. By default, it’s raw.
  • Start a VM:
    qemu-system-x86_64 disk.img
    
    • Add -cdrom <iso file> or -fda <img file> to boot from an ISO image or an IMG floppy disk image.
    • -nographic -vnc :0: derive output to a VNC server.
    • -vnc :0 -daemonize: derive output to a VNC server and run in background.
    • -m <number>: specify RAM size (in megabytes).
    • -smp <number>: specify number of CPU cores to use.

QEMU

virt-manager

A GUI frontend for QEMU.

virt-manager

GNOME Boxes

Download and run a Linux distro using the same program. More info on my post.

GNOME Boxes

Quickemu

Similar to Boxes, but using the command-line. There is a GUI frontend (Quickgui), more info on this GUI and Quickemu on this post.

Quickemu

86box

A virtual machine manager focused on running old systems and software. Check my post about 86box.

86box

Multipass

Ubuntu VMs from Canonical. This virtual machine manager allows you to create Ubuntu VMs with just one command:

multipass launch ubuntu

Once VM is initialized, copy its name (look for the previous command output) and type:

multipass shell <vm name>
# multipass shell changeable-turkey

You can also send commands to the VM:

multipass exec <vm name> -- <command>

List launched VMs:

multipass list

Find available images:

multipass find

Stop and delete a VM:

multipass stop <vm name>
multipass delete <vm name>