A virtual machine is a logical environment residing inside a computer that allows an operating system to run as if it is a separate computer inside that computer.
A virtual machine uses a specific amount of hard disk and memory to run as a separate machine. In such scenarios the main operating system on which virtual machine is running is called Host Operating System and the virtual operating system is called Guest Operating System. A virtual machine runs in a window on your desktop which you can minimize any time to use your host operating system.
The virtual machine can use all the hardware your host OS is using therefore it works as a full fledged computer. Some good points of using a virtual machine is that:
- If they are attacked by a virus your Host OS is not affected. Which means you can freely use your VM for any thing at all.
- You can run multiple computers which means you can do more work and people who need more than one lappies for themselves can use this to save some amount.
- You can work with a totally different IP
- You can even change MAC address of your VM to access internet.
- There is still much that you have to explore.
What software are available for Virtual Machine?
- VMware Player
- Virtual Box by Oracle
- Windows virtual pc
I have used both 1 and 2. VM ware player is quite easy to use and configure. Virtual Box though is not easy but it gives more configuration options, perhaps that is why noobs like me find it difficult to use and setup.
I normally use virtual machine for running bots and imacros. I run a bot or an imacro script and minimize the window and do my other things on my own host OS. I just do it to reduce mess from my host desktop and to keep my botting and imacro things hidden from people who use my computer. For example if you have firefox in both host and guest machines, you can run only one instance of imacros on one machine so you can use your VM to run one more instance. Similarly you can install any number of virtual machines depending upon the performance of your hardware. You can find it of any use that is suitable to you.