A hypervisor (also known as a virtual machine monitor) is computer software that creates and runs virtual machines. The hypervisor performs the function of controlling the host processor and resources, determining their allocation to the guest operating systems. The hypervisor is a very practical way of getting things virtualized quickly and efficiently.
There are two types of hypervisor. A Type 1 hypervisor is known as native or bare-metal. With this type, the hypervisor runs directly on the host’s hardware to control the hardware resources and to manage guest operating systems. In other words, the software hypervisor does not require an additional underlying operating system.
The second type of hypervisor runs under a conventional operating system environment as a second layer, with the guest operating systems then running at the third level.
This article identifies the finest open source Type 1 hypervisors that are available to download without charge.
Here’s our recommendations.
Let’s explore the 3 hypervisors at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources.
|Xen Hypervisor||Fastest and most secure infrastructure virtualization solution|
|KVM||Full virtualization solution for x86 hardware|
|Lguest||Little hypervisor designed for experimentation with virtualization|
VMware vSphere Hypervisor, a stripped-down free version of ESXi, warrants an honorable mention, but it is released under a proprietary license.
Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle and Autodesk. There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.