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Making use of Virtualization is an easy way to test out applications in a safe way without harming your main development environment.


Virtual Box is available for free from Oracle. VirtualBox runs on Windows, Linux, Mac and Solaris. As far as I know you can use it for commercial use.  One of great features of VirtualBox is that you can take machine snapshots, great for doing rollbacks. USB support is provided, for example if I run a guest PC it will recognise my iPhone. 'Shared Folders' are also another useful feature, I mainly use this with Windows based guests, for a Linux based guest I would just install Dropbox.


You have a couple of choices if you choose to use VMware for  virtualization.
  • VMware Player, which is like VirtualBox
  • VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi), which is actually installed onto a system like an operating system, as opposed to been run within an operating system. This is known as a bare-metal, as it runs directly from the systems hardware. You create your virtual machines by connecting to your host using the vSphere Client.