Comparing Virtual Machine on Mac

On Mac OS X, we have few choice of virtual machine to choose from. For free version, we have VirtualBox and Parallel desktop Lite. For paid version, we have WMWare Player and Parallel Desktop. 

For free version of VirtualBox and Parallel Desktop Lite, the features are quite similar although there are some differences. Almost all Linux distribution can be run on VirtualBox whereas only some version of Linux Distribution can be run on Parallel Desktop Lite. 

One of the disadvantage of Parallel Desktop Lite is that the guest OS could not tunnel into host VPN connection. However, Parallel Desktop (paid version) got no problem connecting with host VPN connection. VirtualBox also does not have a problem using host VPN connection. 

Both VirtualBox and Parallel Desktop Lite handles network differently. On Parallel Desktop Lite, the default network setup is shared network.  Host can ping to the guest OS and vice versa. This make ssh connection must easier between host and guest OS.

VirtualBox however handles network differently, to be able to ssh into guest network, we need to create a second network adapter so that host OS can ssh into guest OS. 

In term of network security, Parallel Desktop Lite has weaker security since host and guest OS can communicate easily. On the other hand, VirtualBox present a better security model since the network from client and host are isolated.



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