Cook Computing

Joel on VMWare

June 4, 2003 Written by Charles Cook

Many of the Microsoft bloggers have been plugging VirtualPC recently. Lets hear about VMWare for a change and Joel Spolsky obliges with another rave about this product. I agree with him. Its a great product.

One minor quibble. I think Joel is slightly misleading when he says:

Everything runs emulated, so you're paying for all this convenience with a lot of CPU cycles.

As I understand it, VMWare runs each guest operating system on top of a virtualized set of hardware resources. A virtualization layer maps these onto the physical hardware resources. The guest operating systems and the applications running on them are not emulated. They run natively so that when an application executes a piece of machine code that actual machine code is being run on the CPU. Its not as if the app runs in some Matrix-like world where execution of its machine code is being simulated.