Run virtual machines in Gnome Boxes

Boxed

© Lead Image © yarruta, 123RF.com and gnome photo by David Brooke Martin on Unsplash

© Lead Image © yarruta, 123RF.com and gnome photo by David Brooke Martin on Unsplash

Article from Issue 221/2019
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In the past, using virtual machines required expensive programs such as VMware or open source add-ons such as VirtualBox. Today, thanks to Gnome Boxes, many distributions native support for virtual machines.

If you want to set up a virtual machine (VM) with a graphical user interface on Linux, you might be inclined to go with VirtualBox or VMware's commercial offerings. These applications, which have been established for years, offer many functions. However, due to their full version's proprietary licenses, they are not found in the package sources of popular Linux distributions.

With VirtualBox, you would have to install the Extension Pack alongside the program to use the application's full functionality. In addition, it is important to pay attention to licences. VirtualBox's source code is released under the GPL v2.0, but you can only use the proprietary add-on free of charge [1] for personal use or testing purposes.

Boxes Out of the Box

Because Gnome Boxes, a front-end tool for Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), is created within the framework of the Gnome Desktop Environment [2], it does not require the installation of any additional software (see the "SPICE Mix" box). With KVM directly integrated into the Linux kernel, Boxes does not have to worry about virtualization. The software simply provides the VM with the environment, using existing libraries and applications such as libvirt and Qemu [3].

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