Best VM for Windows

Hi all

Can anyone help me out with VMs? I have a Windows 10 Pro disc image and product key that I want to run as a VM for if I need it (so far only 1 utility that won’t run under Wine) but I don’t know whether to use KVM, Xen or Virtualbox.

Any suggestions?

It depends what you are trying to run it in, your experience level and personal preferences.

Certainly, setting up a xen environment wouldn’t be my first choice for a desktop.

Virtualbox: It is fairly easy to use. Is free and open source. Windows graphical performance is poor but if it is a basic Windows app it should be fine. i.e. Playing games, using advanced photo editing tools, etc it is not the best choice. It has decent host to guest integration

kvm/qemu: It is somewhat complicated to setup and configure. It is free and open source. Windows VMs can be highly performant but it requires manual configuration and knowledge to setup. Host to guest integration is fairly poor.

vmware: It easy to use but installation on Arch-based distros takes some minor manual intervention. It is not open source. Windows performance is substantially better than Virtualbox but not as good as what can be achieved with kvm/qemu. Host to guest integration is solid.

gnome boxes: It is a front-end to kvm/qemu which provides an overly simplified configuration. This makes it very easy to use but very limiting in what you can do with it. You can tweak the underlying VMs directly or with another tool but if you are going to learn how to do that I am not sure what value gnome boxes is providing.

I am ideally looking for an all-encompassing option; I only need 1 application at the moment and will only need it once, maybe again later next year.

It’s mainly to be kept incase as I am doing a CompTIA A+ course and so far, have not needed to use a Windows machine so it’s there in case I do. Sounds like Virtualbox would probably the best option.
I have used KVM before but had graphics issues and couldn’t get it to work full screen at all, although I also had issues in Virtualbox with my USB ports until I added amd_iommu=on and iommu=pt to my grub config.

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I think you need virtualbox-ext-oracle package from AUR for any port except USB 1.0 to work properly

Yeah, I installed that. The USB ports wouldn’t work at all either in Virtualbox or in my normal desktop until I added those to grub. Didn’t notice they weren’t working until I tried to use Virtualbox

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