Q. I was reading this article and wanted to try out KVM, XEN, VMWare and VirtualBox simultaneously on my desktop system with 2GB RAM? Why I’m not able to use run multiple virtualization technologies simultaneously under Ubuntu Linux? Can a powerful Linux server run multiple virtualization technologies simultaneously?

A. Short answer – No.


Each virtualization software like XEN or KVM make changes to kernel so it is not possible to use them simultaneously.

Also, virtualization software needs full control over certain hardware resources such as CPU, memory, GPU and other aspects. Two software cannot control and share resources using virtualization technology.

You may experience serious system corruption or reboots when you try to access or share same hardware using various virtualization technologies. My recommendation only install and use one virtualization technology at a time.

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I'm Vivek Gite, and I write about Linux, macOS, Unix, IT, programming, infosec, and open source. Subscribe to my RSS feed or email newsletter for updates.

6 comments… add one
  • M. Crawford Jan 16, 2009 @ 13:49

    the answer to multi desktop front ends is simple. Do multi boot. Granted one must have a reasonable amount of disk space, however, all installs will use the same swap drive. So all you really need is 15-20GB per partition…. It is not perfect but it is close to simultaneous..

  • DanzFX Jan 31, 2009 @ 2:11

    it can be done with OpenVZ kernel and VMWare, i run this for web development puposes, Run Linux as CT 101 with OpenVZ and Windows Server with Vmware.

  • Ivan Petrushev May 4, 2009 @ 15:14

    I have run VirtualBox on a Linux host system multiple guest systems at once – Windows XP, Linux distro and Solaris. It didn’t go into any sort of corruption.

  • Jasleen May 10, 2009 @ 13:56

    hello vivek,

    I have tried virtualbox on windows xp with RHEL5 as a guest OS. I had given 25GB HDD space But it stopped and is showing that the HDD space is full after completing 75-80% installlation of RHEL5. Please solve. Thanks in advance.

  • Liang Guo Oct 18, 2012 @ 12:31

    Actually the shot answer is maybe
    I can run vmware player and qemu-kvm concurrently on my linux box.
    a win7 on vmware player and a linux in qemu-kvm

  • Shaheen N Aug 12, 2014 @ 8:50

    FYI I was able to run VirtualBox .4.3.2 & VMWare Workstation 10 on Windows 7 32-bit..

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