VM candidates for linux on Win 10 or 11 machine

I’m looking for suggestions for VMs I should consider running on Windows 10/11. No WSL please.

Long ago I used VirtualBox. I’d go with it again without thinking if it wasn’t for the memories of being wagged around by a large corporation (almost daily updates, needing Java?).

One thing good I that remember is its ability to access the Windows FS from virtual Linux installs. This is a must. Also, something that is well documented without assuming the reader has an IT background is a big plus.

My main use at the moment is trying out Emacs (it’s been decades since I used it). In particular using Julia along with EmacsVter.jl within Emacs.


Assuming your using GNOME for a desktop, there’s a Boxes program that does VMs. It’s called GNOME-BOXES, I use it and it works fine for me. Yes I have a VM of Windows 10, I haven’t tried to do file shares with it though.

Thanks, tmick. Sorry, I wasn’t clear. The VM needs to run on Windows 10 and 11, and I’ll be running Debian & Emacs in the VM.

Well, I can’t vouch for Win 11, but it will on Windows 10 (Virtual Box). and does run Debian just fine, and does do file transfers etc. VM Ware is usable but I’m not much on the interface for the free edition (it’s very limited in capabilities). The paid edition looks more usable but I have better things to do with my money. :wink:

Thanks, tmick! Do you have any idea about whether either of VM Ware or Virtual Box can be removed without leaving a trace? I hate that install followed by removal on Win machines often leave gifts behind that I sometimes strip over.

So VB is easy to remove and as far as I could tell, it left no trace. VMWare, well if you like playing in the registry it can be removed (free version). It’s actually something I dislike about VMWare, it’s impossible to remove after installing it. You also can’t stop the services for VM Ware. Once you install VMWare your stuck with it unless you re-install the OS. It’s also more of a RAM hog then Virtual Box.


Ok. Thanks again. I’m glad I asked. Sounds like VM Ware would drive me crazy. I’ll go with the devil I have some experience with: Virtual Box.

I’ve just finished a new Win 10 system build, and my plan is to convert the old win 10 system to Linux for my project work. I also plan to use PiKVM (thanks Ben and others) to drive the machine while sitting at the Win10 system in my office. So the VM to try Emacs out is temporary.

If you’re looking for virtualization software, check out VMware’s solution – on the Mac, VMware Fusion is hands down the best virtualization software out there (in my opinion anyway), and the Windows version is called VMware Workstation.

If you need free virtualization software, the only one I know of is VirtualBox.

Any good virtualization software is going to have the ability to share filesystems between the VM and the host.

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Thanks, unixdude! It’s good to know “any good” VM will have FS access. I recall my first use of WSL didn’t, but that wasn’t a good experience. Around 2010 I was using VMs, and it was VMWare and VirtualBox back then. I kinda thought there’d be more choices now.

On doing more research about uninstalling VirtualBox, I learned it leaves stuff behind. Removing the .VritualBox folder by hand seems to be required, and there’s some other stuff that looks benign.

I’ve decided not to mess with a temporary VM to run Linux and instead concentrate on building the new Linux system.

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Sounds good. A new system with what type of specs? Sounds like a nice project.

The “new” system is my old win 10 system built in 2017. It’s a 6 core I7 with 1 TB m2 nvme SSD and an nv1080 gpu. Its win 10 OS had gotten pretty corrupt, and its CPU isn’t win 11 compatible, so I decided to give it a Linux upgrade. The only new hardware is the PiKVM that should arrive in a few days.

The real building I’ll be doing is in the software sense. I’m preparing for a dev project that will take at least several years (that I’ve been wanting to do work on for decades), and I’m thinking very carefully about how to structure the new system. For now, I plan to do a minimal Debian build and then add things (window manager, compiler, editor, …) one piece at a time.

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I have used LXD on Ubuntu for Windows 11 (for work purposes) and it worked really well when I was still making use of it. I have since switched distros and have a Windows 11 laptop I use for work. It is just easier for me to keep separate systems at this point.

Anyways, if you use Ubuntu and want to give it a try (or anyone else here), here is the guide:

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I don’t know if you have heard of VMware Workstation Player. That’s the virtual machine that I use for Linux on my Windows 10 PC. The Virtual Machine makes it almost effortless to share files between Linux and Windows. Interface is intuitive enough to understand in an hour. It has a strong community too for guidance and support. Another solid option is Oracle VM VirtualBox.

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Thanks Don11. I like “almost effortless” file sharing. I’ll give Workstation Player a look if I decide to go ahead with a Linux VM on Windows 10.

The only solution to remove VMWare is to flash your system. Means install a new system of exploitation. And this doesn’t seems to be a good solution especially you will lose all your work. It is not either user based means install for user 1 on Ubuntu but installed for all the users.