What are Virtual Machines?

The definition of a “VM,” or “virtual machine,” in computing is a type of software, firmware, or hardware with an OS and an application inside which emulates a computer system. Each VM is completely self-contained and independent. Having multiple virtual machines on a single computer allows several operating systems and applications to run on one host (or physical server). A computer that runs multiple virtual machines is called a “host machine” and each virtual machine is known as a “guest machine.”

The virtualized hardware resources may be shared by a variety of operating systems. For example, Mac OS, Linux, and Windows can all run on a single x86 machine.

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