Virtual machine


In computing, a virtual machine (VM) is the virtualization/emulation of a computer system. Virtual machines are based on computer architectures and provide functionality of a physical computer. Their implementations may involve specialized hardware, software, or a combination.

Virtual machines differ and are organized by their function, shown here:

Some virtual machine emulators, such as QEMU and video game console emulators, are designed to also emulate (or "virtually imitate") different system architectures thus allowing execution of software applications and operating systems written for another CPU or architecture. Operating-system-level virtualization allows the resources of a computer to be partitioned via the kernel. The terms are not universally interchangeable.


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