Computer science: virtual machines, part0

Self-tutoring about virtual machines, or VMs: the tutor explains some advantages of them.

Virtual means it doesn’t exist in a physical sense, yet it can be thought of, or used, as if it does.

In computer science, a virtual machine really means a virtual computer, and refers to a system the user can log into, store to, and use like a “real” computer. The “virtual” part means that the computer the person interacts with is a subset of the “real” computer it runs from. In the background, there is a system the user can’t see that is “pretending” to be the computer they are interacting with.

In such a scenario, the “real” computer often has numerous virtual computers – called VMs or virtual machines – loaded onboard. Each user might use only one of those VMs.

An advantage of having numerous VMs hosted on a computer is that each VM can have its own operating system, different from the others’. One VM might have Linux, another, Windows 7, and yet another, Windows 10. To the user, it truly is like the VM they use is a separate computer, possibly just set up for them. Therefore, instead of numerous computers with those various operating systems, only one is needed that hosts each OS on its own VM.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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