A friend of mine asked me if I knew about Oracle's VirtualBox software. I was ashamed that I did not. I consider myself an Oracle developer.

VirtualBox is a free open source product released under a GNU license. It does operating system virtualization. You can run multiple copies of virtual operating systems at the same time.

To start with, you need a host operating system such as Windows XP or Windows 7 for the Windows platform. Then you can run all kinds of virtual guest operating systems with VirtualBox.

Why would you want to do this? Well you can test many platforms with just one physical host platform. VirtualBox also can simulate SMP up to 32 cores (which are all virtual). You can also take snapshots of the o/s state and restore to them.

I like the idea of having a snapshot I can revert to if my o/s gets corrupted by some nasty virus.