Today there are a large number of operating systems, systems that any of us can test. But one of the reasons why we don’t do it is because we don’t go around modifying our computer, especially if we work with it or if we don’t have much computer knowledge. And this is where virtual machines come into play , a kind of “programs” that allow us to test other operating systems on the PC quickly, easily and safely. And although anyone can create a virtual machine and have it running in a few minutes, due to lack of time or knowledge there are users who cannot afford it.
Although the ideal is for each user to mount and configure their own virtual machine according to their needs, if we cannot do it, or do not want to, it is also possible to download virtual machines already created, with an operating system installed and configured directly from the Internet. Thus we will simply have to open it with our preferred virtualization program and thereby save time .
Download official Windows virtual machines 1o
One of the most virtualized operating systems is Windows 10 . Although most of us will have this system installed on our computer, having it virtualized will allow us to test programs without putting our PC at risk, test Insider updates and carry out all kinds of tests without altering our real operating system at any time.
Microsoft is the first company that allows us to download official virtual machines with its operating system. We explain how to do it.
Microsoft, official virtual machines with Windows 10
Microsoft allows us to download virtual machines from your operating system for development purposes or to test your new browsers without altering our main PC. The first way we have to download these virtual machines is to do it from this link .
In it we will find a machine with Windows 10 Enterprise installed, along with a series of development tools and the latest SDKs so that we can use it to compile, test and publish our applications. These machines are usually limited to 3 months validity and are based on the latest version of Windows 10. They include the Windows 10 SDK, Visual Studio 2019, the .NET and Azure enabled desktop, and come with the Windows Template Studio extension . We will also find the latest version of Visual Studio Code, the Windows Subsystem for Linux enabled with Ubuntu installed and the developer mode enabled in the operating system. In total, a 20 GB machine.
And if we want something simpler and lighter, then we can turn to machines with Edge. These, which we can find at this link, are valid for 90 days but, instead of bringing so many programs, they are much simpler, and only bring the operating system and Microsoft browsers. Instead of 20 GB, they only occupy 6 GB.
Adguard, the history of Microsoft virtual machines
Adguard is a platform that seeks to make it easier for users to download files from Microsoft’s servers. On this website we will find everything that any user interested in Windows, or other Microsoft products, needs. We have a category search engine where we will select the product and the edition we need and, from a button, we can download it directly. All official and unmodified.
As we can see, it has a virtual machine download section from where we will be able to download these VMs. These machines are not very up-to-date, but they can help us to get out of more than one trouble. We can access these VMs from here . We will even be able to download Windows XP virtual machines, created by Microsoft.
Other websites to download VM
In addition to Microsoft’s VMs with Windows 10, and other versions of its operating system, we can also find several websites from which to download other virtualized operating systems, especially Linux.
Osboxes, virtual machines for VirtualBox and VMware
On the Osboxes website we will be able to find a good variety of Linux distros already installed and configured to use in both VirtualBox and VMware. We will be able to download different versions and editions of Ubuntu, Arch Linux, Raspberry Pi OS, Kali Linux and even a VM to use Android on the PC.
We can access this website from the following link .
VirtualBoxes, a large collection of virtualized Linux systems
This website is specialized in distributing images for VirtualBox, although we can also use them in VMware in case of using this other software. Here we are going to find, above all, Linux systems installed, configured and ready to run in any of these programs. In addition, we will also find other alternative operating systems, such as FreeBSD, FreeDOS and even Android.
We can download these VMs from here .
Virtual Disk Images, virtual machines from old operating systems
Virtual Disk Images is not specialized in Linux distros like the previous ones, but rather it is specialized in allowing us to download old (very old) versions of Microsoft systems. For example, we can download virtual machines from Windows 95, 98, Windows NT, Windows ME and even MS-DOS alone, or with Windows 3.11, ready to test both in VirtualBox and VMware.
We can download these operating systems from this website .
Virtual Machines, OVAs to load in VirtualBox
On the Virtual Machines website we will be able to find a good collection of virtual machines in OVA format, that is, to use in VirtualBox. These VMs are published on GitHub, and in each of them we will find their main characteristics, such as distro and used desktop, if they have Guest Additions, packages and programs included, and the password. We can find both machines for personal use, as well as more specific configurations for development.
We can download all these machines for free from this link .
Precautions to consider
Instead of creating the virtual machine ourselves and installing the operating system from scratch on it, thanks to these websites we will be able to download the machines already created. This is very convenient and saves us time, however it can also be dangerous.
Most important of all, we do not know how these images were created, or who created them. If we download them from official websites, at first, there would be no problem. But if we download them from forums or pages that are not official and trustworthy, it may be that we are downloading a compromised virtual machine, and that everything we do in it is being controlled.
This may sound paranoid, and it is unlikely to happen, but it is not impossible. We must always be careful when we are going to download this type of system from the Internet. Better to be safe than to pay dearly.