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Virtual Appliances Overview

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A virtual appliance is a copy of an operating system and a set of applications (e.g. OpenEMR), installed, configured, and packaged together into a single download. The virtual appliance runs inside a virtual machine. The virtual machine makes each virtual appliance think it is running on it's own computer. Some of the advantages are:

  • snapshots - you can easily save the entire state of the OS and applications as many times as you want
  • hardware portability - your virtual appliance can be easily moved to another computer, no worrying about drivers or having the same hardware
  • running multiple OSs at once - run linux and windows at the same time without having to reboot
  • isolation - keep problems in one OS or applications from affecting others
  • easy remote control - you can start, stop, or reset virtual machines remotely
  • OpenEMR Virtual Appliances can be run on any Operating System that supports VMware Player or VirtualBox.
  • Did I mention yet that VMware Player and VirtualBox are FREE.
  • VMware's explanation of a Virtual Appliance at :