The main difference between Host and Guest Operating System is that the host operating system runs directly on the hardware while the guest operating system runs on the virtual machine.
Virtualization is the process of creating a virtual version of a server, desktop, storage device, network resource or an operating system. In traditional systems, an individual application runs on an individual machine. Thus, it is expensive. Virtualization provides a solution to this issue. It is cost-effective and makes resource-sharing efficient. A virtual machine is a method of achieving virtualization. A hypervisor helps to create and manage virtual machines. Moreover, there are two types of hypervisors: bare-metal hypervisors (type1) and host OS hypervisor (type 2). Most importantly, a computer that executes one or more virtual machine is called a host machine while each virtual machine is called a guest machine.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Host Operating System
– Definition, Functionality
2. What is Guest Operating System
– Definition, Functionality
3. Difference Between Host and Guest Operating System
– Comparison of Key Differences
Guest Operating System, Host Operating System, Hypervisor, Virtualization, Virtual Machine
What is Host Operating System
Host operating system is a software installed on a computer to interact with the hardware. It can execute a type 2 hypervisor. In other words, type2 hypervisors run on the host operating system.
Host operating systems can also use container-based virtualization. A container helps to logically partition the applications in a server. Thus, it is possible to use containers without providing an entire operating system for each application. It allows the applications to share the operating system kernel while obtaining different hardware resources. This kind of shared operating system is also considered as a host operating system.
What is Guest Operating System
Type 2 hypervisors can create multiple Virtual Machines. Each of the machines runs an operating system. These operating systems are called guest operating systems. In other words, guest OS is software installed into the virtual machine. Therefore, the guest operating system runs on the virtual machine. In virtualization, the guest operating system can be different from the host operating system.
For example, assume an Apple OS X operating system. If the user wants to run a Windows operating system, he can install type 2 hypervisor to create a virtual machine. Then he can install a Windows operating system on that virtual machine. Therefore, the user can run Windows applications on that virtual machine. In this case, the original Apple OS X is the host operating system whereas Windows OS is the guest operating system.
Difference Between Host Operating System and Guest Operating System
A host operating system is a software installed on a computer that interacts with the underlying hardware. while a guest operating system is a software installed in a virtual machine. Thus, this is the main difference between Host and Guest Operating System.
Furthermore, the host OS interacts on the hardware whereas Guest OS runs on a virtual machine. Hence, this is another difference between Host and Guest Operating System.
Moreover, there is a single host operating system; however, there can be a single or multiple guest operating systems.
In brief, the host operating system is the original operating system which provides the environment to run guest operating systems. The main difference between Host and Guest Operating System is that the host operating system runs directly on the hardware while the guest operating system runs on the virtual machine.
1.“What Is Host OS (Host Operating System)? – Definition from WhatIs.com.” SearchVMware, Available here.
2.“What Is Guest OS (Guest Operating System)? – Definition from WhatIs.com.” SearchServerVirtualization, Available here.
3.“Hypervisor.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 11 Apr. 2019, Available here.