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Virtualization is the concept and technique that permits running software in an environment separate from a computer operating system.

The operating system actually running on the hardware is referred to as the host. On this host resides a hypervisor (aka virtual machine manager), which runs virtual machines containing guest software.

Available software


Name Package Description
QEMU app-emulation/qemu Quick EMUlator, a generic, open source, hardware emulator and virtualization suite.
VirtualBox app-emulation/virtualbox Cross-platform virtualization software that allows users to run guest operating systems inside a host operating system.
Xen app-emulation/xen Native, bare-metal, hypervisor that allows multiple distinct virtual machines (referred to as domains) to share a single physical machine.


Containers provide isolated user space instances.

Name Package Description
Buildah app-emulation/buildah Tool that facilitates building OCI images.
Docker app-emulation/docker Container virtualization environment which can establish development or runtime environments without modifying the environment of the base operating system.
LXC (Linux Containers) app-emulation/lxc Virtualization system making use of the cgroups feature of the Linux kernel.
LXD app-emulation/lxd Next generation system container manager.
Podman app-emulation/podman Daemonless container engine for developing, managing, and running OCI Containers on linux.


Container orchestration concerns the details of managing multiple Linux containers. This management layer spins up and spins down individual containers. Examples of container managers are Docker and Mesos, although others exist. There is also container orchestration where K8/docker swarm and related software compete for similar management functions.


Name Package Description
GNOME Boxes gnome-extra/gnome-boxes Simple GNOME application to access remote or virtual systems.
virt-manager app-emulation/virt-manager Graphical tool for administering virtual machines.

Guest facilities

Most virtualization systems provide software to be installed inside the guest operating systems, to provide extra functionality.

These packages are for Gentoo guests running inside virtual machines. See respective hypervisor documentation for tools helping to run other operating systems inside virtual machines.

Name Package Description
VirtualBox app-emulation/virtualbox-guest-additions VirtualBox Guest Additions
VMware app-emulation/open-vm-tools VMware, Inc. sells a variety of closed-source hypervisors.

See also