Tag Archives: microsoft

Can You Run Oracle’s VirtualBox on a Windows System with Microsoft’s Hyper-V enabled?

Every year or two I try running VirtualBox on a system with Hyper-V enabled and it goes poorly. Recently there was some hope that VB would run alongside Hyper-V…and I actually had this working for a split second. But when I updated to the latest Windows build it broke again.

Figured I’d share what I’ve learned here. Right now the information seems to be scattered around the web and it can take a while to follow the threads and figure out what the current status really is.

If you aren’t familiar with why VirtualBox (and other hypervisors) can’t run on a system with Hyper-V enabled check out this SuperUser Q&A.

The confusion is largely driven by VirtualBox’s own documentation which states: “Oracle VM VirtualBox can be used on a Windows host where Hyper-V is running.”

This did work on Windows 10 1809 but then was broken by Windows 10 1903 (the next release). For more details see this post over on the VirtualBox forums.

Currently there are only two ways to run VB and Hyper-V on the same machine – and they aren’t running simultaneously. One is to add/remove Hyper-V every time one wants to use VirtualBox and the other is to edit one’s boot records using BCDEdit, which requires a restart every time you make the switch. There is a free utility available that automates this process, but it still involves a reboot (I haven’t tried the utility yet).

If you are wondering why one would even want to run the two simultaneously there are at least two good reasons I know of: (1) WSL 2 requires Hyper-V and (2) Docker’s future on Windows involves utilizing WSL 2 and thus Hyper-V.

Note: I personally don’t use VMWare these days (have in the past) so this article focuses on VirtualBox and Hyper-V’s interactions but the problem holds true for VMWare as well.

If anyone hears of any new developments regarding this topic, I’d love to hear about them!