A virtual machine is a set of configured hardware resources to run the operating system and applications (hardware resources — CPU, RAM, disk space and peripherals). The virtual machine (VM) can simulate a computer, or server, as well as its separate components. Several virtual machines can be run on a single physical machine. The PC allocates free hardware resources, which the VM “perceives” as its own.
The virtual machine is designed as an isolated setting and does not affect other VMs or the main OS. Tasks that involve the use of VMs are diverse: testing beta versions of application software and new OS versions, running applications in a compatible environment (for example, Linux applications, not supported by Windows), creating “sandboxes” for safe execution of the guest program (for example, a potential virus), emulation of devices and architectures (for example, game consoles), creating backups of OSs, etc. For home usage, VMs are often used to run Windows applications on the Mac OS, and vice versa, and in the IT industry to create infrastructure in the cloud (IaaS).