The Best 8 Free and Open Source Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Software

Updated on :June 19, 2024
By :Andrea Hernandez

If you are running a business that demands remote working and if you are open to give the users access to your desktop from anywhere, then the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) technique is your cup of tea. The virtual desktop solutions will provide you centralized management, high agile and availability, better security, and compatibility of the legacy application.

How Is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure software critical to your business?

All sizes of businesses aim to pick up better operational efficiencies and simultaneously reclaim control over their expenditures. If the companies make use of VDI software, then they can efficiently use their hardware.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure technology allows hosting of an entire desktop operating system on a centralized server. Based on the available hardware resources, a single server can run multiple virtual desktops.

The VDI technique will serve as a real game-changer to your business in the following ways:

How virtual desktop software critical to your business

Key Features of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Software 

Key features of VDI software are as follows:

Features of Virtual desktop Software

What is the reason behind using Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Software?

VDI software is helpful due to the following reasons:

Reason behind virtual desktop infrastructure software Which industries get benefited from VDI software solutions? 

Which industries get benefited virtual desktop infrastructure software

Although you can utilize the services of any of the 8 best free and open source VDI software discussed below, Ace Cloud Hosting VDI deserves a special mention. A global leader in virtual desktop infrastructure management solutions and services, Ace Cloud Hosting VDI, is a one-stop solution for a secure VDI experience for your remote workforce. Its enterprise-grade solutions and high-performance VDI platforms are used worldwide for efficient remote workspace management. Let us discuss the features of Ace Cloud Hosting VDI in detail:

Ace Cloud Hosting VDI

Ace Cloud Hosting VDI is a high-end software solution that offers fully managed VDI services for all desktop-related activities, including implementation, design, scaling, management, software updates, and security. Created with the help of VDI technology, Ace Cloud Hosting VDI simplifies your IT management, enhances flexibility at work, drives cost savings, and increases productivity. 

Ace VDI offers virtual workspaces capable of handling complex workflows. It unleashes real-time collaboration, data backup, high-end security, remote access, and many more.VDI provides industry-specific solutions with pricing plans tailored according to individual business requirements. 

ACE cloud hosting software

(Source-Ace Cloud Hosting VDI)

Features:

  • Protected with a multi-layered security environment, endpoint protection, OS patching, intrusion detection, and antivirus management
  • High-Performance Computing (HPC) cloud 
  • Users can work on multiple graphic-intensive applications simultaneously without experiencing interruptions or lag in service
  • Multi-redundant and fault-tolerant infrastructure
  • Disaster data recovery plan  
  • ACE VDI Solutions work on both platforms: VMware Horizon and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 
  • Customized desktop configurations
  • Add or remove virtual desktops as required
  • All-device compatibility
  • Round the clock  customer support
  • Free consultation via call, chat, or email
  • 99.99% uptime on all applications

If you prefer to use open-source and free virtual desktop software, then here you will get the list of top-quality VDI software. 

Let’s move ahead to know the insight of the free and open-source virtual desktop infrastructure solutions along with the comparison chart of the same.

Comparison Chart of Free and Open-Source Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Software 

Comparison chart of Virtual Desktop Software

Free and open-source Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Software

Red Hat Virtualization (open-source, free for 60 days)

Red Hat Virtualization is the open-source virtual desktop infrastructure software that is easy-to-setup, manage, and use. This software will allow you to virtualize your data center more affordably.

It serves as cross-portfolio and cross-platform integration. This app is as good as bare-metal and provide industry-leading performance. The software gains insight and intelligence into the virtualized infrastructure. In the entire business environment this tool helps in automating the processes. 

In this app, there is the facility of networking services and storage. It is easy to gain workload performance efficiency. This tool offers agility, reliability, and scalability for virtualized resource-intensive and critical workloads.

It improves performance and reduces the cost of high-performing Linux workstations.

Red Hat Virtualization(Source: Red Hat Virtualization)

Features: 

  • It visualizes any business-critical application with full confidence.
  • This tool provides a lower cost of virtualization solutions.
  • The apps running with Red Hat Virtualization tends to run faster.
  • Being open-source, it can integrate easily.
  • The intuitive tools allow you to start using this app quickly and automate migration from another vendor.
  • This app can easily create, start, stop, pause, migrate, and template single VMs in minutes or mass deployments in hours.
  • The single management component allows you to provision new VMs, clone the existing ones, and can observe how it works together.
  • It holds highly available resources and offers cross-platform support along with migration tooling.

Vagrant (open source & free) 

If you are looking for the easiest and fastest way to create a virtualized environment, then Vagrant by HashiCorp is apt for you. It serves as the open-source VDI software that works as the cross-platform.

The tool works on Linux, Windows, Mac, and other platforms. You can effortlessly install this tool.  

The solution holds unified workflows. It is simple and powerful, so whether you are a developer, operator, or designer, you can easily enjoy this app. It is meant for everyone as it builds and maintains portable virtual software development environments.

This free virtual desktop infrastructure software offers easy to configure, reproducible, and portable work environments. In your organization, you can maximize the productivity and flexibility of yours and your team members too.

With most of the major hypervisors, together with VirtualBox, Hyper-V, and VMware, the Vagrant is compatible. Across teams, the Vagrant Cloud enables access, insight, and collaboration. Companies make use of Vagrant cloud in their workings.Vagrant Software(Source: Vagrant)

Features:

  • Being cross-platform it works where you work. From the local laptop, the user can easily code in a text editor and edit images.
  • It automates the development environments of the developers, operators, and designers in lightweight and reproducible ways. 
  • In a single workflow, it builds and manages virtual machine environments. 
  • With a unified workflow, this app believes in enhancing consistency.
  • It holds the declarative configuration file along with configuration management tools.

Xen Project  (free and open-source)

Xen Project  is the open-source VDI software that is extremely versatile and customizable. This free virtual desktop software brings everywhere the power of virtualization due to its unique architecture.

It supports multiple guest operating systems like Linux, Windows, NetBSD, and FreeBSD. This app offers scalability, security, flexibility, modularity, reliability, and multi-vendor support. 

The solution supports multiple cloud platforms – CloudStack and OpenStack.

For large, critical, and extremely secure environments, this tool allows scalability, security, and robustness. The architecture of this app is modular.

Xen Project Software

(Source: Xen Project)

Features:

  • This app holds multiple guest operating systems and numerous cloud platforms support.
  • It provides Xen security modules for secure use-cases.
  • This open-source app offers multi-vendor support. The end-users have numerous places and service providers to work with.
  • With full control on the direction of code, there is maximum flexibility along with modular architecture.
  • It enables virtual machine migration. The workloads can be protected on the servers.

OpenVZ (free and open-source)

OpenVZ, the open-source virtual desktop infrastructure software is container-based virtualization for Linux. If Linux is installed on your machine, then this free virtual desktop software is easy to install.  

On a single physical server, this tool offers better server utilization and ensures that applications do not conflict. This app includes OpenVZ Kernel and user-level tools that are licensed under GNU GPL.

The site administrators can deploy multiple and independent instances of an operating system on a web server with this container-based virtualization solution. The containers in this app carry out like a stand-alone server.

OpenVZ software (Source:OpenVZ)

Features:

  • This app provides containers virtualization, and each container acts as an independent system.  
  • The layer of network virtualization is designed to isolate containers from each other and from the physical network.
  • OS templates are used to populate one or more containers. These templates act as the set of packages from some Linux distribution.
  • The resources are controlled in Virtual Private Servers with the help of OpenVZ resource management.
  • In general or for every container, this app allows flexible configuration among various settings.

 5 Oracle VM VirtualBox (free, open source)

Are you looking for a free and open-source cross-platform application for creating, running, and managing virtual machines, then Oracle VM VirtualBox can meet your requirements. This app uses the virtual drive format that allows users to run programs in a high-speed virtual environment.  

For the enterprise as well as home use, this app is an excellent virtualization product. This cross-platform tool allows running multiple operating systems. It holds the capacity to manage several virtual machines and the users can enjoy the flexibility.

Oracle VM Virtual Box(Source: Oracle VM VirtualBox)

Features:

  • It is a portable solution and can run on any operating system.
  • This cross-platform virtualization runs on Windows, Linux, Mac, Solaris hosts, and other guest operating systems.
  • This costless software is released under the GNU license. The user can enjoy full access to the functions of this app.
  • With the host system this app streamlines the communication. It believes in guest enhancements.
  • It is easy to save the current state of the virtual machine due to the snapshots feature of the virtual machines.
  • It offers remote machine display and excellent hardware support.

VMware Horizon 7 (open –source & free trial of 60 days)

Horizon 7 is the open-source virtual desktop infrastructure software that delivers published applications and desktops on a single integrated VDI platform. There is a better user experience for Skype for business, session collaboration, and JMP (Just-in-Time Management Platform). It offers a simple and efficient approach to deliver, protect, and manage virtual desktops and apps. From anywhere and anytime, the end-users can work with the help of this tool.

For every need, this app delivers simple and cost-effective desktop and application virtualization. It serves as the leading platform for virtual desktops and applications. This solution supports usability, centralized control, scalability, and security. Across devices and locations, this tool provides a consistent user experience. In the data center, it keeps the corporate data compliant and securely stored.

VMware Horizon 7 software

(Source: VMware Horizon7)

Features:

  • Across multiple data centers, it quickly delivers Windows and Linux resources at scale.
  • It offers smart policies with streamlined networking, automated intelligence, and threat protection.  
  • With a single digital workspace, the end-users hold easy access to virtual desktops and published applications.
  • The extreme blast performance delivers an immersive and feature-rich user experience for end-users, across devices, locations, media, and network connections.
  • It believes in improving the user experience by easily monitoring the performance, setting up alerts, and remediate issues.
  • It delivers a better user experience of Skype for businesses and helps in improving productivity at lower costs.

 7 flexVDI (open-source, free )

flexVDI is the full-stack VDI solution that holds some components free and open-source. This tool enhances the performance of two virtualization technologies – Quick Emulator (QEMU) and Kernel-Based Virtual Machine (KVM).

While cutting IT costs, this solution provides freedom to work from anywhere to the employees. In your organization, you can keep your data safe and get real mobility. In your private cloud, you can have a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

It will help in reducing the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). This developer-friendly software offers safe and flexible mobility. To any device, it delivers Windows, Linux, web, SaaS apps along with full virtual desktops. The users can back up their data easily with this tool.

FlexVDI software

(Source: flexVDI)

Features:

  • It is developer-friendly as it provides easy-to-use and fully documented HTTP/JSON API.
  • The app protects against malware. It believes in offering full control of the documents along with printing and copying rights.
  • Being safe, flexible, and full of mobility, this tool has a native client for every major platform. It has extremely fast HTML5 client.
  • This open-source virtualization tool has a fully open protocol.
  • To improve its performance with VDI workloads, it features VDI optimized KVM(Kernel-based virtual machine)

FOSS-Cloud (Open source, free)

FOSS-Cloud is the open-source VDI software that has an integrated and redundant server infrastructure. The app offers accessible virtual servers and workstations. If the user wants to configure and start up a new project, then they will find this app simple and easy-to-use.

This solution is multilingual, scalable, and Linux distribution independent. It offers a total solution for a single server, multiple physical servers along with backup servers. It is free from licensing fees. The solution can be integrated into existing environments and have a web-based management console. It holds desktop publishing capabilities and application streaming.

Foss Cloud Software

 (Source: FOSS-Cloud)

Features:

  • It offers powerful virtualization for Windows and Linux.
  • It serves as the cloud for desktop virtualization and server.
  • The tool is fully integrated with Windows and Linux environments.
  • It has a dynamic desktop with a golden image that serves the user group.
  • There are persistent virtual machines in this tool along with the system of session transfer to other devices.
  • The app provides applications and video streaming.

The above mentioned free and open-source virtual desktop software offers promising solutions. Apart from that, the Amazon WorkSpaces is also getting popular. The following section will discuss some of the key features of the Amazon WorkSpaces software. 

Amazon WorkSpaces (Popular)

Amazon WorkSpaces offers secure, managed, and cloud-based virtual desktop experience. The app provides fully managed service along with high-quality portable desktop and applications.  

It serves as the complete cloud-based virtual desktop service. Either on Windows or Linux, this app can be used. Being scalable, it becomes easy to manage data and applications. The solution can simplify desktop delivery, reduce costs, can control the desktop resources, helps in keeping the data secure, offers flexible desktop, and delivers information to multiple devices.

For remote, mobile, and contract employees; this app provides secure cloud desktops. During mergers and acquisitions, this app offers rapid integrations. 

It is easy for the IT teams to decommission secure WorkSpaces with this app which in turn helps them to keep up with the changing organizational structures. For software test and development, the developers can scale desktops.

Amazon workSpaces Software (Source: Amazon WorkSpace)

Features:

  • It is centrally managed and can scale the global desktop deployment.
  • It makes use of the existing corporate directory, including Microsoft Active Directory.
  • The app is secure and encrypted. It believes in offering easy provisioning.
  • The user can bring their desktop licenses like Windows 7 and Windows 10 to this app and can run it on the hardware.
  • The user enjoys persistent storage and can access their content stored on Amazon WorkDocs.
  • It has web access and can be run on mobile and desktop.
  • It has PC-over-IP (PCoIP) technology to provide users with a secure and high-quality experience.

Closing Thoughts

With limited resources, it is tough to streamline the IT functions in your organization. The best way to overcome software obstacles is to make use of virtual desktop software in your work environment.

As an administrator, you can have access to remote desktops and operating systems in your business with VDI solutions. Remotely the users can access the virtual desktop. Without increasing costs, companies can employ free virtual desktop infrastructure software solutions. The employees can run multiple operating systems on the same data centre.

Hoping the list of free and open-source virtual desktop infrastructure solutions provided in this article allows you to understand the purpose of VDI and its various benefits.

If you want more advanced features of Virtual desktop software solutions for your business or organization, then you can try Nutanix, riverbed, Maxta Hyperconvergence, and Sangfor.

Feel free to share your reviews here.

If you are looking for other software categories, then click here.

Andrea Hernandez
Andrea Hernandez

Andrea Hernandez is a tech blogger and content marketing expert. She writes about disruptive tech trends counting blockchain, artificial intelligence, and Internet of Things. Presently, as a senior writer, she is associated with GoodFirms, a pioneering B2B research, review, and rating platform. Follow her on social media for valuable information on the software.

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