I'am looking for a lightweight vm/container to contain\isolate a certain program from the host,I’m stuck in a situation where i need to use 2 isolated apps and make them communicate with each other . OS Windows 7. the 2 apps act as source/destination

  • On what operating systems can your two isolated source/sink apps run? Commented Jan 21, 2019 at 21:34

1 Answer 1


The terms "lightweight" and "isolate" are mutually exclusive. You must decide which is the priority for your needs.

As an analogy of the technical issues involved, think of the problem of a family trip with a pair of siblings fighting amongst themselves.

  • The lightweight solution is laying a line of colored tape along the bench-seat cushions of the car with each kid pretending to be alone in their own seat and the parents constantly supervising. This will work much of the time, but there might well be some breaches. This is the Container solution.
  • The isolated solution is to tow a trailer behind the car, with one kid in the car and one kid in the trailer. (Not that the trailer idea is either safe or legal; work with me here.) This is the Virtual Machine solution.


The lightweight technologies commonly known as containers or operating-system-level virtualization in inherently vulnerable to security leaks. The technologies use various tricks to try to keep the container separated but by its nature it is not literally separated. Security concerns are one reason why containers are increasingly popular with developers & testers but not yet commonly used to deploy in production.

Examples of containers include BSD Jails, Solaris Containers & Zones, Linux LXC, etc. See a list on Wikipedia.


True isolation requires a virtual machine (VM) running its own operating system (OS) rather than sharing an OS. The VM has its own address space, its own filesystem, and its own network stack. Software running inside the VM has no idea it is being hosted on another OS or hosted on a thin mini-OS hypervisor. Apps within the VM have no access to the host resources, provided you have disabled any bridging features built into the virtualization software such as a shared folder of files.

Examples of such VMs include Parallels Desktop & VMware Fusion (both hosted on macOS). For hosting on Windows, this article of 2016 suggests:

VirtualBox is very popular, free-of-cost, open-source, and actively developed. Runs many operating systems.

Hyper-V is built by Microsoft and bundled with Windows, promising stability and performance.

The free-of-cost VMware Workstation Player is restricted to non-commercial use only according to Wikipedia. So your needs may require purchasing a license for VMware Workstation.

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