Virtual machines are based on computer architectures and provide functionality of a physical computer. Their implementations may involve specialized hardware, software, or a combination. Some virtual machine emulators, such as QEMU and video game console emulators , are designed to also emulate or "virtually imitate" different system architectures thus allowing execution of software applications and operating systems written for another CPU or architecture. Operating-system-level virtualization allows the resources of a computer to be partitioned via the kernel. The terms are not universally interchangeable. A "virtual machine" was originally defined by Popek and Goldberg as "an efficient, isolated duplicate of a real computer machine. A host can emulate several guests, each of which can emulate different operating systems and hardware platforms.
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