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A Host Operating System (OS) is the primary operating system installed on a computer that runs directly on the hardware. It serves as the base layer for virtualization, providing resources and an environment for virtual machines (also known as guest operating systems) to operate.

In virtualization, the host OS allows you to run multiple guest OSs on a single physical hardware system simultaneously, which share resources (such as memory, storage, and CPU) managed by the host OS.

Some key points regarding Host OS in virtualization include:

  • Responsibilities: The host OS manages hardware resources, including the allocation of those resources to the guest operating systems. It is also responsible for running the virtualization software or hypervisor that creates, manages, and interacts with the virtual machines.

  • Types of Virtualization: Host OS can be used in two types of virtualization: full virtualization and paravirtualization. In full virtualization, guest operating systems run unmodified, while in paravirtualization, guest operating systems need to be modified to efficiently run on the host OS.

  • Security Considerations: Protecting the host OS is crucial since its vulnerability can potentially affect every virtual machine running on the host. To secure the host, ensure that it is regularly updated, uses strong authentication measures, follows strict access controls, and employs network security best practices.

By understanding host OS and its roles in virtualization, you can better manage your virtual environment and ensure optimal performance and security for your virtual machines.

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