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This issue Jonni has been getting very angry at me for conflating the terms emulate and virtualise, don’t even get him started on containerise. Largely I hadn’t clocked that virtualise only includes systems running on the same hardware platform. Surely, that’s an easy enough mistake to make with the x86 platform being so dominant, it’s the main thing you are going to virtualise!

This x86 world is changing though; sure for Linux Format readers x86 is going to remain the primary desktop platform. But there’s a good chance Arm plays as much a roll in your life, be that in the Raspberry Pi, your smartphone, tablet or smart TV.

In big business Amazon is already running its own design of Arm-based server processor, Apple is posturing to launch an Arm-based consumer-level processor for laptops, while Microsoft is already peddling Arm-builds of Windows. You can see the world is changing. If slowly.

The beauty of Linux and open source is that this changes little for us, many distros already offer Arm builds and have done for some time. Emulate entire architectures with Qemu, virtualise operating systems in VirtualBox, containerise software deployments with Docker; the level of complexity scales to your needs along with the speed and efficiency.

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