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Bochs is a complete personal computer (PC) emulator of the Intel x86 variant. Its efficiency in simulating Intel x86 is so efficient that all software applications that are compatible with the x86 or similar variants can seamlessly run on Bochs. Bochs supports a wide range of x86 operating systems, Linux flavors and BSD flavors. It is written in C++ and designed to run on multiple platforms. However, being a self-sufficient Intel x86 emulator, it does not need instructions from the host platform.
Bochs emulation of Intel x86 encompasses common I/O devices and a custom BIOS. It can be compiled to emulate multiple x86 CPUs such as the 386 variants, x86-64 Intel and AMD, and even those that have not reached the market. Since Bochs is so efficient and accurately compiled, it can run a wide variety of software which includes all x86 operating systems, such as Windows, Linux and BSD variants.
It is designed to run on a number of platforms such as x86, PPC, Sun, Alpha and MIPS. Since Bochs is self-sufficient, it does not rely on instructions from host platforms, unlike other x86 emulators such as VMware and VirtualBox. However, the main disadvantage of Bochs has been its performance. Bochs needs to model the processor, and to do that, it needs to run several simulated x86 instructions which tend to slow down performance.
Given that the x86 variant is largely considered outdated, Bochs can provide a convenient platform for software applications that still need to be tested or run on an x86 machine.