VirtualBox is an open source virtualization solution. The advantages of using the virtual machine are as follows:
- You will not have to install ExpressionPlot, since it comes pre-installed on your virtual hard drive. Regular installation may be tricky on untested platforms.
- You do not need root access to install.
Disadvantages of virtual installation include the following:
- If you don't already know how, you have to figure out how to use VirtualBox (but I've included some detailed instructions for you to get started).
- The virtual hard disk takes a lot of space since it contains its own copy of the Operating System.
- The virtual hard disk is dynamically expandable up to 2TB. However, it is not easily compactable if you want to free space, for example by deleting alignments.
- The virtual installation runs a little bit slower.
- In my experience the virtual machine has a tendency to use up memory and then crash ("Guru meditation"). You can always restart it, but this is really annoying.
In short, I recommend the virtual installation for trying out ExpressionPlot, or if you have trouble with the regular installation. For production scale, I recommend the regular installation.