An OSE (operating system environment) is an OS operating system instance running on either a physical device, VM (virtual machine), or hardware partition.

Types of OSEs. An operating system instance running directly on physical device or hardware partition is called a physical OSE, and each device or hardware partition will have only one physical OSE. An operating system instance within a VM is called a virtual OSE. Since each VM includes just one virtual OSE, the two terms are often used interchangeably in a licensing context.

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