Open sourced VirtualBox 4.0 features an easier-to-use interface and improved virtual appliance capabilities
Oracle has released a new version of its freely-available VirtualBox virtual machine distribution software that enables desktop or laptop computers to run several operating systems simultaneously.
The company said that it features a major revamp of the VirtualBox Manager with features such as VM Preview, an orderable VM list, and optional attribute panes. This allows administrators or power users to customise the interface to make it as simple or as comprehensive as they wish.
Single Open-Sourced Code
Oracle has stressed: “This is a fully open sourced product. No longer will there be any confusion about separate editions of VirtualBox. For the first time there is an OSS licenced binary: meaning partners do not need to build and maintain their own source tress.”
The company believes that this will remove a barrier to spark more interest in its VirtualBox virtualisation products. It has also increased this attraction by adding a Flexible Extension Pack for add-on developments. This pluggable model reflects the Mozilla Firefox Extensions to provide ecosystem partners with a way to extend the system with value-add features.
From the user perspective, shortcuts can be created so virtual machines can be launched from their Desktop screen, Start Menu, or by using scripts, without the need to start the VirtualBox Manager. The display is also scaleable to allow more virtual displays to be accommodated on the same screen.
Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.0 supports several host operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS X, most flavours of Linux (including Oracle Linux) and Oracle Solaris. This release features an easier-to-use interface and improved virtual appliance capabilities, said Wim Coekaerts, senior vice president of Oracle Linux and Virtualisation Engineering.
VirtualBox 4.0 also supports the latest virtual hardware, such as chipsets supporting PCI Express. All these improvements give VirtualBox greater capacity to handle larger workloads, Coekaerts said. He added that, with this announcement, the continuing investment Oracle is making in its Sun Microsystems-related open source-based products such as VirtualBox and OpenOffice is quite apparent.
“Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.0 is the third major product release in just over a year,” Coekaerts said. “This illustrates the importance that Oracle places on providing a comprehensive desktop to our data centre virtualisation solution.
“Customers will find Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.0 provides a richer user experience [than previous versions].”
Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.0 for Windows (32- and 64-bit), Mac OS and Solaris is available for free Windows download (75MB file). It is also available for Oracle Linux customers via the Unbreakable Linux Network.