VirtualBox 4.0.0 Beta 2 is a free virtualization tool that can be used as an alternative to commercial applications VMware Fusion and Parallels. The virtualized operating system running in a window like any other program.
Guest operating systems that supports VirtualBox 4.0.0 Beta 2 are: DOS, Windows 3.x, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Linux 2.4/2.6, FreeBSD, OpenBSD and OS / 2 Warp 4.5.
VirtualBox 4.0.0 Beta 2 share the Mac’s Internet connection with the guest operating system, so does the CD / DVD. USB ports can also be used, although this function is not very stable.
Key Featues of VirtualBox 4.0.0 Beta 2:
Â· Modularity. Oracle VM VirtualBox has an extremely modular design with well-defined internal programming interfaces and a client/server design. This makes it easy to control it from several interfaces at once: for example, you can start a virtual machine in a typical virtual machine GUI and then control that machine from the command line, or possibly remotely. Oracle VM VirtualBox also comes with a full Software Development Kit: even though it is Open Source Software, you don’t have to hack the source to write a new interface for Oracle VM VirtualBox.
Â· Virtual machine descriptions in XML. The configuration settings of virtual machines are stored entirely in XML and are independent of the local machines. Virtual machine definitions can therefore easily be ported to other computers.
Â· Guest Additions for Windows and Linux. Oracle VM VirtualBox has special software that can be installed inside Windows and Linux virtual machines to improve performance and make integration much more seamless. Among the features provided by these Guest Additions are mouse pointer integration and arbitrary screen solutions (e.g. by resizing the guest window).
Â· Virtual USB Controllers. Oracle VM VirtualBox implements a virtual USB controller and allows you to connect arbitrary USB devices to your virtual machines without having to install device specific drivers on the host.
Â· Remote Desktop Protocol. Unlike any other virtualization software, Oracle VM VirtualBox fully supports the standard Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). A virtual machine can act as an RDP server, allowing you to “run” the virtual machine remotely on some thin client that merely displays the RDP data.
Â· USB over RDP. With this unique feature, a virtual machine that acts as an RDP server can still access arbitrary USB devices that are connected on the RDP client. This way, a powerful server machine can virtualize a lot of thin clients that merely need to display RDP data and have USB devices plugged in.
Â· Shared folders. Like many other virtualization solutions, for easy data exchange between hosts and guests, Oracle VM VirtualBox allows for declaring certain host directories as “shared folders”, which can then be accessed from within virtual machines.
What’s New in This Release:
This version is a major update. The following major new features were added:
Â· Reorganization of VirtualBox into a base package and Extension Packs;
Â· New settings/disk ï¬le layout for VM portability; see chapter 10.1, Where VirtualBox stores
Â· its ï¬les, page 149.