VirtualBox is a general-purpose full virtualizer for x86 hardware. Targeted at server, desktop and embedded use, it is now the only professional-quality virtualization solution that is also Open Source Software.

Some of the features of VirtualBox are:

  • Modularity. 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. 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 VirtualBox.
  • 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.

This is a maintenance release. The following items were fixed and/or added:

  • VRDP: fixed screen corruption
  • NAT: the interface stopped working after a lot of failed ICMP requests
  • E1000: fixed rare Windows 7 guest hangs, either at boot time or when reconfiguring the network card in unusual setups
  • ATA: fixed a possible crash during ATAPI passthrough with certain guests
  • ATA: improved compatibility with ancient Linux kernels
  • Main: fixed incorrect framebuffer information after leaving the fullscreen mode with X11 guests, this lead to a scrambled preview window in the GUI for example
  • Mac OS X hosts: fixed the problem with duplicate packets when bridged to a wireless interface
  • Linux hosts: fix for 3D support on Fedora 15
  • Linux hosts: don't call del_timer_sync from an interrupt context (Fedora bug report 746331)
  • Windows Vista and 7 guests: more WDDM fixes
  • Linux Additions: fixed kernel module compilation failure on Redhat Enterprise Linux 4
  • Linux Additions: install the DRI driver correctly on Ubuntu 11.10 guests
  • Solaris Additions: added read-only mmap support for shared folders
  • Solaris Additions: added directory, file mode and mask options for shared folders
  • Windows Additions: implemented faster detection of logged-in guest users and stale sessions
  • X.Org Additions: fixed graphical corruption when switching to a virtual terminal

Download: VirtualBox | 87.2 MB (Open Source)
Read: Changelog
View: VirtualBox Website

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It is interesting that a few of the VirtualBox developers 'get' what is possible with the OS level GPU thread handling of Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2, and are working towards giving guest OSes concurrent access to the GPU under Windows. (Much like RemoteFX in Server 2008 R2 SP1 offers, that can share one GPU with several users.)

This gives VirtualBox the potential to be a rather powerful tool, and hopefully will bring attention to what the WDM/WDDM in Windows is trully doing and capable of doing that is not possible in other OSes.

Did they make it easy to move virtual images yet? They make it a huge pain to transfer images to another drive if you change the drive letter and the folder location. That's why I went back to VMWare since you can just tell it to open a virtual machine image and it does it with not problem no matter where you move it.

farmeunit said,

Shared folder

Shared folder is a nice work around...but work arounds aren't solutions.

If there are technical limitations keeping them from implementing drag and drop directly, I don't see why they can't at least make it more usable: if you drop a file onto the virtualbox window, have the action tied to automatically copying the file to a defined folder in the system (ie., Desktop). It wouldn't be true drag and drop, but it would at least be a one-click copy.