VirtualBox

VirtualBox is a free, powerful, cross-platform virtualization application for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, or Oracle Solaris operating systems (OSes). It extends the capabilities of your existing computer so that it can run multiple OSes, inside multiple virtual machines, at the same time. As an example, you can run Windows and Linux on your Mac, run Windows Server 2016 on your Linux server, run Linux on your Windows PC, and so on, all alongside your existing applications. You can install and run as many virtual machines as you like. The only practical limits are disk space and memory. 

VirtualBox virtual machine software

Oracle VM VirtualBox is deceptively simple yet also very powerful. It can run everywhere from small embedded systems or desktop class machines all the way up to datacenter deployments and even Cloud environments. 

Portability

Instead of needing to be attached to a hardware, Oracle VM VirtualBox can run on any operating system. It does not even interrupt the processes of pre-existing applications on its host. 

To a very large degree, Oracle VM VirtualBox is functionally identical on all of the host platforms, and the same file and image formats are used. This enables you to run virtual machines created on one host on another host with a different host OS.

Virtual machines can easily be imported and exported using the Open Virtualization Format (OVF). You can even import OVFs that were created with a different virtualization software, notably VMWare. 

VirtualBox manager virtual machine software

Cross-Platform

Presently, VirtualBox runs on Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and Solaris hosts and supports a large number of guest operating systems including but not limited to Windows (NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10), DOS/Windows 3.x, Linux (2.4, 2.6, 3.x and 4.x), Solaris and OpenSolaris, OS/2, and OpenBSD.

No hardware virtualization required

For many scenarios, Oracle VM VirtualBox does not require the processor features built into newer hardware like Intel VT-x or AMD-V. As opposed to many other virtualization solutions, you can therefore use Oracle VM VirtualBox even on older hardware where these features are not present.

Free Software

As Oracle VM VirtualBox is released under the GNU General Public License version 2, you do not have to pay to download and use it. There are no limits to its functions and you have full access to them. However, if you require extensions and technical support, you may want to consider the Enterprise edition of VirtualBox.

Guest Enhancements

The Oracle VM VirtualBox Guest Additions are software packages which can be installed inside of supported guest systems to improve their performance and to provide additional integration and communication with the host system. After installing the Guest Additions, a virtual machine will support automatic adjustment of video resolutions, seamless windows, accelerated 3D graphics and more.

In particular, Guest Additions provide for “shared folders”, which let you access files from the host system from within a guest machine.

Great hardware support

Guest multiprocessing (SMP), USB device support, excellent hardware compatibility, full ACPI support, multiscreen resolutions support, built-in iSCSI support, PXE Network boot. 

Multigeneration branched snapshots

Oracle VM VirtualBox can save arbitrary snapshots of the state of the virtual machine. You can go back in time and revert the virtual machine to any such snapshot and start an alternative VM configuration from there, effectively creating a whole snapshot tree.

Download & Availability

Download VirtualBox from the official website

Similar Tools

VMware Workstation: the industry standard for running multiple operating systems as virtual machines (VMs) on a single Linux or Windows PC. VMware Fusion allows Mac users to effortlessly run Windows on Mac along with hundreds of other operating systems without rebooting.

Parallels Desktop for Mac: Runs Windows, OS X, Linux, Android and other virtual machines. Effortless setup. Fast performance in testing. Rich options for opening Windows files in OS X or the reverse. Tight integration with the OS X desktop and menu bar. 


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *