VirtualBox 4.0: Best Free VM, Now Supports Extentions, Simplified GUI
Oracle VirtualBox 4.0 is recently released and is a major upgrade. The new user interface is now known as “VirtualBox Manager.” It has made management of virtual operating systems a lot more easier. VirtualBox is a free virtualization software released under GNU General Public License (GPL) for personal use and is available for Windows, Mac and Linux host systems. The user interface is easier to get around, you can now easily move or wipe away virtual machines. Display and hardware compatibility improved in this new version, and you can now even add new capabilities using the new “extensions.”
There aren’t many Extensions now, but third-party developers may soon add some nice capabilities to this free virtual machine manager. Oracle offers one extension, namely, USB management, that will likely allow users of the open source version (usually distributed by Linux desktops) to get that previously unavailable ability.
You can check out the VirtualBox 4.0 changelog for the complete list of enhancements and bug fixes.
Features in VirtualBox 4.0
- VirtualBox is now segregated into a base package and Extension Packs which can be downloaded separately from VirtualBox official website.
- Live preview of the virtual machine is the most real enhancement in the GUI . Users are also equipped with the option to configure the refresh rate to be in between every half second to every tenth seconds, or to disable the refresh completely.
- The virtual machine details in the right tab of VirtualBox Manager such as General, System, Display, Storage, Audio, Network, Serial Ports, USB and Shared Folders are now divided neatly into groups.
- Extension prefaced in VirtualBox 4.0 enables the virtualization tool to be an open architecture. Through the installation of the new extensions, the users are now able to add new functionalities into virtual machines such as USB 2.0 devices support and Pre-Boot Execution Environment (PXE) boot. Although more extensions are yet to be made available, it is expected that new VirtualBox extension packs will be later developed by Oracle and community developers to offer functionalities which are not now available .
- 2GB of RAM or more is now supported for the guest OS running in a 32-bit host.
- Process of exporting and importing virtual machines in VirtualBox no longer requires tedious tweaking of XML configuration files. The Open Virtualization Format Archive (OVA) facilitates the improved export and import process which involved only a single file.
- In addition to Virtual Disk Image (VDI), various disk image files are also supported such as VMDK by VMware, VHD by Microsoft and HDD by Parallels version 2.
- New virtual hardware such as Intel ICH9 chipset and Intel HD Audio are available for better support of modern guest operating system.
VirtualBox 4.0 is available as free download for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.
You can also download VirtualBox 4.0 using the direct download links given below: