Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.0 is released!

VirtualBox 4.0 is hot off the press so you may be wondering what's new? Here's a very quick summary....

VirtualBox Manager
  • Usability Improvements

    • A major revamp of the VirtualBox Manager with features such as VM Preview, an orderable VM list, and optional attribute panes, allows admins or power users to customize the interface to make it as simple or as comprehensive as they require.

    • Easy shortcut creation enables users to launch vm's from their Desktop, Start Menu, or from scripts, without the need to start the VirtualBox Manager.

    • The new scaleable display mode allows users to accommodate more virtual displays on the same amount of physical screen real-estate.

  • Increased capacity and throughput

    • New Asynchronous I/O model for networked (iSCSI) and local storage delivers significant storage related performance improvements, especially over 1GB LANs.

    • Improved ability to run larger vms on smaller 32-bit hosts. This enables large vms, for example, Oracle datacenter-class products, to run on desktop systems such as 32-bit Windows hosts.

  • Powerful Virtual Appliance sharing

    • Strongest support for the Open Virtualization Formats in industry. This release strengthens Oracle's commitment to standards, with the adoption of ovf and now ova format appliances

    • Version 4.0 also provides easier direct sharing of vms too, with a new configuration storage model. This new configuration storage model holds all information about a virtual machine, such as virtual hardware, virtual disk files, snapshots and saved state files into a single folder. vm's in a folder

    • This means that, for the first time, suspended vm's and vm's with snapshots can be transferred.

  • Latest virtual hardware

    • By offering a new, modern chipset supporting PCI Express, VirtualBox can support the most demanding of virtual workloads.

    • High Definition Audio devices deliver fantastic sound quality for both output and input (microphones) devices.

    • Hardware offloading for virtual networking increases throughput via virtual NICs.

    • Powerful port-forwarding rules allow the user to run server vms on their desktop device using NAT networking. This means that user can run, say an Apache web server in a vm and connect to it via a host port.

      Port Forwarding
      Port Forwarding
  • Open Source Packaging and Licensing

    • Fully Open Source base product. No longer will there be any confusion about separate editions of VirtualBox. For the first time there is an OSS licensed binary meaning partners do not need to build and maintain their own source tress. This lowers a barrier and is expected to spark increased interest in VirtualBox virtualization solutions.

    • Flexible Extension Pack mechanism for add-on functions. By delivering a pluggable Extension model in the style of Firefox Extensions, Oracle are providing a way for ecosystem partners to offer value-add functionality in an elegant and powerful way.Extensions

    • The first Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack will offer high-speed USB 2.0, Remote Display Services and Network booting features. This will be licensed under the same free for Personal Use and Evaluation License as previous versions.

There is much, much more going on under the hood too, such as API changes and the introduction of an event driven model for API users, but we don't have time to cover this today. Suffice to say, we're really pleased with 4.0 and hope you are too.

- FB


As the Main Package is now under GPL, everyone can use it. And this is great, there is now an official repository for the "OSE".

Some things that should be updated:

In the user manual it is not correctly updated. especially in chapter
"Installing VirtualBox from a Debian/Ubuntu package":
« sudo dpkg -i VirtualBox-3.2_4.0.0... »
« You will be asked to accept the VirtualBox Personal Use and Evaluation License. Unless you answer “yes” here, the installation will be aborted. »

In the changelog there is no mention of the GPL/PUEL.
The "Editions" page is also not yet updated

Posted by Philipp Gassmann on December 22, 2010 at 03:13 PM GMT #

Thanks a lot for the new version. Excellent job!

One feature request (not sure if there's a specific place for these). Would it be possible to run a VM without opening a new window? Some machines are use are only for services, such as a web server. Once started I don't need to see it anymore.


Posted by Martin Giffy D'Souza on December 22, 2010 at 07:34 PM GMT #

Philipp, thanks for spotting the omissions. We'll fix that.

Martin, try :
VBoxManage startvm "vmname" --type headless

- FB

Posted by Fat Bloke on December 23, 2010 at 03:38 AM GMT #


I just tried it and it somewhat works. It still opens a new command window. Anyway to prevent that from opening up? Ideally I don't want any extra windows open.



Posted by Martin Giffy D'Souza on December 23, 2010 at 06:14 AM GMT #

How can it be license to use in a company?

Posted by Ana on December 23, 2010 at 06:24 AM GMT #


I'm running the host on a Windows 7 64-bit machine and noticed that when my VM host-only adapter doesn't seem to be working. The host IP address is correct just seems that the VMs aren't getting an IP from DHCP.

On a side note what is the best place to post questions/bugs for Virtualbox? Is Oracle going to have a forum page on OTN?



Posted by Martin Giffy D'Souza on December 23, 2010 at 06:49 PM GMT #


Best place for questions is the busy and vibrant
And to run a single vm without the VirtualBox Manager....
A new feature for 4.0 is:
- in the VirtualBox Manager, right click on a vm and Create Shortcut on Desktop

When you want to run just this app, click on this shortcut.
You can put this shortcut anywhere you like.

- FB

Posted by Fat Bloke on December 24, 2010 at 01:41 AM GMT #

Does this VM comes with any pre-installed Oracle software?

Posted by guest on January 05, 2011 at 07:16 AM GMT #

How do you license it for commercial use? I can't seem to find that info anywhere.

Posted by Jeff Small on January 06, 2011 at 10:06 AM GMT #

Although, I have installed the extension pack and yet my USB devices have stopped working. I am using Kubuntu and with 3.x, USB devices were picked up as they were plugged in.

Anyway of troubleshooting?

Posted by Kanwar on January 06, 2011 at 05:06 PM GMT #

Replying to my own post:

It wasn't the Virtualbox update that broke the USB functionality but upgrade of the OS (maverick to natty alpha).


Posted by Kanwar on January 06, 2011 at 07:03 PM GMT #

Most unstable version I have ever seen. VirtualBox keeps crashing and freezing my SUSE box when loading the appliance's saved session.

Damn Oracle.

Posted by Lambic on January 07, 2011 at 02:47 AM GMT #


Phew! ;-)
FYI is the place to go to find help if you bump into other issues.


Posted by Fat Bloke on January 07, 2011 at 02:48 AM GMT #


I'm having issues with Win 7 reading my CD drive. Host Mac OS X 10.6.6, in IDE Controller settings I have the host drive selected as a IDE Secondary Master, with passthrough clicked. When I power on Win 7 under devices I have CD/DVD I have the host drive checked. However, when I insert a CD/DVD I'm trying to add software to WIn 7 nothing happens. The disk spins and the computer spits it out. Am I missing something?


Posted by cookNice on January 22, 2011 at 07:39 AM GMT #

Please the links of download for Ubuntu 9.04 ("Jaunty Jackalope") are broken, can fix it?

Not Found
The requested object does not exist on this server. The link you followed is either outdated, inaccurate, or the server has been instructed not to let you have it. Please inform the site administrator of the referring page.


Posted by TeRrOkToR on January 24, 2011 at 06:31 AM GMT #

TeRrOkToR thanks.
The bug here was the presence of the link, not the missing file.
Ubuntu have not supported Jaunty since Nov last year, so we have dropped support for it too.
We still have Hardy (LTS) and the more recent builds.

- FB

Posted by Fat Bloke on January 24, 2011 at 07:05 AM GMT #

hi,thanks for this new version of the fabulous virtualbox.

Posted by Juan on January 29, 2011 at 12:22 PM GMT #

How do you license it for commercial use? I can't seem to find that info anywhere.

Posted by Anton on February 04, 2011 at 03:58 AM GMT #

Hello, I am new to virtualbox host in windows 7, I use it a lot in Mac OS X since their earliest versions. The problem for me is in Windows 7 the only valid version for install is 3.1, is there a way to install an newer version under Win 7 Professional 64 Bit?.


Posted by Ricardo on February 04, 2011 at 03:13 PM GMT #

I can't find hints,
1. if I can install VB v.4 beside v.3.2 and use them alternatively, or not?
2. if I can export a VM from v.3.2 and import it into v.4 ?

best regards, Balint

Posted by Balint Juhasz on February 10, 2011 at 09:34 AM GMT #


1. you can only have 1 version installed at a time.
But it only takes a few mins to switch.

2. yes

- FB

Posted by Fat Bloke on February 10, 2011 at 09:37 AM GMT #

THANKS for the hints! Balint

Posted by Balint Juhasz on February 10, 2011 at 09:51 AM GMT #

Can you guys please make it so where we can just drag one of the OS selections in the left side pane, and be able to turn on one of the Virtual OSs and start it without having to go through launching the VirtualBox control panel, and selecting the OS. I think it would be a nice little feature if we could do that :)

Posted by Justin on February 22, 2011 at 11:41 AM GMT #


Not sure if it helps but you can click on the .vbox file to launch vm's or you can right click and create a shortcut too.

- FB

Posted by Fat Bloke on February 22, 2011 at 01:09 PM GMT #

@Fat Bloke
Ok cool !!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks :)

Posted by Justin on February 22, 2011 at 01:30 PM GMT #

When I click on the link for the extension pack I get a page of text and no download or package?

This link is off the Oracle page???
is it broken?

Posted by Lee-Anne Reid on February 22, 2011 at 05:10 PM GMT #

right click on the Extension Pack link and Save As to a local file.
(This is to do with browser/web server mime types.)


Posted by Fat Bloke on February 23, 2011 at 01:59 AM GMT #

I have a Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.6 on a 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo box.
I had been using OpenSolaris under VirtualBox and it recently decided that
it couldn't use Solaris.vdi even though it was still present and readable.
So I downloaded the latest 4.0.4 VirtualBox .dmg today (2011.02.24). It
couldn't use Solaris.vdi either, but it also said there was a problem with USB
2 that could be resolved by installing the extension pack. So I downloaded
that too (also 4.0.4), clicked on it, and got
installer failed with exit code 667 VERR_ACCESS_DENIED
NS_ERROR_FAILURE (0x80004005)
The file is a world readable gzipped tarball (despite the funny extension)
and tar has absolutely no problem with it.

Posted by Richard A. O'Keefe on February 23, 2011 at 03:29 PM GMT #

Problem solved: my home directory is (as all home directories are here) on an NFS partition.
Copying the file to /tmp (which is on the local machine) and clicking that worked like a
charm. But the error messages said nothing whatever about the file not being on a local

Could this have been what went wrong with Solaris.vdi? Did VirtualBox at some point
decide that a .vdi file had not merely to exist, be accessible, and have the right kind of
contents, but be on the local file system? If so, given that my ~/Library directory is on
an NFS partition, so that ~/Library/VirtualBox and all its descendants are also, what am
I supposed to do about this? I can't put \*those\* in /tmp.

Posted by Richard O'Keefe on February 23, 2011 at 03:37 PM GMT #


Can you report your issues at please?

- FB

Posted by Fat Bloke on February 24, 2011 at 02:01 AM GMT #

Sir, help me have not be able to get Virtual box that work perfectly with window 7 help thankx.

Posted by Daniel Abel A on March 01, 2011 at 08:35 AM GMT #

guy's.... great work ...again!
I swear if MonkeySoft ever wanted to re-gain their once lost position of high regard in the real computing world ... all they'd have to do is watch you guys for a week...

Cudos, and my continued respect and appreciation

Posted by JNB on March 15, 2011 at 08:34 PM GMT #

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