Friday Aug 27, 2010

VirtualBox wins a 2010 Bossie!



Oracle VM VirtualBox has been honoured in the annual InfoWorld Bossie Awards (Bossie == Best of Open Source Software of the year) alongside some hallowed names.

When InfoWorld called, we panicked. We thought they might want their 2009 Bossie back and the pawn shop has been out of business for awhile.



Sunday Aug 08, 2010

Oracle VM VirtualBox 3.2.8

The 3.2.8 maintenance release was made available to download from the Usual Places yesterday.
It fixes a bunch of stuff.

- FB 

Wednesday Jul 14, 2010

Installing VirtualBox on Oracle Enterprise Linux

As you can imagine, there are a lot of people playing around with VirtualBox and Oracle Enterprise Linux (OEL) inside the company at the moment. This usually involves one of:
  • Using Oracle Enterprise Linux as a guest - so that you can run OEL on Windows and Mac clients, for example.
  • Using Oracle Enterprise Linux as a host - so that you can your Windows and all your other vm's on an OEL platform.
In the latter case of installing VirtualBox on Linux, one of the most common issues people hit is that the version of the Linux kernel they're using doesn't match the version of the VirtualBox kernel module which is being installed. On many Linux distributions, the VirtualBox installer handles this situation by simply silently re-building the kernel module for the current kernel version. But the base OEL doesn't include the necessary tools (gcc and the kernel-devel packages) in the base distro. So here's how to get beyond this on OEL:
  1. Update your system. Open a terminal and as root, execute
    yum update
  2. Install the GNU C compiler and the kernel development packages using
    yum install gcc
    followed by
    yum install kernel-devel
  3. Reboot your guest system in order to activate the updates and then install VirtualBox as before.
Of course, this is all covered in the User Manual here for hosts and here for guests. ;-)
- FB

Tuesday Jul 13, 2010

Programmers: VirtualBox is a better Development Environment



Oracle VM VirtualBox is used by the whole gamut of IT Professionals, from those near to the customers (such as the Sales, Consultants and SE guys), to those near to the lines of code (such as developers, test and QA), and all stops in between (Support, Architects, etc).

This week I stumbled over a pretty good list of reasons why VirtualBox appeals to one community of IT Pros, namely Programmers. (aka Software Engineers, Developers, you know who you are). If this is you, you may be interested in one guy's view on why developing in a virtualized environment works for him.


Thursday Jul 01, 2010

Meet the author



If you've read the book and used the product, you might want to meet the author

- FB


Monday Jun 28, 2010

Replay of the Webinar

If you missed it, don't despair. The replay of the recent Oracle VM VirtualBox Webinar is now available. In it we covered "What's new in 3.2?" with the help of Andy Hall and Achim Hasenmueller of the VirtualBox team.
- FB

Friday Jun 25, 2010

Oracle VM VirtualBox 3.2.6 is released.

The 3.2.6 maintenance release was made available to download from the Usual Places yesterday.
It fixes a bunch of stuff.
- FB

Monday Jun 07, 2010

Oracle VM VirtualBox 3.2.4 is released!



Thanks to all in the community who spotted a couple of regressions with 3.2.2. We couldn't let them pass and so have updated VirtualBox to version 3.2.4 to fix them.



- FB


Friday Jun 04, 2010

Migrating from VMware to VirtualBox

We are getting more and more people asking how to move from VMware to VirtualBox so here are 2 handy blogs on the subject:

Hope this is useful to someone out there.

- FB

Wednesday Jun 02, 2010

OracleVM VirtualBox 3.2.2 released!



The maintenance release, VirtualBox 3.2.2 improves stability and rectifies regressions, and is available now from the usual places.





Tuesday May 18, 2010

VirtualBox 3.2 is released! A Red Letter Day?

Big news today! A new release of VirtualBox packed full of innovation and improvements. Over the next few weeks we'll take a closer look at some of these new features in a lot more depth, but today we'll whet your appetite with the headline descriptions.

To start with, we should point out that this is the first Oracle-branded version which makes today a real Red-letter day ;-) 

Oracle VM VirtualBox 3.2

Oracle VM VirtualBox

Version 3.2 moves VirtualBox forward in 3 main areas ( handily, all beginning with "P" ) : performance, power and supported guest operating system platforms.  Let's take a look:


  • New Latest Intel hardware support - Harnessing the latest in chip-level support for virtualization, VirtualBox 3.2 supports new Intel Core i5 and i7 processor and Intel Xeon processor 5600 Series support for Unrestricted Guest Execution bringing faster boot times for everything from Windows to Solaris guests;

  • New Large Page support - Reducing the size and overhead of key system resources, Large Page support delivers increased performance by enabling faster lookups and shorter table creation times.

  • New In-hypervisor Networking - Significant optimization of the networking subsystem has reduced context switching between guests and host, increasing network throughput by up to 25%.

  • New New Storage I/O subsystem - VirtualBox 3.2 offers a completely re-worked virtual disk subsystem which utilizes asynchronous I/O to achieve high-performance whilst maintaining high data integrity;

  • New Remote Video Acceleration - The unique built-in VirtualBox Remote Display Protocol (VRDP), which is primarily used in virtual desktop infrastructure deployments, has been enhanced to deliver video acceleration. This delivers a rich user experience coupled with reduced computational expense, which is vital when servers are running hundreds of virtual machines;


  • New Page Fusion - Traditional Page Sharing techniques have suffered from long and expensive cache construction as pages are scrutinized as candidates for de-duplication. Taking a smarter approach, VirtualBox Page Fusion uses intelligence in the guest virtual machine to determine much more rapidly and accurately those pages which can be eliminated thereby increasing the capacity or vm density of the system;

  • New Memory Ballooning- Ballooning provides another method to increase vm density by allowing the memory of one guest to be recouped and made available to others;

  • New Multiple Virtual Monitors - VirtualBox 3.2 now supports multi-headed virtual machines with up to 8 virtual monitors attached to a guest. Each virtual monitor can be a host window, or be mapped to the hosts physical monitors;

    Multiple Virtual Monitors

  • New Hot-plug CPU's - Modern operating systems such Windows Server 2008 x64 Data Center Edition or the latest Linux server platforms allow CPUs to be dynamically inserted into a system to provide incremental computing power while the system is running. Version 3.2 introduces support for Hot-plug vCPUs, allowing VirtualBox virtual machines to be given more power, with zero-downtime of the guest;

  • New Virtual SAS Controller - VirtualBox 3.2 now offers a virtual SAS controller, enabling it to run the most demanding of high-end guests;

  • New Online Snapshot Merging - Snapshots are powerful but can eat up disk space and need to be pruned from time to time. Historically, machines have needed to be turned off to delete or merge snapshots but with VirtualBox 3.2 this operation can be done whilst the machines are running. This allows sophisticated system management with minimal interruption of operations;

  • New OVF Enhancements - VirtualBox has supported the OVF standard for virtual machine portability for some time. Now with 3.2, VirtualBox specific configuration data is also stored in the standard allowing richer virtual machine definitions without compromising portability;

  • New Guest Automation - The Guest Automation APIs allow host-based logic to drive operations in the guest;


  • New USB Keyboard and Mouse - Support more guests that require USB input devices;

  • New Oracle Enterprise Linux 5.5 - Support for the latest version of Oracle's flagship Linux platform;

  • New Ubuntu 10.04 ("Lucid Lynx") - Support for both the desktop and server version of the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution;

    And as a man once said, "just one more thing" ...

  • New Mac OS X Server (experimental) - On Apple hardware only, support for creating virtual machines run Mac OS X Server.

    All in all this is a pretty powerful release packed full of innovation and speedups.

    So what are you waiting for


Monday May 10, 2010

Oracle VM VirtualBox 3.1.8 released!



Supporting new platforms such as Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) and delivering a host of bugfixes, VirtualBox 3.1.8 is available now from the usual places.





Friday Apr 23, 2010

Introducing Oracle VM VirtualBox


I guess these things always take longer than expected and, while the dust is still not completely settled in all the ex-Sun geographies, it is high time we started looking at some of the great new assets in the Oracle VM portfolio. So let's start with one of the most exciting: Oracle VM VirtualBox. 

VirtualBox is cross-platform virtualization software, oftentimes called a hypervisor, and it runs on Windows, Linux, Solaris and the Mac. Which means that you download it, you install it on your existing platform, and start creating and running virtual machines alongside your existing applications. For example, on my Mac I can run Oracle Enterprise Linux and Windows 7 alongside my Mac apps like this...

(Click to zoom)
VirtualBox use has grown phenomenally to the point that at Sun it was the 3rd most popular download behind Java and MySQL. Its success can be attributed to the fact that it doesn't need dedicated hardware, it can be installed on either client or server classes of computers, is very easy to use and is free for personal use. And, as you might expect, VirtualBox has it's own vibrant community too, over at

There are hundreds of tutorials out there about how to use VirtualBox to create vm's and install different operating systems ranging from Windows 7 to ChromeOS, and if you don't want to install an operating system yourself, you can download pre-built virtual appliances from community sites such as VirtualBox Images or commercial companies selling subscriptions to whole application stacks, such as JumpBox . In no time you'll be creating and sharing your own vm's using the VirtualBox OVF export and import function.

VirtualBox is deceptively powerful. Under the simple GUI lies a formidable engine capable of running heavyweight multi-CPU virtual workloads, exhibiting Enterprise capabilities including a built-in remote display server, an iSCSI initiator for connecting to shared storage, and the ability to teleport running vm's from one host to another. And for solution builders, you should be aware that VirtualBox has a scriptable command line interface and an SDK and rich web service APIs.

To get a further feel for what VirtualBox is capable of, check out some of these short movies or simply go download it for yourself.


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