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.

Guest Additions for Windows, Linux and Solaris.

VirtualBox has special software that can be installed inside Windows, Linux and Solaris virtual machines to improve performance and make integration much more seamless. Among the features provided by these Guest Additions are mouse pointer integration and arbitrary screen solutions (e.g. by resizing the guest window). There are also guest additions for OS/2 with somewhat reduced functionality.

Shared folders.

Like many other virtualization solutions, for easy data exchange between hosts and guests, VirtualBox allows for declaring certain host directories as "shared folders", which can then be accessed from within virtual machines.

What's New:

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

  • VMM: fixed an issue with Windows 10 guest kernel debugging over the network for Hyper-V paravirtualized VMs
  • VMM: fixed a bug which prevented reading the saved state of the 'PATM' unit from VirtualBox 4.3.x (bug #14512)
  • GUI: changed default OS type for Windows from Windows XP to Windows 7
  • GUI: added another pre-defined guest screen resolution (bug #14384)
  • GUI: fixed update check which was broken due to changing the location of the root certificates (bug #13096)
  • GUI: fixed issues with synchronization of Caps lock / Num lock / Scroll lock on Windows hosts (bug #14302)
  • GUI: don't crash during VM shutdown if 2D video acceleration and 3D support are enabled (Mac OS X hosts only)
  • GUI: several seamless fixes for certain X11 window managers, also when used in multi-screen setups
  • GUI: Log window size, position and cursor-position fixes
  • Audio: fixed playing leftover/deprecated audio samples
  • Audio: fixed playing audio after suspending the host (5.0 regression; Linux hosts using the ALSA backend)
  • Audio: fixed playing short audio samples which were chopped off formerly
  • Audio: fixed distortions on OS X when the sample rate of the guest stream and host device don't match
  • Storage: fixed raw disk access and flat VMDK image access which would be always opened readonly (5.0.2 regression; bugs #14425, #14461)
  • Storage: fixed initial encryption of VDI images after they were compacted (bug #14496)
  • VGA: fix for certain graphics modes (bug #14516)
  • NAT: don't freeze while the VM is paused if the network attachment mode is changed from/to NAT with activated port forwarding
  • OVF: fixed duplicate USB controller entries in exported OVA/OVF (bug #14462)
  • Shared Folders: fixed a path separator issue (bug #14434)
  • Drag and drop: fixed crashes on OS X hosts when doing host-to-guest transfers
  • VBoxManage: another attempt to not deny changing the network adapter type at VM runtime (5.0 regression; bug #14308)
  • VBoxManage: fixed broken guestcontrol list command (5.0 regression)
  • VBoxManage: fixed broken Guest Control stdout/stderr output (5.0 regression)
  • Mac OS X hosts: fixed remaining problems with activated SMAP (Broadwell and later; bug #14412)
  • Mac OS X hosts: fixed broken 3D support (5.0.2 regression; bug #14476)
  • Linux hosts: Linux 4.2 fix
  • Linux hosts: don't crash on older Linux distributions if the DBus service isn't running (bug #14543)
  • Windows hosts: fixed the VERR_LDR_MISMATCH_NATIVE error message (bug #14420)
  • Windows hosts: fix for Windows 10 build 10525 and later (bug #14502)
  • Windows hosts: fixed network adapter enumeration on Windows 10 (bug #14437)
  • Windows hosts: prevent intermittent host network disconnects during VM start/shutdown with bridged networking (bug #14500)
  • Windows Additions: fixed the call to the memory allocation function (bug #14415)
  • Linux Additions: be more forgiving if the compilation of the vboxvideo module fails (bug #14547)
  • X11 Additions: fixed a number of small issues with dynamic resizing and full-screen and seamless modes.

Note: Please be aware that Windows 10 is not yet officially supported