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.
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.
This is a maintenance release. The following items were fixed and/or added:
- Virtualization core: support Shanghai/Zhaoxin CPUs.
- User interface: handle command line arguments to VirtualBox correctly (bugs #18206 and #18197)
- User interface: improvements to machine manager window, virtual optical disk creator, storage selector window and log viewer window
- User interface: various small fixes and improvements
- Audio: implemented time scheduling for the AC'97 device emulation to keep audio and video in sync
- Graphics: basic support for VMSVGA graphics device in virtual machines using EFI
- Network: fix occasional NATNet crashes (bug #13899)
- Network: worked around problems in certain PCnet drivers on old operating systems
- Serial: fixed connecting to pseudo terminals on POSIX hosts (6.0.0 regression; bug #18319)
- Linux hosts and guests: fix for building kernel modules against Linux 5.0. Thank you Kyle Laker
This is a major update. The following major new features were added:
- Implemented support for exporting a virtual machine to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
- User interface: greatly improved HiDPI and scaling support, including better detection and per-machine configuration
- Major rework of user interface with simpler and more powerful application and virtual machine set-up
- User interface: a new file manager enabling user to control the guest file system and copy files between host and guest.
- Graphics: major update of 3D graphics support for Windows guests, and VMSVGA 3D graphics device emulation on Linux and Solaris guests
- Added support for surround speaker setups (as used by Windows 10 Build 1809)
- Added utility vboximg-mount on Apple hosts to access the content of guest disks on the host
- Added support for using Hyper-V as the fallback execution core on Windows host, to avoid inability to run VMs at the price of reduced performance
In addition, the following items were fixed and/or added:
- Execution core: fixed single-stepping in certain circumstances (bug #17316)
- User interface: video and audio recording can now be separately enabled
- Audio/Video recording fixes and improvements
- Audio: better support for attaching and detaching remote desktop connections
- Serial port emulation fixes
- Serial ports: allow changing the serial port attachment while a machine is running (bug #6115)
- Networking: Added a workaround for older guests which do not enable bus mastering for the virtio PCI device
- Networking: fixed wrong RCODE from DNS AAAA query with --natdnshostresolver1 (bug #18171)
- iSCSI: In cases where there is no ambiguity, the LUN of an iSCSI target is automatically determined, for targets with non-zero LUNs
- Transparently resize disk images when merging if possible
- VBoxManage: support for DHCP options
- Fixed VNC/RDP (bug 18153)
- Guest Control: various new interfaces and features (see SDK documentation)
- Linux hosts: support Linux 4.20 (thank you Larry Finger)
- Solaris: installer fixes
- Shared folders: performance improvements
- Guest Additions: improved shared folder auto-mounting
- Windows Guest Additions: fix incorrect tablet co-ordinate handling with recent Windows 10 builds
- Linux Additions: fix for building vboxvideo on EL 7.6 standard kernel, contributed by Robert Conde (bug #18093)
- Linux guests: support Linux 4.20 (thank you Larry Finger)
- Linux guests: support VMSVGA in the Linux and X11 Additions
- MacOS Guest Additions: initial support
- OS/2 Guest Additions: initial shared folder support
- BIOS fixes
- ACPI: Up to four custom ACPI tables can now be configured for a VM
Apps similar to VirtualBox 5
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