VirtualBox 4.3 Lets You Run Many Cutting-Edge Platforms at Once
It's been interesting to watch which components of Sun Microsystems' portfolio of products--many of which were open source projects--Oracle has chosen to embrace or abandon since its acquisition of Sun. One project that it hasn't jettisoned is VirtualBox, which has just arrived in a new version 4.3. The popular hypervisor is now tuned to work with operating systems that have just arrived, including Windows 8.1 and Mac OS X 10.9 ( "Mavericks" ), and it's also tuned to work smoothly with Linux distros. The new version also supports multi-monitor setups and touch interfaces conventions.
According to an announcement from Oracle:
"Another significant, but largely invisible change in 4.3 concerns the hypervisor itself. We have significantly revamped the internals of VirtualBox as a platform for future performance enhancements. Today, this has mainly improved boot times of guests, but we'll be building upon this in forthcoming updates."
"An extremely cool (but only experimental at this stage) feature is the VirtualBox virtual webcam device. This allows the guest to use the webcam of the host so that you can use Skype or Google Hangouts from within your guest."
Virtualization has been on the rise for years, and is a big topic in data centers and server rooms. Open source virtualization is also a huge trend, as we covered here, upon the formation of the Open Source Virtualization Alliance.
VirtualBox is quick to get going with and a good start for anyone who wants to tackle virtualization and running multiple operating systems from the same computer. You can download version 4.3 from the Oracle or community site to kick the tires.
VirtualBox takes only about 100 MB to run. You can find out much more in the User Guide.