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13 September 2012, 17:01

Oracle releases VM VirtualBox 4.2

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Zoom VirtualBox now includes official support for Windows 8, Mac OS X 10.8 Lion and Oracle Linux 6.3
Source: Oracle

Oracle and the VirtualBox developers have released version 4.2 of their open source desktop virtualisation application with network and management improvements, as well as support for new platforms. The major update is the first VM VirtualBox release to officially support Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 operating system, Mac OS X 10.8 Lion and version 6.3 of Oracle Linux from the end of June, and it brings with it several new features aimed at advanced users.

A new "expert mode" has been added to wizards to make them quicker for experienced users and, for users with a large number of virtual machines (VMs), these can now be organised into categories and groups to make them easier to find. Additionally, the GUI now allows users to modify some settings while a VM is running; previously a VM needed to be shut down first. Support for automatically launching VMs at startup on Linux, Mac OS X and Solaris hosts has also been added, a very long-awaited feature.

Zoom Version 4.2 makes it easier to manage a large number of VMs
Source: Oracle
Networking improvements include support for VLAN tagging, new bandwidth controls to limit network I/O bandwidth and the addition of support for up to 36 network cards in conjunction with an ICH9 chipset configuration; previously a maximum of eight cards were supported. The developers have also added support for dragging and dropping files from hosts to Linux guests; support for guest-to-host drag-and-drop and additional guests has yet to be implemented, but is planned for a future version.

Further information about the major update, including a full list of changes, can be found in the announcement press release and in the change log. VirtualBox 4.2 is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Solaris from the project's site. For those new to the software, documentation, including an online and PDF versionPDF of the user manual, is provided.

Source code and binaries for VirtualBox are distributed under the terms of the GPLv2; the Extension Pack, which adds support for USB 2.0 and remote boot, can be downloaded under a Personal Use and Evaluation (PUEL) licence.

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