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04 September 2008, 11:23

VirtualBox 2.0 adds 64-bit guest support

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Sun Microsystems has announced the release of version 2.0 of its open source desktop virtualisation application VirtualBox. The major new feature of this release is 64-bit guest operating system support on 64-bit hosts. VirtualBox is available as a GPL2 licensed edition or for use in the enterprise with a Sun subscription, with prices from $30 per user per year.

The Mac OS X version of VirtualBox now has a native Leopard user interface, while other platforms feature a refreshed user interface using Qt4. The Mac OS X release also gains host interface networking, while Solaris hosts get a new host interface networking subsystem. A new SDK component has been added for Linux and Solaris hosts to give Python applications access to the VirtualBox API and a framework for gathering metrics on guest operation system performance has been added.

AMD processor-based systems should see a performance improvement, with VirtualBox adding support for AMD's nested paging. Another performance improvement is promised in the support for SATA asynchronous IO, allowing guest operating systems to access raw disks and partitions faster. Even OS/2 users get an enhancement, with the addition of clipboard integration for OS/2 guests.

VirtualBox 2.0 is available from Sun's site or from the community site. It is available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris and OpenSolaris. Binaries downloaded from the sites are under a personal use/evaluation licence with no redistribution rights; GPL licensed binaries have to be built by users or distribution packagers. The licences available are explained in an FAQ.

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