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07 December 2010, 10:21

VirtualBox 4.0.0 Beta 1 released for testing - Update

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VirtualBox Logo Oracle has released a first beta for version 4.0.0 of the open source VirtualBox desktop virtualisation application for x86 hardware. According to Oracle's Frank Mehnert, the preview of the next major update to VirtualBox is considered to be a "bleeding-edge release meant for early evaluation and testing purposes".

VirtualBox 4.0.0 Beta 1 features new settings and a disk file layout for VM portability, support for the Open Virtualisation Format Archive (OVA) and a redesigned user interface with guest window preview and a new display mode. Support for asynchronous I/O for iSCSI, VMDK, VHD and Parallels images, as well as resizing VDI and VHD images has also been added. Other changes include support for more than 1.5/2 GB guest RAM on 32-bit hosts, the ability to copy files into a guest file system, support for the Intel ICH9 chip-set and a number of bug fixes.

As with all development releases, use in production environments and on mission critical systems is not advised. The developers ask users testing the release not to report issues to the VirtualBox Bugtracker, but instead to provide feedback about any problems they encounter via the VirtualBox forum.

More details about the development preview, including a full list of changes and new features, can be found in the official release announcement. VirtualBox 4.0.0 Beta 1 is available to download from the project's site. The latest stable release of VM VirtualBox is version 3.2.12 from the end of November.

Update: Starting with version 4.0 the license for VirtualBox has changed. For the first time, both the base Oracle VM VirtualBox product source code and the binary are licensed under the GPLv2, while the Extension Pack mechanism, which allows third-party sources to add their own add-on functionality, is licensed under the PUEL. The change means that distributors shipping the Open Source Edition (OSE) of VirtualBox no longer need to build from the sources themselves.

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