VirtualBox is a general-purpose full virtualizer for hardware. Targeted at server, desktop and embedded use, it is now the only professional quality virtualization solution that is also Open Source Software. VirtualBox is a powerful virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use.
VirtualBox provides are useful for several scenarios: Running multiple operating systems simultaneously. VirtualBox allows you to run more than one operating system at a time. This way, you can run software written for one operating system on another (for example, Windows software on Linux or a Mac) without having to reboot to use it.
Since you can conﬁgure what kinds of “virtual” hardware should be presented to each such operating system, you can install an old operating system such as DOS or OS/2 even if your real computer’s hardware is no longer supported by that operating system.
Software vendors can use virtual machines to ship entire software conﬁgurations. For example, installing a complete mail server solution on a real machine can be a tedious task. With VirtualBox, such a complex setup (then often called an “appliance”) can be packed into a virtual machine. Installing and running a mail server becomes as easy as importing such an appliance into VirtualBox.
Testing and disaster recovery.
Once installed, a virtual machine and its virtual hard disks can be considered a “container” that can be arbitrarily frozen, woken up, copied, backed up, and transported between hosts. On top of that, with the use of another VirtualBox feature called “snapshots”, one can save a particular state of a virtual machine and revert back to that state, if necessary. This way, one can freely experiment with a computing environment.
If something goes wrong (e.g. after installing misbehaving software or infecting the guest with a virus), one can easily switch back to a previous snapshot and avoid the need of frequent backups and restores. Any number of snapshots can be created, allowing you to travel back and forward in virtual machine time. You can delete snapshots while a VM is running to reclaim disk space.
Supported OS: Windows Server 2008, Server 2008 R2, Server 2012, Server 2012 R2, Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, Windows 10 (32-bit and 64-bit).
Mac OS X hosts (64-bits): 10.9 (Mavericks), 10.10 (Yosemite), 10.11 (El Capitan), 10.12 (Sierra).
Linux hosts (32-bit and 64-bit): Ubuntu 12.04 to 16.10, Debian GNU/Linux 7 (“Wheezy”) and 8 (“Jessie”), Oracle Enterprise Linux 5, Oracle Linux 6 and 7, Redhat Enterprise Linux 5, 6 and 7, Fedora Core / Fedora 6 to 25, Gentoo Linux, openSUSE 11.4 to 13.2.
- Virtualization core: fixed an invalid-guest state guru meditation in some rare circumstances on Intel hosts
- Virtualization core: some fixes for systems with lots of processors
- Audio: relaxed VRM / VRA (variable rate audio) bit checks to provide more compatibility for guests running ALSA setups with the AC’97 emulation
- USB: made device capturing for passthrough more accurate and reliable on Windows host
- Network: fixed potential issue with interrupt signalling for network adapters in UEFI guests
- 3D: fixed flicker and redraw issues when using VBoxSVGA or VMSVGA graphics adapter
- 3D: fixed crash with some applications when using VBoxSVGA or VMSVGA graphics adapter
- macOS host: fix crash of GUI VM process which showed up frequently with 10.15 Catalina
- Linux host: support Linux 5.3, thank you Larry Finger
- Linux host: improve python version detection during rpm package creation, can change package dependencies and fix some installation problems
- Linux guests: calls to aio_read(3) and aio_write(3) may fail inside shared folders
- Linux guests: fix problem with shared folder unmounting in service script, thank you Denis Ryndine
- Linux guests: VBox 6.0.10 GAs fail to compile on Red Hat/CentOS/Oracle Linux 7.7 and Red Hat 8.1 Beta