Oracle released the major upgraded version of open source desktop virtualization software VirtualBox 4. It’s having several major updates and new features, which you can see easily. I got few minutes to explore the latest version and this post explains with examples whats new in VirtualBox 4.
Sysprobs covers most of the news, features and how to’s on VirtualBox here. I expected that next major version will be VirtualBox 3.3 and published a post earlier, but new came with different version. Here, I have listed out the new features I noticed immediately when started new version.
Whats New in VirtualBox 4, with Examples.
1) File location
The earlier versions keep virtual machine’s configuration (XML), snapshot and log file in one location and disk file (VDI) in different location. VirtualBox 4 came with different file path and extension. All files are stored in one location.
Major Changes –
Default configuration file format of virtual machine ‘XML’ changed to ‘vbox’, but the content is same.
The default file location changed from ‘.VirtualBox’ to ‘VirtualBox VMs’ under user profile in Windows OS.
2) Redesigned user interface
The interface showing Virtual machine’s settings changed and nicely designed. Preview of saved or running virtual machine also can be viewed.
3) Start Virtual Machines from Desktop Shortcut
Sysprobs already covered how to create VM’ shortcut on desktop to start the VM with double click. VirtualBox 4 got this feature as built in and creating VM shortcut on desktop is easy now.
4) Delete Virtual machine Easily
This time deleting VM and it’s related files are easy with one click. All files related to a VM such as snapshots, saved states, disk, configuration and attached image files can be deleted at the same time while deleting VM in redesigned interface.
5) Network Boot and New Virtual hardware Chipset selection
Network boot is supported on VirtualBox Virtual machine. Selecting different base chipset also available, but I don’t know how this effects the VM. I will check this new option on different Operating systems ( mainly, Mac OS X) and let you know the result.
Intel ICH9 chipset with three PCI buses, PCI Express and Message Signaled Interrupts (MSI)
Intel HD Audio, for better support of modern guest operating systems (e.g. 64-bit Windows), hope this will do something for Max OS X guest also.
6) More Memory allocation for Virtual machine on 32Bit Host OS
I’m having Windows 7 32 Bit with 3GB host RAM, earlier VirtualBox versions never allowed me to increase VM’s memory more the 1500 MB, it was limited. VirtualBox 4 supports more than 1.5 or 2GB RAM on 32Bit hosts.
7) Open Virtualization Format Archive (OVA) support
Export and import appliance support improved with OVA file format. Earlier OVF files had some issues on other desktop virtualization software. This new feature and support may fix these issues. I will try this OVA export with VMware and update here later.
8.) There are more
If you want to know whats new in VirtualBox 4, there are some major changes and fixes available on official site changelog.
Its highly recommended to download and update VirtualBox 4 from official site.
I will be publishing some posts about new version and features. You can stay tuned with Sysprobs for further updates by subscribing here.
If you find out some more new and useful features on Oracle VirtualBox 4, please share.