Oracle’s VirtualBox: Free Enterprise Class virtualization Software

Oracle’s VirtualBox: Free Enterprise Class virtualization Software

Originally posted on www.triella.com in March 2015

VirtualBox is a general-purpose full virtualizer for x86 & x64 hardware, targeted at server, desktop and embedded use. https://www.virtualbox.org

Editors Note: This article is technical and geared towards enthusiasts interesting in learning and using virtualization technology.

The History of VirtualBox

VirtualBox was initially offered by Innotek GmbH from Weinstadt, Germany under a proprietary software license, making one version of the product available at no cost for personal or evaluation use, subject to the VirtualBox Personal Use and Evaluation License (PUEL). In January 2007, based on counsel by LiSoG, Innotek GmbH released VirtualBox Open Source Edition (OSE) as free and open-source software, subject to the requirements of the GNU General Public License (GPL), version 2.

Innotek GmbH also contributed to the development of OS/2 and Linux support in virtualization and OS/2 ports of products from Connectix which were later acquired by Microsoft. Specifically, Innotek developed the “additions” code in both Microsoft Virtual PC and Microsoft Virtual Server, which enables various host-guest OS interactions like shared clipboards or dynamic viewport resizing.

Sun Microsystems acquired Innotek in February 2008.

Oracle Corporation acquired Sun in January 2010 and re-branded the product as “Oracle VM VirtualBox”.

What is VirtualBox?

VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers, it is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version

Presently, VirtualBox runs on Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and Solaris hosts and supports a large number of guest operating systems including but not limited to Windows (NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8), DOS/Windows 3.x, Linux (2.4, 2.6 and 3.x), Solaris and OpenSolaris, OS/2, and OpenBSD.

VirtualBox is being actively developed with frequent releases and has an ever growing list of features, supported guest operating systems and platforms it runs on. VirtualBox is a community effort backed by a dedicated company: everyone is encouraged to contribute while Oracle ensures the product always meets professional quality criteria.

What Host hardware requirements are needed to run VirtualBox?

  • Reasonably powerful x86 hardware. Any recent Intel or AMD processor should do.
  • Memory. Depending on what guest operating systems you want to run, you will need at least 512 MB of RAM (but probably more, and the more the better). Basically, you will need whatever your host operating system needs to run comfortably, plus the amount that the guest operating system needs. So, if you want to run Windows XP on Windows XP, you probably won’t enjoy the experience much with less than 1 GB of RAM. If you want to try out Windows Vista in a guest, it will refuse to install if it is given less than 512 MB RAM, so you’ll need that for the guest alone, plus the memory your operating system normally needs.
  • Hard disk space. While VirtualBox itself is very lean (a typical installation will only need about 30 MB of hard disk space), the virtual machines will require fairly huge files on disk to represent their own hard disk storage. So, to install Windows XP, for example, you will need a file that will easily grow to several GB in size.
  • A supported host operating system. Presently, it supports Windows (XP and later), many Linux distributions, Mac OS X, Solaris and OpenSolaris.
  • A supported guest operating system.

Sample Settings Screen Shots

For a thorough introduction to virtualization and VirtualBox, please refer to the online version of the VirtualBox User Manual’s first chapter. This can be found at https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch01.html.

* For the original posting of this Article please visit Triella Corp at

http://www.triella.com/publications/index.php/blog/

 

Paul Comtois is a Client Support Specialist at Triella, a technology consulting company specializing in providing technology audits, planning advice, project management and other CIO-related services to small and medium sized firms. Paul can be reached at 647.426.1004. For additional articles, go to www.triella.com/publications. Triella is a VMware Professional Partner, Microsoft Certified Partner, Citrix Solution Advisor – Silver, Dell Preferred Partner, Authorized Worldox Reseller and a Kaspersky Reseller.

© 2015 by Triella Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction with credit is permitted.

 

All my Articles can also be found on linkedIn at…

Under my profile https://ca.linkedin.com/in/pcomtois at 

https://www.linkedin.com/today/author/0_2d-_Qoz43qmUS-7EMrVVh9?trk=prof-sm

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *