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Sun VirtualBox 2.2 Adds Open Virtualization Format Support

Sun Microsystems has released VirtualBox 2.2, an update to the company's free and open source desktop virtualization solution. The new release includes a number of performance and feature enhancements, as well as support for the Open Virtualization Format (OVF) specification.

VirtualBox, which, according to Sun, has had more than 11 million downloads and 3.5 million registrations since its launch in 2007, is a cross-platform, open source hypervisor that supports hosts ranging from Mac OS X and Windows to Solaris and 22 varieties of Linux.

With its new support for OVF, VirtualBox adds the ability to import and export virtual machines using a graphical user interface or using the command line, allowing for the packaging and distribution of preconfigured virtual appliances. To support these virtual appliances, version 2.2 has a host-only networking mode, which is designed to help multiple virtual machines communicate with one another.

Other new features include:

  • OpenGL acceleration in Solaris and Linux guest operating systems;
  • New hypervisor optimizations;
  • A new 16 GB memory limit for 64-bit host systems;
  • Support for sharing folders between Solaris and OpenSolaris guests;
  • The addition of a C API (along with previously included APIs); and
  • Experimental support for USB on OpenSolaris hosts.

VirtualBox 2.2 is available as of Wednesday as a free download. The following operating systems are supported: Mac OS X; various versions of Linux, both 32- and 64-bit; Windows (32- and 64-bit); and Solaris 10 5/08 and OpenSolaris (32- and 64-bit).

Further information can be found here. Binaries and source code can be found here.

About the Author

Dave Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's educational technology online publications and electronic newsletters.

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