Innotek today announced the first Beta version of their well known virtual machine VirtualBox for OpenSolaris. It is also possible that a FreeBSD version will be available soon.
The announcement can be found in the news section, however there are no further details available than the simple announcement itself:
Feb 11, 2008. innotek today released the first beta of VirtualBox for OpenSolaris.
Neither the Press section nor the Forum have any additional information, and there is also no screenshot provided this time. Heck, there isn’t even anything mentioned at the e-mail lists or at the changelog. But of course a prebuild package (tagged beta 1) is available, and there are also build instructions for the more experienced users.
Sigh, as much as I love the product, as much do I wonder about their news politics. They should definitely put a little more effort into their public relations – or at least provide some press material for the interested users and bloggers to create some PR for them. And they shoudl rework the wiki in a way that the interesting information are presented to the reader, and don’t have to be searched.
Anyway, searching around around the project web page for more information also brought me to a chart comparing VirtualBox to both VMware and Parallels Workstation/Desktop in regards to the features. The list is pretty interesting and shows very well that VirtualBox supports more host systems than the other solutions. Several other features are also unique to VirtualBox or at least are only shared by one of the other solutions (also it is questionable if these features are needed by others). Other features which are not supported by VirtualBox like “3D-acceleration” are also listed.
Last but not least the list mentions a development version of VirtualBox for FreeBSD hosts. Since VirtualBox is now supported on Mac OS X, Solaris and Linux the porting effort should be manageable. It is likely that there will be soon a new VirtualBox release (1.6 or something) for all major platforms (Linux, Mac OS X and Windows) while the Solaris version and a then released FreeBSD version are available as Beta until their reach the feature level of the main versions.
Now the only thing missing is that the VirtualBox kernel module gets into the Linux mainline kernel, that would give VirtualBox another boost, I think.
Sun just bought Innotek. The announcement says Sun will continue to publish VirtualBox as an Open Source product. That might even mean that future versions of VirtualBox are fully Open Source, including the atm still closed parts as some USB enhancements and RDP features. Anyway, looks like all big companies are on a shopping spree these days.