VirtualBox 2.0

SUN released a new major release of their virtual machine software VirtualBox. Highlights in this release are 64bit guest support, a new GUI and also an enterprise subscription model.

The new release was announced today and follows the bugfix version 1.6.6 which was released just days ago. According to the changelog the main highlights are:

  • 64 bits guest support (64 bits host only)
  • New native Leopard user interface on Mac OS X hosts
  • The GUI was converted from Qt3 to Qt4 with many visual improvements
  • New-version notifier
  • Guest property information interface
  • Host Interface Networking on Mac OS X hosts
  • New Host Interface Networking on Solaris hosts
  • Support for Nested Paging on modern AMD CPUs (major performance gain)
  • Framework for collecting performance and resource usage data (metrics)
  • Added SATA asynchronous IO (NCQ: Native Command Queuing) when accessing raw disks/partitions (major performance gain)
  • Clipboard integration for OS/2 Guests
  • Created separate SDK component featuring a new Python programming interface on Linux and Solaris hosts
  • Support for VHD disk images

A main part of this release seems to be Mac OS X support, which is a bit surprising given that it is not the first or second OS usually used in larger virtualization setups.
Besides it seems to be a bit strange to code a native Leopard interface when Qt 4 is used anyways: Qt 4 has close-to-perfect integration with Mac OS X, and since it is used for the Windows- and the Linux-Version it would make live much easier to use it for the Mac OS X version as well. I wonder what the reasons behind that decision are.

Anyway, the release also comes along with a couple of fixes so a download makes pretty much sense. Btw., the manual was also updated and is as usual worth a look.


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