VirtualBox Introduces New Features, Some Experimental

Dec 18, 2008

The free virtualization product VirtualBox has released a new version 2.1 that not only supports 3D graphics, but the full VMDK and VHD formats from VMware and Microsoft.

VirtualBox 2.1 is the first virtualization project from Sun Microsystems to provide hardware-based 3D support on an OpenGL foundation. Direct3D support, as offered by VMware, was deferred to a future release. Although all the various supported platforms include the experimental 3D acceleration feature, only Windows guest setups can actually use it. The software also supports 64-bit guests on 32-bit hosts, again on an experimental basis only.

Notably, the new VirtualBox fully supports the virtual machine file formats from VMware (.vmdk) and Microsoft (.vhd). Initial testing by this magazine, however, showed that VirtualBox ignores existing VMware snapshots.

One major enhancement involving the network is a new NAT engine that should provide "significantly better" performance and reliability, along with ICMP echo (ping) support. The changelog contains the complete list of new VirtualBox 2.1 feature and fixes.

Related content

  • Virtualization Tools

    Running server systems in virtual environments is a popular approach, but the technology offers benefits to desktop users. In this article, we investigate some virtual desktop alternatives.

  • VirtualBox 7.0 Now Available for Installation

    One of the most popular virtual machine applications for Linux has been upgraded to a major new release that offers an overhauled UI and some pretty important features.

  • Virtual Box

    Many popular virtualization tools are either too expensive or too complicated. If you’re looking for another option, try the no-cost and user-friendly VirtualBox.

  • Virtual Windows 8.1 on Linux

    For occasional Windows users, a virtual machine is the ideal solution. But will Windows 8.1 work in VirtualBox and VMware?

  • Virtualizing Windows 8

    How does the latest Windows work in a virtual machine? We tried out Windows 8 as a guest system in vMware Workstation and virtualBox on Linux.


  • Huh

    Hey, this sounds good.

    And i've tried Virtualbox 2.1 recently on my own Vista-based system. Will have to admit,
    if I get XP installed as guest, I'll have to try it with 3D Opengl game/program.

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters

Support Our Work

Linux Magazine content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you’ve found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More