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InfoQ Homepage News VirtualBox 5.0 released

VirtualBox 5.0 released


After three months of beta testing, Oracle released version 5.0 of their Oracle VM VirtualBox on July 9th, 2015 . This is the first major upgrade since 4.3.0 was released in 2013, and offers improvements to performance, usability, and security. Additionally to the new features it contains more than 50 bugfixes.

The performance improvements come from three main enhancements.  Firstly VirtualBox now support Paravirtualization allowing it to leverage built-in virtualization support on guest OSes such as Windows.  Second, a more comprehensive set of CPU instructions are exposed to the guest OS running in the VM which enables applications to make use of more hardware instruction sets.  Finally the guest OS can now recognize USB 3.0 devices and use them at full speed.

Usability is improved through support for Drag and drop between host and guest OS. You can Drag and drop into a VM or from the VM to your host OS. Drag and drop support works for the Windows, Linux and Solaris guest OSes. Additionally the VM process is now started headless while the user interface (UI) runs as a separate process. This enables you to detach the UI from your VM at any time without stopping the VM. Later, you can attach the UI again.

From a security standpoint VirtualBox now makes it possible to encrypt disk images, similar to that offered by WMWare. After installing the Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack via the VirtualBox Preferences you can enable encryption for your virtual machine by selecting the encryption cipher and entering a password for your VM.

Version 5.0 works seamlessly with current versions of Vagrant.  If you use Vagrant and the VirtualBox provider you need to make sure to upgrade Vagrant to the latest version (>= 1.7.3) to be able to use VirtualBox 5.0.

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