Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Virtualbox releases version 3.1!

Hello all!

Yesterday (Nov. 30th), Sun announced its first major update to VirtualBox 3 with the release of version 3.1. The major new features include:

  • Teleportation (aka live migration); migrate a live VM session from one host to another (see the manual for more information)
  • VM states can now be restored from arbitrary snapshots instead of only the last one, and new snapshots can be taken from other snapshots as well ("branched snapshots"; see the manual for more information)
  • 2D video acceleration for Windows guests; use the host video hardware for overlay stretching and color conversion (see the manual for more information)
  • More flexible storage attachments: CD/DVD drives can be attached to an arbitrary IDE controller, and there can be more than one such drive (the manual for more information)
  • The network attachment type can be changed while a VM is running
  • Complete rewrite of experimental USB support for OpenSolaris hosts making use of the latest USB enhancements in Solaris Nevada 124 and higher
  • Significant performance improvements for PAE and AMD64 guests (VT-x and AMD-V only; normal (non-nested) paging)
  • Experimental support for EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface; see the manual for more information)
  • Support for paravirtualized network adapters (virtio-net; see the manual for more information)
In addition to the major features, a slew of minor fixes have been included, such as fixes in the 3D support of guest OSes while playing games such as Unreal Tournament.

As always, see the Changelog and the user manual (in PDF or HTML) for all the details. I am incredibly impressed with the pace of VirtualBox's development. Every time I turn around, they add another cool feature.

Ars Technica has a review of version 3.1, as well.