Open source VirtualBox challenges VMware Workstation

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 9:36 am

First, the particulars: VirtualBox is a cross-platform virtual machine management solution. It supports Windows (both 32- and 64-bit versions), Mac OS X, and various Linux distributions as hosts while providing a VMware-like laundry list of supported guest OSes. It maintains a consistent user interface across all of its host implementations, making it popular with users who multiboot between Windows, Linux, and/or OS X. VirtualBox is available free for noncommercial use, and there’s even a GNU-licensed version for those who might want to tinker with the source code.

With version 1.5.0, VirtualBox introduced a major new capability: seamless windows. Basically, it’s a knock-off of the Coherence feature of Parallels Desktop for the Mac. The VirtualBox implementation, however, represents the first time the capability has been available under Windows or Linux. The latter should be of special interest to Windows defectors who have been looking for a reason to go the Linux route versus Apple. And though it’s not as well integrated with the Linux host as Parallels is with OS X (for example, you can’t create shortcuts or file associations between the host and guest), it’s free and integrates well with leading desktop distributions such as Ubuntu.


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