Oracle VM VirtualBox (formerly Sun VirtualBox, Sun xVM VirtualBox and Innotek VirtualBox) is a free and open-source hypervisor for x86 computers from Oracle Corporation. Developed initially by Innotek GmbH, it was acquired by Sun Microsystems in 2008 which was in turn acquired by Oracle in 2010.
VirtualBox may be installed on a number of host operating systems, including: Linux, OS X, Windows, Solaris, and OpenSolaris. There are also ports to FreeBSD and Genode.
It supports the creation and management of guest virtual machines running versions and derivations of Windows, Linux, BSD, OS/2, Solaris, Haiku, OSx86 and others, and limited virtualization of OS X guests on Apple hardware.
For some guest operating systems, a “Guest Additions” package of device drivers and system applications is available which typically improves performance, especially of graphics.
- 64-bit guests (hardware virtualization support is required)
- Seamless mode – the ability to run virtualized applications side by side with normal desktop applications
- Shared clipboard
- Shared folders
- Special drivers and utilities to facilitate switching between systems
- Command line interaction (in addition to the GUI)
- Public API (Java, Python, SOAP, XPCOM) to control VM configuration and execution
- Nested paging for AMD-V and Intel VT (only for processors supporting SLAT and with SLAT enabled)
- Limited support for 3D graphics acceleration (including OpenGL up to (but not including) 3.0 and Direct3D 9.0c via Wine’s Direct3D to OpenGL translation)
- SMP support (up to 32 virtual CPUs per virtual machine), since version 3.0
- Teleportation (aka Live Migration)
- 2D video output acceleration (not to be mistaken with video decoding acceleration), since version 3.1
- EFI has been supported since version 3.1
Storage emulation features
- NCQ support for SATA, SCSI and SAS raw disks and partitions
- SATA disks hotplugging
- Pass-through mode for solid-state drives
- Pass-through mode for CD/DVD/BD disks – allows to play audio CDs, burn optical disks, play encrypted DVD disks
- Can disable host OS I/O cache
- Allows to limit IO bandwidth
- PATA, SATA, SCSI, SAS, iSCSI, floppy disk controllers
- VM disk image encryption using AES128/AES256
- Raw hard disk access – allows physical hard disk partitions on the host system to appear in the guest system
- VMware Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK) format support – allows VirtualBox to exchange disk images with VMware
- Microsoft VHD support
- QEMU qed and qcow disks
- HDD format disks (only version 2; version 3 and 4 are not supported) used by Parallels virtualization products