Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.0 released recently is a major update release that offers a number of nifty features to VirtualBox fans. The new GUI which is now  known as “VirtualBox Manager”  has made the management of virtual operating systems a lot more easier.  VirtualBox is a free virtualization software released under GNU General Public License (GPL) for personal use in Windows, Mac and Linux systems.

Below is the quick tour of  the new features in VirtualBox 4.0 and check out the VirtualBox changelog for the complete list of enhancements.

  • VirtualBox is now segregated into a base package and Extension Packs which can be downloaded separately from VirtualBox official website.
  • Live preview of the virtual machine is the most substantial enhancement in the GUI . Users are also equipped with the option to configure the refresh rate to be in between every half second to every tenth seconds, or to disable the refresh completely.
  • The virtual machine details in the right tab of VirtualBox Manager such as General, System, Display, Storage, Audio, Network, Serial Ports, USB and Shared Folders are now divided neatly into groups.
  • Extension prefaced in VirtualBox 4.0 enables the virtualization tool to be an open architecture. Through the installation of the new extensions, the users are now able to add new functionalities into virtual machines such as USB 2.0 devices support and Pre-Boot Execution Environment (PXE) boot. Although more extensions are yet to be made available, it is expected that new VirtualBox extension packs will be subsequently developed by Oracle and community developers to offer functionalities which are not currently available .
  • 2GB of RAM or more is now supported for the guest OS running in a 32bit host.
  • Process of exporting and importing virtual machines in VirtualBox no longer requires tedious tweaking of XML configuration files. The Open Virtualization Format Archive (OVA) facilitates the improved export and import process which involved only a single file.
  • In addition to Virtual Disk Image (VDI), various disk image files are also supported such as VMDK by VMware, VHD by Microsoft and HDD by Parallels version 2.
  • New virtual hardware such as Intel ICH9 chipset and Intel HD Audio are available for better support of modern guest operating system.

Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.0 downloads for various platforms are available at http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads or just follow the direct links below to download the right VirtualBox installer for your system:

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