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What is VirtualBox ?
VirtualBox is a general-purpose full virtualizer for x86 hardware. Targeted at server, desktop and embedded use, it is now the only professional-quality virtualization solution that is also Open Source Software.
VirtualBox may be installed on an existing host operating system, it can create and manage guest virtual machines, each with a guest operating system and its own virtual environment. Supported host operating systems include Linux, OS X, Windows XP and later, Solaris, and OpenSolaris; there are also ports to FreeBSD and Genode. Supported guest operating systems include versions and derivations of Windows, Linux, BSD, OS/2, Solaris, Haiku and others. Since release 3.2.0, VirtualBox also allows limited virtualization of OS X guests on Apple hardware, though OSx86 can also be installed using VirtualBox.
Some of the features of VirtualBox are:
- Modularity. VirtualBox has an extremely modular design with well-defined internal programming interfaces and a client/server design. This makes it easy to control it from several interfaces at once: for example, you can start a virtual machine in a typical virtual machine GUI and then control that machine from the command line, or possibly remotely. VirtualBox also comes with a full Software Development Kit: even though it is Open Source Software, you don’t have to hack the source to write a new interface for VirtualBox.
- Virtual machine descriptions in XML. The configuration settings of virtual machines are stored entirely in XML and are independent of the local machines. Virtual machine definitions can therefore easily be ported to other computers.