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VirtualBox 3.0 brings some exciting new bits-o-functionality!

Sun is prepping up the release of VirtualBox 3.0 which should be out soonishly (before the end of the month if everything is on track!). Amongst the top new bits of functionality is the guest multi-processing (SMP) support, you can now offer your virtual machines upto 32 virtual CPUs, which at last count was the highest by any hypervisor (VMWare can offer a maximum of 2). Not only that, but Windows guests get Direct3D 9 acceleration, bi-directional OVF support (still need to sysprep drivers) and OpenGL 2.0 support for Linux, Solaris & Windows guests.

VirtualBox 3.0 Beta 2 was released yesterday, from the Beta 2 forum post:

Changes since Beta 1: (regressions and fixes for new features only; additional fixes below)

  • High CPU usage with certain idle Windows guests (e.g. XP SP2)
  • Performance improvements for SMP guests
  • Reset issues with SMP guests
  • Windows 7 x64 boot problems with SMP
  • Windows 7 shutdown hangs with SMP
  • Hanging VM when unmounting an ISO with SMP guests
  • Several OpenGL & Direct3D related fixes

Version 3.0 will be a major update. The following major new features were added:

  • Guest SMP with up to 32 virtual CPUs (VT-x and AMD-V only)
  • Windows guests: ability to use Direct3D 8/9 applications / games (experimental)
  • Support for OpenGL 2.0 for Windows, Linux and Solaris guests

In addition, the following items were ?xed and/or added:

  • Solaris hosts: allow suspend/resume on the host when a VM is running (bug #3826)
  • Solaris hosts: tighten the restriction for contiguous physical memory under certain conditions
  • Mac OS X hosts: fixed guest PAE
  • Linux hosts: kernel module compile fixes for 2.6.31 (bug #4264)
  • VMM: ?xed occassional guru meditation when loading a saved state (VT-x only)
  • VMM: eliminated IO-APIC overhead with 32 bits guests (VT-x only, some Intel CPUs don’t support this feature (most do); bug #638)
  • VMM: ?xed 64 bits CentOS guest hangs during early boot (AMD-V only; bug #3927)
  • VMM: performance improvements for certain PAE guests (e.g. Linux 2.6.29+ kernels)
  • VMM: some Windows guests detected a completely wrong CPU frequency (bug #2227)
  • VMM: fixed hanging and unkillable VM processes (bug #4040)
  • GUI: added mini toolbar for fullscreen and seamless mode (Thanks to Huihong Luo)
  • GUI: redesigned settings dialogs
  • GUI: allow to create/remove one host-only network adapters
  • GUI: allow to create/remove more than one host-only network adapters (non Windows hosts)
  • GUI: display estimated time for long running operations (e.g. OVF import/export)
  • GUI: Fixed rare hangs when open the OVF import/export wizards (bug #4157)
  • 3D support: fixed VM crashes for client apps using incorrect opengl states
  • VRDP: support Windows 7 RDP client
  • Networking: ?xed another problem with TX checksum of?oading with Linux kernels up to version 2.6.18
  • NAT: allow to con?gure socket and internal parameters
  • VHD: properly write empty sectors when cloning of VHD images (bug #4080)
  • VHD: ?xed crash when discarding snapshots of a VHD image
  • VHD: fixed access beyond the block bitmap which could lead to arbitrary crashes
  • VBoxManage: ?xed incorrect partition table processing when creating VMDK ?les giving raw partition access (bug #3510)
  • OVF: several OVF 1.0 compatibility ?xes
  • Virtual mouse device: eliminated micro-movements of the virtual mouse which were confusing some applications (bug #3782)
  • Shared Folders: sometimes a ?le was created using the wrong permissions (2.2.0 regression; bug #3785)
  • Shared Folders: allow to change ?le attributes from Linux guests and use the correct ?le mode when creating ?les
  • Shared Folders: some content was incorrectly written under certain conditions (bug #1187)
  • Shared Folders: ?xed incorrect ?le timestamps, when using Windows guest on a Linux host (bug #3404)
  • X11 guests: a number of shared clipboard fixes
  • Linux guests: Guest Additions support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11
  • Linux guests: new daemon vboxadd-service to handle time syncronization and guest property lookup
  • Linux guests: implemented guest properties (OS info, logged in users, basic network information)
  • Windows host installer: VirtualBox Python API can now be installed automatically (requires Python and Win32 Extensions installed)
  • USB: Support for high-speed isochronous endpoints has been added. In addition, read-ahead buffering is performed for input endpoints (currently Linux hosts only). This should allow additional devices to work, notably webcams
  • Web service: fixed inability to handle NULL pointers for object arguments, which are valid values for a lot of APIs, in both the raw and the object-oriented web service.
  • Web service: object-oriented bindings for JAX-WS did not exhibit interface inheritance correctly, fixed
  • Web service: added support for IDisplay and IGuest interfaces, which were previously unavailable
  • Registration dialog uses Sun Online accounts now

As a VBox junkie I’ve moved my lappy to use the 3.0 Beta 1 and Beta 2 releases and Beta 2 1 day into musing seems quite stable.

VirtualBox-3.0.0_BETA2-49051-Linux_amd64.run                         46M
VirtualBox-3.0.0_BETA2-49051-Linux_x86.run                           46M
VirtualBox-3.0.0_BETA2-49051-OSX.dmg                                 61M 
VirtualBox-3.0.0_BETA2-49051-Win.exe                                 67M

Try it out, but be warned its not yet ready for production.

{lang: 'en-GB'}
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