Oct 27

Oracle VM VirtualBox

VirtualBox logoHave you ever toyed with the idea of running Linux, but don’t want to delete your existing Windows programs? Or maybe you’ve just bought a Mac but there’s just that one Windows app you need to run. Or maybe you’ve always fancied running OS/2, but you’ve only got that old copy that came with an Escom PC back in 1994 that you’ve never opened? That’s where VirtualBox steps in…

There are two editions – the open source edition (called “VirtualBox OSE”) features all of the main functionality of the full product, without the inbuilt remote desktop protocol server and USB support. The full version, licenced under the “Personal Use and Evaluation Licence” is free for home and hobbyist users, and must be purchased for corporations.

Released just under four years ago, the original version of VirtualBox was made available by the German company innotek in January 2007 as a commercial product. An open source/community edition, called “VirtualBox OSE” (for “Open Source Edition”) was launched that made the application available to the wider community. Sun Microsystems, a keen supporter of open source, acquired the company in 2008, and subsequently Oracle acquired Sun in 2009.

VirtualBox can open its own .vdi virtual disk images, but also those created by VMWare or Microsoft’s VirtualPC – meaning that if you want to investigate any of the operating systems images on the excellent site FreeOsZoo, you can.

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