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Feature: Desktop Software

VirtualBox 1.5.0 update includes seamless windowing

By Lisa Hoover on September 06, 2007 (4:00:00 PM)

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Innotek rolled out a significant update to its VirtualBox open source virtualization software this week. According to Achim Hasenmueller, managing director of innotek, the release of VirtualBox 1.5.0 for Windows and Linux marks the first time seamless windowing -- the ability to display a single Windows application on a Linux desktop -- is available for Linux systems.

Hasenmueller notes that the new upgrade includes serial port and Windows 64-bit host support, and supports IBM OS/2 Warp as a guest operating system. VirtualBox 1.5.0 now also includes a standards-compliant Intel PXE network boot agent, as well as several bugfixes and improvements to the GUI, as noted on the software's changelog.

Hassenmueller says that the changes and added features are significant enough to warrant an upgrade by all users, but acknowledges there are a few small kinks in the new update that still need to be worked out. "There are some minor issues that have slipped through our quality assurance process," he says. "Version 1.5.0 was a very significant update with hundreds of improvements which were done in just three months, so we did expect that once it became available, users would discover some issues. For example, some keyboard layouts (like Dvorak) do not work correctly on Linux, and there are other small annoyances." Innotek engineers are working on a maintenance release, however, and Hasenmueller says it will be available for download "soon."

VirtualBox is licensed under the GPL and is also available under a commercial license which, according to innotek, can still be used by companies free of charge in most cases. Hasenmueller says that while some proprietary virtualization software companies "package nearly identical software in a large number of different products ... VirtualBox is one package for multiple uses. Most downloads are, of course, by end users who will use it on their desktop, but our commercial customers use the software both on clients and servers. In addition, we also have a strong embedded business."

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how does it compaire too VMware?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 204.50.208.4] on September 06, 2007 06:16 PM
Aside from the available source versus closed source religious war, how does VirtualBox compare to VMware Server? I've been loving VMware since I first tried it but if there is performance or hardware support improvements from VirtualBox then I'll happily switch.

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Re: how does it compaire too VMware?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.67.227.110] on September 06, 2007 07:23 PM
There's very little difference performance-wise. I tend to prefer VirtualBox, if only because it doesn't set the window manager's URGENT hint (flashes the taskbar) everytime I mouse over the VM's window. I also think it's a bit cleaner and easier to get running out of the box. The new seamless mode is nice, too. It's not perfect; but it's better than everybody else, since nobody else does it.

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VirtualBox 1.5.0 update includes seamless windowing

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 148.87.1.172] on September 07, 2007 06:20 PM
Its as fast and works like a charm!!!!!!!

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Re: VirtualBox 1.5.0 update includes seamless windowing

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 158.39.125.145] on September 08, 2007 07:50 PM
Works great here too. I think this actually might replace my Windows partition!

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wine?

Posted by: Michael Shigorin on September 08, 2007 09:21 AM
Folks, with all of this marketing stuff -- <a href=http://winehq.com/>WINE</a> did it for AGES! We do use that at times when migrating our clients to Linux (e.g. with custom applications which can be fixed to work with wine just ok but porting them over would be cost-prohibitive).

And yes, that doesn't mandate a windows lie-sense.

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Wine

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 219.95.202.87] on September 09, 2007 02:57 PM
Problem with wine is, a simple VB program I have will never get past the login screen.
Maybe there is a way to set it up but I just couldn't get it.
This seamless window by virtual box might be exactly what I need; unless I find a way with Wine.

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VirtualBox 1.5.0 update includes seamless windowing

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