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Juergen Haas

VirtualBox 4.2.6

By December 31, 2012

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Oracle has updated the virtual machine software package VirtualBox to version 4.2.6. VirtualBox provides desktop virtualization (OS simulation), and is designed for x86 and AMD64/Intel64 processor systems. In runs on all major operating systems and supports numerous guest operating systems.

This maintenance update fixes various issues and further improves stability. For a complete list of revisions, see the VirtualBox changelog.

A virtualization system such as VirtualBox makes it possible to run one operating system inside another operating system. For example you can use it to run MS Windows from within Linux, or you can run Linux from within MS Windows.

Compared to a dual-boot setup, running another operating system through virtualization allows you to run software in both operating systems at the same time. You don't need to log out and shutdown your computer before restarting it with another system.

On the other hand, running two operating systems simultaneously requires more memory and more CPU time, and there are also limitations as to how accurately the virtualization system can emulate a real computer running the guest operating system.

VirtualBox supports symmetric multiprocessing and can emulate up to 32 virtual CPUs. Support for OpenGL 2.0 and Direct3D 9 games and applications has been implemented as well. It has an open architecture based on extension packs. It supports PCI passthrough for direct access to physical hardware.

The software allows you to clone virtual machines and to move live virtual machine sessions between systems, which is known as teleportation. It supports up to 1TB RAM and can run CPU and video intensive games such as FarCry, Call of Duty, SecondLife, Unreal Tournament and Eve Online.

See the online documentation for a complete description of the software's functionality.

VirtualBox is open source and free for personal use.

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