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VirtualBox 4.0 released (link to changelog) (virtualbox.org)
152 points by phren0logy on Dec 22, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 29 comments

It's great to see VirtualBox being actively developed, even after Oracle took over control from Sun. This is a fantastic piece of software.

Not only is it actively being developed, but they're really working to make it attractive to open source developers.

Moving the proprietary stuff out to a separate "extension pack" (that could easy be replaced with a third party open-source version) is really a nice step.

Considering that their "core" is a bunch of code that was ripped off of QEMU, I don't see the creation of "extension packs" as a mechanism to be more attractive to open source developers. What would be attractive is contributing their changes back into the upstream project.

That would be what is known as "open core": http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/simon-says/2010/06/open-cor...

> they're really working to make it attractive to open source developers

How so? The separate proprietary and open source versions have been around before the Oracle acquisition. Oracle hasn't done anything to make it more attractive to open source developers.

There aren't separate versions anymore. There is one GPLv2 application, and the 'extra' closed source functionality (USB 2.0, VRDP, and Intel PXE) has been split out into a separate 'extension pack.' The extension pack architecture makes it much easier for 3rd party developers to replace the "missing" functionality (a fair amount of work has gone into the API (especially for VRDP-related hooks) to make it much easier for 3rd party developers to do this).

Rather than one binary blob, the extension pack uses a fairly well documented set of interfaces.

Ah, thanks. That makes sense.

Worth stating that this update does not currently work with the virtualbox gem, and thus is incompatible with vagrant.

virtualbox gem and Vagrant dev here.

I took a quick look at the updated header files this morning and there is a _ton_ of API changes in VirtualBox 4.0. That coupled with the release just before the holidays start for me and a weeklong trip to Maui means that I can't give a reliable timeframe for pushing in support for 4.0 and testing it thoroughly.

The work is starting now, but I fear this is something which won't be available to Vagrant users until early 2011.

I hope this comes across in the genuinely inquizitive manner that I intend it: isn't that what the four beta releases were designed to do: give integrators and users the time to prepare for the impending release?

Yes they are, and its my fault for not paying more attention to them. I was pushing really hard to get libvirt support into Vagrant before 4.0 was out, and didn't expect 4.0 to be out this soon. :-\

As someone who just finished updating a number of applications for the new API... I feel your pain...

All in all though, I think these changes are for the better (especially the session related stuff).

mitchellh: For some unknown reason your reply is marked "dead". Most won't see it, and there is no way to directly reply to it.

I reposted it. Hopefully it'll work this time. I think I confused HN by deleting a few too many things too fast.

I love VirtualBox. Its allowed me to test on various platforms all from my Mac. Kudos also to Oracle for continuing with its development - I was concerned that it wouldn't be, so I'm pleased to have been proved wrong!

I don't know that you should be so sure. I definitely expect Oracle to attempt to monetize VBox to a greater extent, which to Oracle generally means not-open-source, at least not open-source development processes. Sun is a large acquisition to digest and I'm sure they still have more on the docket for Sun's properties, including VBox. Just because they haven't destroyed it yet doesn't mean they're not planning to. This may also be the logic of the developers trying hard to drive external development, so that a fork can live on after Oracle takes it closed.

Where's the Mac OS guest additions love?

Riiiiiiiiiight. Although it sure would be nice to see if Snow Leopard becomes easier to hack into Vbox under 4.0.

OS X Server has been supported by VirtualBox for a short time now. I haven't tried it myself, but acquaintances have told me they've got end-user OS X working on VBox without jumping through any hoops.

People I know (cough cough) had pretty good success installing Leopard Desktop into vbox 3.x on intel, but for some reason 10.6 is a bit more elusive...

Apple does allow virtualizing OSX server, as long as you're on Apple hardware.

(one hell of a restriction, but it doesn't have to require hacking) http://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2008/01/virtual-leopa-1.html

I hope that http://code.google.com/p/phpvirtualbox/ will update their web interface GUI accordingly.

I hope iTunes with sync to USB devices with a Windows XP vm now.

Looks good. It ran my old virtualbox 3.2 guest machines without any problems.

about time they added a gui for managing NAT port forwarding, you used to have to use some arcane looking command line to get this which drove me to fusion, but i'll have to check this out again.

It still does not have symbolic link support for shared folders with a snow leopard host. FAIL. I have to use vmware fusion instead.

for the hater that downvoted me: http://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/818

you were most likely downvoted due to your choice of vernacular (i didn't downvote you).

Also people are allowed to hate things, like being rude. 'hater' is not an insult.

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