Oracle has released version 4.0 of its cross-platform VM VirtualBox desktop virtualization application for x86 hardware.
Discussing the announcement, Oracle Linux and Virtualization Engineering Senior VP Wim Coekaerts said, "Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.0 is the third major product release in just over a year, and adds to the many new product releases across the Oracle Virtualization product line, illustrating the investment and importance that Oracle places on providing a comprehensive desktop-to-data-center, virtualization solution."
According to the company, the major update to its open source virtualization solution "continues to deliver on Oracle's commitment to open source".
Version 4.0 features an improved user interface, as well as added virtual hardware support, including for chip-sets supporting PCI Express and others. Other changes include increased capacity and throughput using a new asynchronous I/O model for networked (iSCSI) and local storage, and improved standards support with support for the Open Virtualisation Format (OVF).
At the time of this posting, the VirtualBox.org web site still shows version 3.2.12 from the end of November as the latest stable release to date four beta versions for VM VirtualBox 4.0 have been released.
The same situation arose just last week as Oracle released Open Office 3.3 - the OpenOffice.org shows the eight release candidate as the latest 3.3.0 version. It is unclear when Oracle will release the community versions of VM VirtualBox and the OpenOffice office suite.
Further information about the release can be found in Oracle's below press release. VM VirtualBox 4.0 is available to download from company's site and documentation is provided.
Starting with version 4.0, the license for VirtualBox has changed. For the first time, both the base Oracle VM VirtualBox product source code and the binary are licensed under the GPLv2, while the Extension Pack mechanism, which allows third-party sources to add their own add-on functionality, is licensed under the PUEL.
The change means that distributors shipping the Open Source Edition (OSE) of VirtualBox no longer need to build from the sources themselves.
Update (23-12-10): The VirtualBox.org site has been updated to reflect the version 4.0 release and a change log for VM VirtualBox 4.0 is now available.
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