VirtualBox 5 – it remains a useful tool rather than a replacement…

virtualboxVirtualBox 5 is out of a somewhat short beta and its essence seems to have not really changed. It’s still a great tool but no Hyper-V / BootCamp / Parallels replacement….

In brief if you’ve used it before then you will see five new features. All of which are good.

  1. Paravirtualization Support for Windows and Linux Guests: Significantly improves guest OS performance by leveraging built-in virtualization support on operating systems such as Oracle Linux 7 and Microsoft Windows 7 and newer.
  2. Improved CPU Utilization: Exposes a broader set of CPU instructions to the guest OS, enabling applications to make use of the latest hardware instruction sets for maximum performance.
  3. Support of USB 3.0 Devices: Guest operating systems can directly recognize USB 3.0 devices and operate at full 3.0 speeds. The guest OS can be configured to support USB 1.1, 2.0, and 3.0.
  4. Bi-Directional Drag and Drop Support for Windows: On all host platforms, Windows, Linux and Oracle Solaris guests now support “drag and drop” of content between the host and the guest. The drag and drop feature transparently allows copying or opening of files, directories, and more.
  5. Disk Image Encryption: Data can be encrypted on virtual hard disk images transparently during runtime, using the industry standard AES algorithm with up to 256 bit data encryption keys (DEK). This helps ensure data is secure and encrypted at all times, whether the VM is sitting unused on a developer’s machine or server, or actively in use.

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