back to article VirtualBox 5.0 beta four graduates to become first release candidate

Snoracle's new version of desktop hypervisor VirtualBox has progressed sufficiently well that it's decided the revised tool is out of beta and into release candidate status. VirtualBox is a developer favourite because, unlike rival desktop hypervisors from VMware and Parallels, it is free. Oracle's kept the tool alive and well …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What kind of a developer can't afford a $50-60 tool? If its actually needed

    1. Christian Berger

      Yes, but why should I pay $50-$60 for software I don't even get the source code for? I mean a company selling me software refuses to give me the source code sounds a lot like malware.

    2. MacroRodent Silver badge


      What kind of a developer can't afford a $50-60 tool? If its actually needed

      In a company, you save more than that: the hassle of purchasing and managing licenses. You can also install more copies when needed, without asking permission from anyone.

      VMWare is actually more that $50-$60. The version of VMWare Player licensed for commercial use is 117.39 € (excluding VAT), and if you want the full VMWare Desktop product (which would be a more accurate comparison to VirtualBox), it is 186.96 € (checked today at their web site).

  2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Who would pay $50 for something if they can get an equally good, or better, one for free?

    (I suppose the easy answer is "an Apple developer" :) )

    1. /dev/null

      Ah, but...

      When comparing VB with VMware or whatever, it's worth remembering that while VB itself is GPL'd, the VB Extension Pack is not open source and it's licence says it's only free of charge for personal use or product evaluation.

      1. Jad

        Re: Ah, but...

        It isn't licensed for product evaluation, and it's valid to run it inside a company.

        their terms for the extension pack are pretty good, in this case it's personal use if it wasn't installed by an administrator, or installed by default on lots of machines.

        So if you run it at a company, get the users to install it themselves and you're quite legit.

        If you're a big company then you can afford the small price for it if you need it :)

    2. JLV

      re. the easy answer

      at the risk of surprising you, most of the tools I end up using on my Mac are pretty standard LAMP stack stuff, very little in the way of extra tools.

      Macports put most of theml in, not very different from apt-get. You could use Homebrew if that's your thing.

      - postgres, virtual box, vagrant, chef, python, git, firefox

      My main interaction with the system is the bash shell and the editor and to tell you the truth, I barely notice the difference between a Ubuntu ssh session and being on the Mac.

      I did splurge on a text editor, Sublime (also available on Linux), Affinity Designer ($40) - a vector drawing tool and ForkLift, to improve on OSX crappy file manager. And Kaleidoscope, a diff utility. Had I wanted, I probably could have stuck to open source tools for those as well - they can also be installed here and I have vim already.

      True, when my trusty ol' 17" 2011 MBP needs to be retired I do not look forward to paying Apple's outrageous extra RAM costs and the like, seeing as everything is now soldered on permanently on their newer systems. Or downgrading to a 15" retina.

      But otherwise it has been a good purchase, including the hardware holding up quite well despite some significant physical whacks given to it. At this level of hardware, I think the Apple overpricing is about 30% which is tolerable. Well-equipped Windows laptops, starting with 1920+/17" screens, are not cheap by any means.

      So, no, your easy answer is not applicable to me. Not to begrudge you your choice of systems, of course ;-) But the assumption that a Mac is lacking in command line usefulness because has a pretty GUI, or because it's primarily marketed to hipsters is not always correct.

      p.s. vagrant + virtualbox, now that's is a nice combo.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "ability to run headless virtual machines"

    Is not actually new in version 5. It's been in 4.x too. VBoxHeadless has been working just fine on Linux and FreeBSD.

    1. Olius

      Re: "ability to run headless virtual machines"

      I was just going to say, I was doing this with VirtualBox a couple of years ago - and it works very nicely indeed :-)

      You can manage your headless machines through a very feature rich web interface that is almost as good as the desktop manager. Or do some extremely advanced things via the commandline (which can manipulate running VMs as easily as offline ones)

      It really is a rather incredible bit of kit :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "ability to run headless virtual machines"

      I believe the new feature is the ability to cut the head of a machine started in a GUI, without having to stop it and restart it headless. The article's author took a shortcut :)

  4. DrXym Silver badge

    I like VirtualBox

    It has a very friendly user interface and in general works pretty well.

    If I had to find fault it, the speed of the guest / host virtual file system is horrible which makes it very hard to contemplate using it with something like Vagrant to virtualize development environments. I packaged up a compiler and some other tools into a vagrant box and while the compiler ran at about 90% of native speed (not bad) locally, it took close to 10x longer to compile files out on the host fs due to the virtualization.

    It would also be nice if operating systems came with a standard set of hooks so there wasn't a constant need to install guest drivers

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Casual usefulness

    Dead useful, even for light casual use. I don't have the need at the moment to use it for any worky like stuff, but it's great for checking out a new linux distro, or windows 10 beta. I also assume one could keep one's selection of art pamphlets on a virtual machine, to keep them away from prying family eyes. The freeness of it is essential for such fluffy purposes. And it works fine.

  7. CaptainBanjax

    I use VBox

    Rather than VMWare because it is better and less of mess ocross the system. I hate the vmware kernel modules.

    Plus with VBox you have the rather nice phpvirtualbox frontend.

    I know VMWare has their alternative but its cut back the vbox web front end is fully featured from what I can tell.

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