back to article Oracle VirtualBox 7.0 is here – just watch out for the proprietary Extension Pack

VirtualBox 7.0 is the latest version of the FOSS hypervisor that Oracle acquired along with Sun Microsystems in 2009 – barely more than a year after Sun acquired VirtualBox's developer, Innotek. The new version adds remote control of VMs hosted in the cloud and support for encrypted VMs too – although for now, that is only …

  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Oracle License

    Just remember to uncheck the "first born child" and "immortal soul" sub-paragraphs in page 347 of the EULA

    1. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

      Re: Oracle License

      To be fair VirtualBox is offered under a very good licence. If you don't want or need the extensions, then so be it. If you want to use the extensions for personal use or evaluation then you can.

      The VirtualBox licensing FAQ page is indeed one page.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. hayzoos

    Session 0

    I had just this need about 10 years ago. I chose to run vbox headless as a Windows service. RDP was the console provider. It worked quite well.

    Linux is the host for me these days. I keep some legacy Windows installs for legacy data access that may have been left behind in a Windows only proprietary format. Can't remember when I had to last fire one up. Maybe I should just to test. Then proceed to vbox7.

  3. Binraider Silver badge

    The loss of floppy image support in the GUI (version 5 was that?) Did curtail my use of it somewhat.

    Hobbyist versus industrial demand I guess!

    1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      [Article author here]

      On what version? I have used floppy images successfully in VBox 6.x. I am thus puzzled by your comment.

      1. Binraider Silver badge

        I vaguely recall the options being pulled in one version or another. I'd have to go back and have another look. When I get off the clock I'll go fire up the non-work machine.

  4. cornetman Silver badge

    I use VirtualBox at home and one of the things that I have been noticing is that I have to make sure to update the Extension pack to keep the version in sync whenever a VirtualBox update comes through the regular channels. Failure to do so causes some weird behaviour.

    Just the other day, after forgetting to update it, newly created VMs fail to start with very unhelpful error code, although existing ones continue to run fine. Updating the extension pack, makes the problem go away.

    I would think that if there are compatibility issues, Oracle could build in an auto disable of the extension pack, plus a message to update it.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      >I have to make sure to update the Extension pack to keep the version in sync whenever a VirtualBox update comes through the regular channels. Failure to do so causes some weird behaviour.

      I suspect Oracle already know this hence this note on the website:

      Please install the same version extension pack as your installed version of VirtualBox.

      [ ]

      But yes it would be nicer if they also updated the Extensions pack.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        On running a new version of VirtualBox 6 on W7 - it prompts me that the extensions pack also needs updating. However - it then fails to do the update automatically as the logged in user is not a W7 administrator - and it doesn't prompt me to authenticate with an administrator password. Have to do a bit of a druidic ritual to get it to install the extension pack successfully.

  5. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Did they break sound and/or microphone support again?

    Every single major revision has broken that, and you usually have to wait for the 2nd point release for a working fix. That's what drove me to finally install & learn KVM, as I needed a working microphone for the covid era, and even before that when I first started working from home.

    The extension pack "contains features like guest USB 2 support ... " but "VirtualBox is completely functional without it"

    Somehow I don't see this as a true statement. A VM without USB support seems crippled, to me.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: Did they break sound and/or microphone support again?

      IIRC you get basic USB 1.0 support without the extension pack - so, transfer rates roughly on a par with a Pace Linnet 1200/75 modem, and support for HID-class mouse/keyboard peripherals at least.

    2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge


      It seems you may not need the extension pack for USB 2, as that's included now in the open source base package, so we've taken that reference out for now. We're double checking.

      Don't forget to email if you spot anything wrong.


      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: USB

        Yeah now that you mention it, I think it's USB2 in the basic product, and the extension pack adds USB 3...? Can't be bothered to check though, sorry. Currently distracted by having to deal with a car battery that's deader than corduroy flares.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: USB

        The extension pack section in the instructions doesn't mention USB and the USB section in the instructions doesn't mention the extension pack.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: USB


          Devices: The EHCI and XHCI USB controller devices are now part of the open source base package

    3. captain veg Silver badge

      completely functional without it

      Were that true, there wouldn't be much point in installing it (the extension pack).

      Since I always end up installing it this would appear to be, at least for me, untrue.


      1. Jon 37

        Re: completely functional without it

        It's changed in the new version 7 that has just been released.

  6. captain veg Silver badge

    my beef

    Irrespective of it's (lack of) FLOSS credentials, VirtualBox always worked best for me.

    For the first attempt, it simply worked on hardware that had no special VM capabilities. Like older Pentium 4 chips.

    Then just for the fact that it virtualises the display. In many ways that's enough on it's own.

    Things might well have changed since, but I last tried VMWare at a time when they changed their free offering to require you to access the guest desktop via a browser Java plugin. Slightly later I observed that Hyper-V only supported a GUI via RDP. I never got KVM to work with a GUI. VirtualBox always did the right thing, i.e. render it in a window on the host OS, whilst also offering full-screen AND the (rather astonishing) seamless mode.

    So, if you want a free Virtual Machine manager that serves you the guest OS's GUI in a window (if that's what you want), well it works pretty well. I've stuck with it with very few regrets. I can't tell you if competitors do it better now, but I shall definitely be trying V7.


    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: my beef

      KVM works with a GUI, but you have to start virt-viewer. So my script looks like:

      virsh start vm1

      virt-viewer -a -f vm1 --spice-shared-dir=/

      And yes, that tripped me up for the longest time.

      virt-viewer supports multiple monitors, which is nice.

    2. Alistair Silver badge

      Re: my beef

      dnf install virt-manager.noarch virt-manager-common.noarch

      Setup, deploy, boot, run, destroy. Storage, Network, Memory, CPUs, hardware pass-through. The whole works in one interface, plus have the console to hand.

      It will ask for authority as needed.

      Personally, find it easier and typically more accurate than *cough* that commercial entity that wants to put it all in *their own* cloud.

      1. Inkey

        Re: my beef

        Yeah that ...Virt manager with kvm and qemu....

        Whay less fuss... define a machine that passes usb

        And you're done ...all in one gui

        Managed to push the vm's network connection through usb to a pi zero ,,, bit of a fuss bit worked well enough.

    3. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: my beef

      On Hyper-V you can get a web-based GUI by installing Windows Admin Center[sic].

    4. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: my beef

      Same here also ran some older Windows varients and was able to get some Direct X 5-7 titles running much better than on Windows 7 at the time.

      The video acceleration early on was a nice feature.

      However with all Hypervisors there are upsides and downsides, but for general tinkering for me it ticks more boxes.

  7. Dan 55 Silver badge

    "watch out if you still use Mojave"

    Bugger, that's the last usable one.

  8. david 12 Silver badge

    Legacy systems

    I'd really like to use it on Win7 Home, because, well, Win7 Home. But not possible.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Legacy systems

      That was my reaction too. Will avoid v7 and stick with the last v6 on my W7 systems to run Linux mint. It's very useful having several different VMs set up for Linux Mint and I can destroy them to help protect against browser infections.

  9. Ilsa Loving

    Too high risk

    Yeah no thanks. I would rather pay money for a commercial product than trust Oracle's "open source" booby traps. Having to be afraid that Oracle will come knocking on your door for a stupid amount of money is not worth the risk.

    That they track all their downloads by IP, and if they can identify you, they will send their rabid attack dogs at you. Doesn't matter if it was a thoughtless mistake. Doesn't matter if you're not actually using it. Be ready to cough up $~10k

    Much better off using KVM or QEMU, or commercial.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Too high risk

      There's no risk of getting caught if you don't break the rules.

      Admittedly, living without USB2 support in your VM can be annoying, but it isn't risky.

    2. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

      Re: Too high risk

      -> I would rather pay money for a commercial product than trust Oracle's "open source" booby traps

      I have used VirtualBox for years. If there is a booby trap I have not seen it. Then again I stick to the licence. It is no different with any other application.

      -> That they track all their downloads by IP

      Can you name any company that does not? Maybe DuckDuckGo? Practically any other company will have a log file with time/IP/file accessed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Too high risk

        StartPage has a proxy you can use when you don't want to reveal your IP address. Limited facilities that are designed to shield you from the most likely sources of infection.

    3. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Too high risk

      Java, MySQL and Virtualbox are all on my ban lift because of their pact with the devil.

  10. man_iii

    Steam Deck

    The need for VMs is fast disappearing as more and more stuff can be run inside "containers". There is a place for VMs and a place for containers. VMs are slowly going away though so is the need for a full VM.

    1. DougMac

      Re: Steam Deck

      Maybe VMs are going away in your world, but are the only thing looked at in my world.

      Containers don't offer many of my customers the platforms they need.

      Everybody has different requirements, and nothing is ever going to go away, just shift around as requirements change.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Steam Deck

      I work with VMs and there is no replacing them with containers. However, they are on ESX hosts and no virtualbox in sight. Containers do indeed appear to be replacing VMs on desktops in many cases.

    3. matjaggard

      Re: Steam Deck

      I use containers significantly but they run on virtual machines which I suspect they do for a vast majority - especially as Docker et al refuse to support Mac natively. Virtualbox however I use for a whole different use-case.

  11. dhawkshaw

    TPM Support ?

    "For Windows users, VirtualBox's UEFI support now includes Secure Boot and emulation of TPM 1.2 and 2.0 chips"

    Can anyone confirm if the TPM emulation has been included in the linux versions ? It's the one thing preventing me from updating my test W10 VM to W11.

    ... and when I say test windows VM, I mean boot it every three months, install updates and shut it down again :)

    1. butmonkeh

      Re: TPM Support ?

      TPM 1.2 and 2.0 are both present in the Linux version.

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