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Sun xVM VirtualBox 2.0 Hypervisor Adds 64-bit Support

Sun Microsystems this week rolled out version 2.0 of its xVM VirtualBox. The product is a cross-platform, open source hypervisor that supports hosts ranging from Mac OS X and Windows to Solaris and 18 varieties of Linux.

According to Sun, the software in all versions has surpassed 6.5 million downloads worldwide, averaging about 15,000 per day. Sun acquired VirtualBox when the company bought out German software developer innotek.

VirtualBox runs on Mac OS X (Intel hardware), Linux, Windows and OpenSolaris. It's available from Sun in two editions: standard and open source. Both are free.

New in version 2.0 is support for 64-bit versions of various operating systems, plus overall performance improvements, especially on AMD chips according to Sun. Other specifics include improved networking on Mac OS X and Solaris, as well as a new user interface for Mac OS X. A complete list of features can be found here.

While VirtualBox is free, Sun offers a new enterprise subscription to provide support for business users.

"Virtual desktops, such as those provided by the xVM VirtualBox software, are the future of business desktops because they are more flexible, manageable and secure than traditional PC architectures," said Steve Wilson, vice president, xVM, Sun Microsystems, in a statement released on Thursday. "Enterprises will be thrilled with the xVM VirtualBox platform because it provides them an easier way to deliver a standard operating environment across their enterprises."

An SDK for version 2.0 has also been released.

Sun xVM VirtualBox 2.0 is available now for Mac OS X (all versions, Intel hardware only), Windows (32- and 64-bit XP, Vista, and Server 2003 and 2008), Linux (several flavors), and Solaris (32- and 64-bit, OpenSolaris build 81 and higher, Solaris 10 OS 5/08 and higher). A complete list of supported hosts is available here. Enterprise subscriptions (which start at $30 per year per user) and OEM licenses are also available.

About the Author

Dave Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's educational technology online publications and electronic newsletters.

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