What is VirtualBox

Virtual Machine

Software that pretends to be a computer system and can run programs just like a real computer. Most of the time, this software is described as “an efficient, separate copy of a physical machine.” At the moment, the term also includes virtual machines that have nothing to do with real hardware. These virtual machines can run processes as long as they have enough resources and abstractions. None of the processes can ever leave the “virtual computer” environment.

Running operating systems to “test” them is one of the most common ways that virtual machines are made. It lets us test an operating system like Ubuntu on a computer running Windows without having to install it directly on the computer or changing the way the main operating system is set up.


VirtualBox is free software that can simulate the x86 computer architecture. It acts as a hypervisor, creating a VM (virtual machine) in which another operating system can run. The “host” OS is the operating system on which VirtualBox runs. “Guest” OS is the name for the OS that is running in the VM. As its host OS, VirtualBox can use Windows, Linux, or macOS.

When setting up a virtual machine (VM), the user can choose how many CPU cores, how much RAM, and how much disk space the VM should have. “Pause” means to stop the VM from running. At that point, the system stops running, but the user can use it again later

History of VirtualBox

InnoTek Systemberatung GmbH from Weinstadt, Germany, initially provided VirtualBox under a proprietary software license, offering one version of the program for free for personal or evaluation use under the terms of the VirtualBox Personal Use and Evaluation License (PUEL).  Innotek GmbH published VirtualBox Open Source Edition (OSE) in January 2007 on the advice of LiSoG. This free and open-source software was distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL), version 2. 

The OS/2 and Linux support for virtualization and OS/2 ports of Connectix products, which Microsoft eventually purchased, were also developed with help from Innotek GmbH. Innotek specifically created the “additions” code in both Windows Virtual PC and Microsoft Virtual Server that allows for a variety of host-guest OS interactions, including shared clipboards or dynamic viewport resizing.

Innotek was purchased by Sun Microsystems in February 2008. When Oracle Corporation bought Sun Microsystems in January 2010, they changed the name of the software to “Oracle VM VirtualBox.” VirtualBox stopped supporting software-based virtualization in December 2019 and began exclusively supporting hardware-assisted virtualization.

Guest Operating System Supported by VirtualBox

The following guest operating systems are supported by VirtualBox:

  • Linux distributions including Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, RHEL, and Arch Linux.
  • Windows 10, 8, 7, XP, Vista, and 2000.
  • Solaris and OpenSolaris.
  • OS/2.
  • macOS X Server Leopard and Snow Leopard.


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