VirtualBox, which is free for individuals or academic use, allows the user to virtualise different operating systems on a PC or Mac. The software emulates all the hardware components required for a functioning computer. As a host operating system VirtualBox supports Windows, Mac OS X (Intel), Sun Solaris, and several Linux distributions.
VirtualBox supports virtual machines with up to 32 processors including nested page table support for AMD and Intel processors and includes an interface for OpenGL 2.0, Direct3D 8 and 9 graphics acceleration.
- The VMs can be operated via several front-ends
- A graphical user interface (GUI), which uses the Qt graphics library
- A console program (VBoxManage)
- An SDL program (VBoxSDL)
- Virtual serial ports
- 64-bit guest systems run on 64-bit hosts
- Support for nested page tables on modern AMD processors
- Supports AHCI-SATA hard drive controller, for up to 32 drives per virtual machine
- Supports command queuing SATA disks
- Web services API
- Supports images in Microsoft’s VHD format
- Import / export of virtual appliances
- Guest systems, accessing up to 16 GByte RAM
- Network mode for host interfaces
- Support for symmetric multiprocessing (SMP)
Also included is a data recovery tool is used: when system fails, it can be returned to a previous, functioning system state.