VirtualBox for Mac is a virtualization tool that allows you to create virtual machines for Mac OS X, Linux, or Windows running on Mac OS X. VirtualBox for Mac is not available from the App Store but can be downloaded from most download sites. VirtualBox for Mac is open-source software and has no charges associated with it.
VirtualBox for Mac lets you create a virtual machine on Mac OS X that you can then load Mac OS X, Windows (pretty much any variant) or Linux (and OpenBSD) into. As long as you can allocate a decent amount of RAM to the virtual machine, VirtualBox for Mac will let you run multiple operating systems without issue. To test VirtualBox for Mac we loaded up virtual machines with Windows 7, Windows Server, Mac OS X, and two versions of Linux. On our 8GB RAM MacBook Pro we could run two or three virtual machines at the same time (each allocated 1GB RAM) and switch between them cleanly. Access to system resources such as hard-drive partitions, USB devices, CD player, and so on is mostly clean, although some USB devices may cause issues. Fortunately, as an open-source project VirtualBox for Mac has lots of contributors and advisers on its forums that can help troubleshoot issues.
We've used a few commercial (and expensive) virtualization tools on our MacBook Pro, but after using VirtualBox for Mac we think we'll ditch the commercial products. VirtualBox for Mac lacks nothing the commercial products offer except perhaps a tech support phone line. A very nice product.
VirtualBox is a family of powerful x86 virtualization products for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers, it is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). VirtualBox runs on Mac OS X, Windows and Linux and supports a large number of guest operating systems including but not limited to Windows (NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista), DOS/Windows 3.x, Linux (2.4 and 2.6), and OpenBSD. VirtualBox is being actively developed with frequent releases and has an ever growing list of features, supported guest operating systems and platforms it runs on. VirtualBox is a community effort backed by a dedicated company: everyone is encouraged to contribute while innotek ensures the product always meets professional quality criteria.
What's new in this version:
- VMM: more fixes for MSR emulation on certain hardware (bugs #12784, #12949, #13034)
- VMM: improve MSI handling under rare circumstances (only relevant for the ICH9 chipset)
- VMM: fixed #UD exception for 64-bit guests with the EFER.SCE bit and the SYSCALL instruction (VT-x only; 4.3 regression; bug #13008)
- VMM: fixed timekeeping after resuming SMP guests
- VMM: properly wake up a halted VCPU on NMI/SMI
- GUI: fixed a potential crash
- GU... See all new features »