VirtualBox receives major update

Want to run a different OS than the one you have or test beta software without effecting your system? This free virtualization software just received a major update offering useful new features and fixes.


It's no secret you can run various flavors of Windows on Intel Macs using Apple's Bootcamp or other popular virtualization software options like Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion. Any of these work great if you need to run Windows software on your Mac or even test beta software worry free, but a fairly recent discovery of mine might be a better choice. VirtualBox is the free, cross-platform, open-source virtualization software I used to get the Windows 7 beta running on a Mac, and it just received a major update.

VirtualBox 3.0 (Windows or Mac) lets you create a secure virtual environment to run the OS of your choice without effecting anything else on your computer. This means that in addition to being able to run software meant for a different system, you'll also be able test beta software without fear of conflicting with your current regular setup.

A handy wizards make it easy to set up a virtual system quickly. (Credit: CNET)

The new version of VirtualBox offers a huge laundry list of new features and fixes, but the major version updates include the capability to run up to 32 virtual CPUs; run programs (games!) that require Direct3D 8 or 9 (Windows); and newly added support for OpenGL 2.0 for Windows, Linux, and Solaris.

About Jason Parker

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.