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VirtualBox 3.2 Betas Keep Coming - Java Bindings Introduced

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VirtualBox 3.2 Betas Keep Coming - Java Bindings Introduced

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Just over a week after the first beta of VirtualBox 3.2 was announced the second beta is already here!  This release features Java Bindings and addresses several regressions found in the 3.1.6 and 3.2.0 (beta 1) releases.  3.2 will be the first major release of VirtualBox under the new Oracle management.  As a result, the software has been re-branded as the Oracle Virtual Box (which I have personally abbreviated - OVB).

OVB 3.2 Beta 2 has a few GUI enhancements including a checkbox for absolute pointing devices and HD, CD, FD, and Network device LED synchronization with device presence.  The mini-ToolBar for Full-screen and Seamless modes should now have correct positioning, mouse-hovering and correctly update its own seamless-mask for multi-monitor setups.  Several issues have also been fixed with asynchronous I/O storage.

The newly offered Java bindings are probably the biggest new feature in VirtualBox.  The developers didn't provide any more details on this feature, but it's certainly a welcome addition.  OVB developers have also fixed problems (shared folders kernel module is now loaded on demand) with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS guests (the recently released version of Ubuntu LTS).  Performance optimizations have been included along with new icons and other bugfixes.

Here is a list of the other main features in the second beta:

  • Windows hosts: fixed failure to load VBoxDDR0.R0 on Windows 7 x64 hosts (Beta 1 regression)
  • Mac OS X hosts: fixed VBoxREM load error on 64-bit Snow Leopard hosts (Beta 1 regression)
  • GUI: Storage Settings UI: choose empty medium for CD/FD devices by default (improvement)
  • GUI: First Run Wizard is now synchronized with New VM Wizard (fix)
  • GUI: misnamed boot disk setting in New VM Wizard fixed
  • GUI: Storage Settings UI will now sort listed attachments by storage slot (3.1.0 regression)
  • GUI: New Hard Disk wizard size-editor now will NOT reset own value in case it is invalid allowing user to edit it (value still stricted by reg-exp). New Hard Disk wizard location-editor now will NOT allow to enter empty location.
  • Seamless: fixed regression with Linux guests (Beta 1 regression)
  • OVF: several fixes (compatibility/bug fix)
  • OVF: supports import/export of LsiLogicSAS controller (compatibility fix)
  • VRDP: allow to bind to localhost only (Mac OS X hosts; bug #5227)
  • Main: sometimes a new VM was created with invalid settings (Beta 1 regression)
  • Main: enabling a USB keyboard no longer disables the PS/2 keyboard (EFI access in OS X guests) (improvement)
  • Main: don't refuse to start a VM if a DVD or floppy image is not accessible (improvement)
  • Linux hosts: support VDE networking mode if the VDE library (libvdeplug.so.2) can be found on the host
  • Guest control: faster execution / retrieval of output, extended documentation, fixed some shutdown issues (improvement)
  • Guest Additions: new icons according to new branding
  • Guest Additions: VM information properties now are only updated if necessary (performance optimization)
  • 3D: Restoring Ubuntu Lucid VM with 3D effects hangs
  • Bridged networking: dropped delayed packet processing (Windows hosts only) (performance optimization)
  • Bridged networking: fixed regression when attaching to a wireless NIC (Beta 1 regression)
  • HostOnly networking: fixed DHCP server launch mechanism (Windows hosts only) (Beta 1 regression)
  • NAT: crash in built-in TFTP server (Beta 1 regression)
VirtualBox for Mac OS X. One virtual machine is running in seamless mode on Leopard. Note the realtime preview of the virtual machine in the dock.

Here are the major new features introduced in the first 3.2 beta:

  • Following the acquisition of Sun Microsystems by Oracle Corporation,the product is now called Oracle VM VirtualBox and all references were changed without impacting compatibility.
  • Experimental support for Mac OS X guests
  • Memory ballooning to dynamically in- or decrease the amount of RAM used by a VM (64-bit hosts only) (see the manual for more information)
  • CPU hot-plugging for Linux (hot-add and hot-remove) and certain Windows guests (hot-add only) (see the manual for more information)
  • New Hypervisor features: with both VT-x/AMD-V on 64-bit hosts, using large pages can improve performance (see the manual for more information); also, on VT-x, unrestricted guest execution is now supported (if nested paging is enabled with VT-x, real mode and protected mode without paging code runs faster, which mainly speeds up guest OS booting)
  • Support for deleting snapshots while the VM is running
  • Support for multi-monitor guest setups in the GUI (see the manual for more information)
  • USB tablet/keyboard emulation for improved user experience if no Guest Additions are available
  • LsiLogic SAS controller emulation
  • RDP video acceleration
  • NAT engine configuration via API and VBoxManage
  • Guest Additions: added support for executing guest applications from the host system
  • OVF: enhanced OVF support with custom namespace to preserve settings that are not part of the base OVF standard

You can download the binaries for the latest OVB beta here.  Oracle VirtualBox is distributed under the GPLv2 license.  The Oracle VirtualBox binaries are released under the VirtualBox Personal Use and Evaluation License (PUEL) license.  For the most stable release of Oracle VirtualBox, download version 3.1.6, which was released near the end of March

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