Oracle VM VirtualBox: Freeware Friday

Managing virtual machines on your desktop or someone else’s is often a hassle. And it gets expensive. Enter Oracle’s free utility, VirtualBox. It’s a free virtual machine manager — and it’s as useful for enterprise managers and IT pros as it is for geeks who just want better virtualization control.

With a new version in December, VirtualBox — originally from Sun — has more features than ever. And it supports Linux (2.4 and 2.6), Windows NT, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista and Windows 7 as well as Solaris and OpenBSD. It even supports OS/2.


  • I’ve used VB in the past on my Ubuntu machine to have a virtual XP environment. Very easy to install and build virtual machines. I’d like to test it on a Windows machine to see if it works a little better. I allocated 4GB of RAM to my XP VM and it was still a little laggy, but overall effective.

    -RAP, II

  • +Ant Pruitt, it would be great to do a serious how to gallery on virtual machines and the management of them. Maybe it’s something you and Peter could work on. Welcome to the team, ANT!

  • Virtualbox is a great tool. I was using it at home to host my Zimbra mail, a Win7 VM running Quickbooks, and an Ubuntu server running dhcp and dns all on an AMD quad core and 8GB RAM.

    Another option is to use VMware’s ESXi 5.0 hypervisor (the free version).