Introducing VirtualBox 5

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In July, Oracle released version 5 of VirtualBox, and after a couple of recent tweaks the latest version is now 5.0.2.

VirtualBox, which is available free of charge from https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads, is a program that lets you create and run so-called Virtual Machines or VMs. A VM is effectively a complete operating system, running in a window on your existing PC. That operating system could be another copy of Windows, or perhaps Linux. You can even run multiple VMs at the same time, giving you a whole collection of computers that can be used for different things but which all share the same hardware.

Using a VM is a great way to try out a new operating system such as Linux. Create a VM, download the installer for the new OS, install the new OS into your VM, and then you can try it out. If you don't like it, just delete the VM and all traces of the new OS have disappeared.

New features in VirtualBox 5 include support for USB 3, better use of the host computer's CPU for faster VMs, as well as data encryption. Perhaps the neatest new feature is being able to drag and drop files between the host and guest. This means, for example, that you can download a file in your VM (perhaps from a web site that you don't necessarily trust), and then drag it onto your main computer once you've checked it out.

VirtualBox 5 is a download of around 110 MB and is malware-free according to VirusTotal and Web of Trust.

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Comments

I love it too, and add to those recommending it.  One use for it that I've been doing for most of the past 2-3 years is running the great firewall package pfsense, which also serves as my router,  It will almost always install without a hitch, or thought required, and isn't open to easy attack like almost all standard routers are.  You do need 2 NIC's though.

Plus, I always keep a few linux systems available to run if I ever need to do somethng that only linux can do.  Virtualbox is an extremely valuable tool.

Not sure which one I should download...Have Win7 64-bit. Suggestions?

Still not completely Windows 10 ready... I have some sound issues that were fixed for Windows guests and Ubuntu, but not Linux Mint Debian Edition. Maybe it's because I'm using the outdated drivers from the repository instead of Oracle themselves...

Also, it still gives 3 errors sometimes when starting a virtual machine. Just ignore them, and your 4th try will succeed.

From their website...

"Please be aware that Windows 10 is not yet officially supported! There are known problems with VirtualBox 5.0.2 on Windows 10 hosts and with Windows 10 guests. "

Have only been using Virtualbox since like 2 or 3 versions prior to 5.x release.
Have it installed in my Windows 7 Ultimate machine. Works fantastic.
And, yes, I agree completely it is the BEST way to try new OS's. And of course the safest.
Would recommend it to anyone.
In fact am using it to host 4 different linux's and Win 8.1 Pro.
So, if your machine has what it takes, I highly recommend you get a copy and install it and learn it.