Release: Oracle/Sun VirtualBox 3.1 (with VMs live migration)

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Sun releases today refreshes its hosted desktop virtualization platform VirtualBox, introducing a major new feature.

Believe or not VirtualBox 3.1 is now capable to perform a virtual machine live migration, called Teleportation, between remote hosts over a standard TCP/IP network link.

Of course, because the virtualization layer sits above the host operating system, VirtualBox has limited compatibility issues with different CPU families, and no problems with different operating systems.

To work, Teleportation requires that both copies of VirtualBox have two identical VMs with same virtual hardware. These two VMs must access the same shared storage (NFS/CIFS, iSCSI or Fibre Channel).
Despite what the press release claims, the user manual highlights that teleporting a VM between an AMD and an Intel CPU may fail, despite VirtualBox is able to simulate the each other differences to a degree.

VirtualBox 3.1 introduces has other interesting capabilities:

  • the (Experimental) support for a virtual EFI (which means that the product could run a copy of Mac OS X over time)
  • the support for 2D acceleration on Windows guest OSes accessign the host graphic card
  • the support for paravirtualized network adapters (developed around the virtIO standard, and released and maintained as part of the KVM project – virtIO drivers are available for Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Linux kernels 2.6.25 or later)

Last but not least, there’s an ongoing parallel project around VirtualBox: an AJAX web interface featuring a Flash-based RDP client.


Sun started developing it in August, it’s documenting progresses on a blog, and the early code is available here with a MIT license.

The most interesting thing appeared on the blog so far, is the information that the company is counting more than 16 million users for this product (the today’s press announcement mentions over 20 million downloads instead).