Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

virtualbox 4.2.0

After a beta and four release candidates, VirtualBox 4.2.0 (stable) has been released today, bringing support to start VMs during system boot on Linux, experimental support for drag'n'drop from the host to Linux guests, improved Windows 8 support and more.

Changes in VirtualBox 4.2.0:
  • Improved Windows 8 support, in particular many 3D-related fixes
  • GUI: VM groups
  • GUI: expert mode for wizards
  • GUI: allow to alter some settings during runtime
  • Support for up to 36 network cards, in combination with an ICH9 chipset configuration
  • Added support for limiting network IO bandwidth
  • Added possibility to start VMs during system boot on Linux, OS X and Solaris
  • Added experimental support for Drag'n'drop from the host to Linux guests. Support for more guests and for guest-to-host is also planned
  • Added support for parallel port passthrough on Windows hosts
  • Enhanced API for controlling the guest
  • Support for recent VIA CPUs and FlushByASID features of AMD CPUs
  • Allow taking screenshots of the current VM window content
  • Allow automatically sorting of the VM list
  • Allow starting of headless VMs from the GUI
  • Implemented burning of audio CDs in passthrough mode
  • Added support for QED images, QCOW (full support for v1 and readonly support for v2 images) and readonly support for VHDX images
A complete VirtualBox 4.2.0 changelog can be found HERE.

The new host to Linux guests drag'n'drop support feature requires the installation of VirtualBox Guest Additions. To get it working in Ubuntu, make sure you don't install the Guest Additions package available in the official Ubuntu repository ("virtualbox-guest-additions") and instead, install the Guest Additions from the VirtualBox menu (Devices > Install Guest Additions).

For some of the new features like starting VMs on system boot, see the VirtualBox manual for how to use them.

Install VirtualBox 4.2 in Ubuntu via repository

Ubuntu users can install the latest VirtualBox 4.2 using its official repository. But before installing 4.2, make sure you don't have any older VirtualBox version installed (so if you've had VirtualBox 4.1 or older installed, remove it firstly) because the package name is different: "virtualbox-4.2" for the latest 4.2.0 release:
sudo apt-get remove virtualbox-4.1
Your existing machines will not be removed and they will continue to work with VirtualBox 4.2.0.

To add the VirtualBox Ubuntu repository and install the latest VirtualBox 4.2, use the commands below:
echo "deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian $(lsb_release -sc) contrib" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/virtualbox.list
wget -q http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian/oracle_vbox.asc -O- | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install virtualbox-4.2
Linux Mint users: replace "$(lsb_release -sc)" in the first command above with the Ubuntu version corresponding to your Linux Mint version (e.g. "precise" for Linux Mint Maya, etc.).

For some extra features like VirtualBox RDP and PXE boot for Intel cards support as well as USB 2.0 devices support, you'll have to download and install the VirtualBox Extension Pack from HERE. To install it, simply double click the extension and VirtualBox should open, prompting you to install it. If that doesn't work, you can also select File > Preferences > Extensions and browse for the downloaded VirtualBox extension.

Download VirtualBox 4.2.0
for Linux, Solaris, Windows or Mac OS X.

Also see: How To Get Your USB Drives To Work With VirtualBox (Ubuntu Host)