The free virtualization product VirtualBox has released a new version 2.1 that not only supports 3D graphics, but the full VMDK and VHD formats from VMware and Microsoft.
VirtualBox 2.1 is the first virtualization project from Sun Microsystems to provide hardware-based 3D support on an OpenGL foundation. Direct3D support, as offered by VMware, was deferred to a future release. Although all the various supported platforms include the experimental 3D acceleration feature, only Windows guest setups can actually use it. The software also supports 64-bit guests on 32-bit hosts, again on an experimental basis only.
Notably, the new VirtualBox fully supports the virtual machine file formats from VMware (.vmdk) and Microsoft (.vhd). Initial testing by this magazine, however, showed that VirtualBox ignores existing VMware snapshots.
One major enhancement involving the network is a new NAT engine that should provide "significantly better" performance and reliability, along with ICMP echo (ping) support. The changelog contains the complete list of new VirtualBox 2.1 feature and fixes.
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