Oracle releases VirtualBox 7.0.0 with full Windows 11 support

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There are plenty of virtualization tools to choose from, but if someone is looking for one that offers solid support for a wide range of host and guest operating systems, it’s hard to go wrong with VirtualBox. Bringing support for Windows 11 – something that was previously available in betas – Oracle has now released VirtualBox 7.0.0.

As has been the case in the past, VirtualBox 7.0.0 is available for Windows, Linux, and macOS (as well as Oracle’s own Solaris), but this release doesn’t just add full support for Windows 11. There are also new options for cloud-based virtual machines, along with improved security and more.

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On the security side, it is now possible to fully encrypt virtual machines. Oracle has made various changes and improvements to audio, such as switching to Vorbis, as well as introducing numerous UI updates. There is a new utility that allows you to monitor the performance and resource usage of guest operating systems.

While the lengthy changelog is impressive, it’s likely that Windows 11 can now be installed without the need for any hacks or workarounds that will appeal to most users.

The VirtualBox development team shares details of the following major changes in software version 7.0.0:

  • VMs can now be fully encrypted, including VM configuration logs and saved states (CLI only for now)
  • OCI: Cloud VMs can be added to Virtual Machine Manager and controlled as on-premises VMs
  • OCI: Cloud networks can now be configured via the Network Manager tool in the same way as for Host-only and NAT networks
  • GUI: Added a new utility similar to “top” or “resource monitor” that lists performance statistics (CPU usage, RAM usage, disk I/O rate, etc.) of current guests execution
  • GUI: reworked the new vm wizard to integrate unattended guest OS installation and to have a more streamlined workflow
  • GUI: Added a new Help Viewer widget that allows browsing and searching the user manual
  • GUI: added a new notification center unifying most running progress and error reporting around the GUI
  • GUI: Improved theme support on all platforms. Linux and macOS use a native engine while for Windows host it is implemented separately.
  • GUI: Updated large icons.
  • Audio Recording: Now uses Vorbis as the default audio format for WebM containers. Opus is no longer used.
  • Audio: Added a “default” host driver type to allow moving virtual machines (appliances) between different platforms without having to explicitly change the audio driver. When the “default” driver is selected, the best audio backend option for a platform will be used. This is the default for newly created virtual machines.
  • Guest Control: Implemented initial support for automatic guest addition updates for Linux guests
  • Guest Control: Implemented ability to wait and/or restart guest when updating guest additions via VBoxManage
  • VBoxManage: added Guest Control “waitrunlevel” subcommand to allow waiting for a guest to reach a certain runlevel
  • Windows hosts: Added experimental support for running autostart VMs in session 0, to allow VMS to run even when a user is not logged in (disabled by default, please see manual)
  • macOS host: removed all kernel extensions. VirtualBox now relies entirely on the hypervisor and vmnet frameworks provided by Apple. At the moment, the implementation does not have the “Internal Networking” functionality. This will be provided later.
  • macOS host: Providing a Developer Preview package for systems with an Apple Silicon processor. This is an unsupported work in progress, and is known for very poor performance.
  • Linux guest additions: reworked guest screen resizing functionality, added basic integration with some of the guest desktop environments
  • Devices: implemented new 3D support based on DirectX 11 (and DXVK on non-Windows hosts)
  • Devices: added virtual IOMMU devices (Intel and AMD variants)
  • Devices: Added virtual TPM 1.2 and 2.0 devices
  • Peripherals: EHCI and XHCI USB controllers are now part of the open source base package
  • EFI: Added Secure Boot support
  • Debugging: Added experimental support for guest debugging via GDB and highly experimental support for guest debugging via KD/WinDbg

In addition to these notable new features and options, VirtualBox 7.0.0 also includes many fixes and improvements:

  • OCI: cloud networking functionality is improved for on-premises VMs, now on-premises VMs can be connected to cloud networking
  • GUI: Improved behavior of the VM list and various VM-related tools in case multiple items are selected
  • GUI: on available platforms, added new option to disable host screen saver
  • GUI: reworked global preferences, machine settings and wizards to improve stability and usability
  • GUI: improved mouse management in the case of multiple monitors on the X11 platform
  • GUI: medium enumeration engine reworked to improve performance
  • GUI: NAT network items moved from global preferences to global Network Manager tool
  • GUI: Extension Pack Manager moved from Global Preferences to Global Tools
  • GUI: improved overall accessibility
  • GUI: Migrating to Recent Versions of Qt

You can download VirtualBox 7.0.0 here.

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