Chapter 1 New Features for Release 6.1

This section describes the new features in release 6.1 of Oracle VM VirtualBox.

For a more detailed list of changes, see Chapter 3, Change Log.

1.1. Importing of Instances From Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

Oracle VM VirtualBox now supports importing of cloud instances from an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure service. When you import a cloud instance, Oracle VM VirtualBox creates and registers a new VM automatically on the local host. See Importing an Instance from Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

The VBoxManage import command has also been enhanced for this feature. See Import from Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

1.2. Improved Export to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

The following improvements have been made for exporting a VM to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure:

  • Using Custom Images: You can export a VM to your Oracle Cloud Infrastructure account and save it as a custom image.

    The New Cloud VM feature enables you to create multiple cloud instances from a custom image, without having to reupload the image every time.

  • Paravirtualization Support: You can now export a VM to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure in paravirtualized hardware mode. VMs using paravirtualized devices provide much faster performance, compared to running in emulated mode.

See Creating New Cloud Instances from a Custom Image for more details.

1.3. VBoxManage Commands for Cloud Integration

The following VBoxManage commands have been introduced for closer integration with cloud services.

  • VBoxManage cloudprofile: Enables you to create, edit, and manage cloud profiles. Oracle VM VirtualBox uses a cloud profile to integrate with a cloud service such as Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

  • VBoxManage cloud list: Enables you to list resources in your cloud service account, such as instances and images.

  • VBoxManage cloud instance: Enables you to create and manage instances in your cloud service account.

  • VBoxManage cloud image: Enables you to create and manage custom images in your cloud service account.

1.4. Improved Support for Nested Virtualization

This release adds support for nested virtualization on Intel CPUs. Previously, this feature was only available on host systems that use an AMD CPU.

Intel processors starting with 5th Generation Core i (Broadwell) are supported.

1.5. Retirement of Support for Software Virtualization

This release of Oracle VM VirtualBox does not support software virtualization. The recompiler that was supplied in previous releases is no longer available.

The host must have a CPU that supports hardware virtualization.

1.6. Soft Keyboard for Guest Character Input

A soft keyboard enables keyboard character input in a guest VM. Select Input, Keyboard, Soft Keyboard on the guest menu bar.

Several international keyboard layouts are supplied by default. Users can modify these to create their own custom keyboard layout. See Soft Keyboard.

1.7. Changes to 3D Graphics Support

3D graphics support is no longer available for VMs that use the legacy VBoxVGA graphics controller. This graphics controller can still be used with VMs that only require 2D graphics.

For improved 3D graphics performance, you can use either of the following graphics controllers:

  • VBoxSVGA: For new Windows guests.

  • VMSVGA: For other guest platforms, such as Linux.

1.8. User Interface Changes

The following list shows the main improvements to the user interface in this release:

  • Usability improvements for VirtualBox Manager, as follows:

    • A pin icon enables the Global Tools panel to be pinned in place, to avoid movement during scrolling through large number of VMs.

    • Some VM settings now can be edited directly from the Details panel, by clicking on a link.

    • The Storage settings page now offers a setting for the controller bus type. This page also supports drag and drop for moving attachments between controllers.

  • In the Virtual Media Manager you can now create new disk images and also search for a specific disk image.

  • Improvements to the VISO Creator dialog.

  • Improvements to the Session Information dialog.

1.9. Shared Clipboard File Transfers

Experimental support for file transfers using the shared clipboard has been added, for Windows guests running on a Windows or Linux host. This feature is disabled by default and can be enabled using the VBoxManage modifyvm --clipboard-file-transfers command option.

1.10. vboximg-mount Command Improvements

The vboximg-mount command now provides experimental support for direct read-only access to NTFS, FAT, ext2, ext3, and ext4 filesystems.

In previous releases, vboximg-mount was only available on Mac OS hosts. The command is also now available on Linux hosts.

1.11. virtio-scsi Storage Controller Support

Experimental support has been added for emulating a virtio-scsi storage controller.

Note that for Windows guests you must install additional drivers to use this feature. See Hard Disk Controllers.