Sun open sources Mac OS X virtualisation tool

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Sun Microsystems has unveiled a useful update to its xVM VirtualBox, open source desktop virtualisation, which now has support for both Solaris and Mac OS X.

The update means that Sun is now officially the first firm to have launched open source virtualisation for those particular two operating systems.

Sun is seeking a niche in the big-business virtualisation market. Its Virtual Box, which was developed by German company Innotek, bought by Sun this February, can run as an application on a host operating system, allowing several guest OSs to run on top of it.

The software comes in a free, open source version as well as in a licensed version sporting advanced features, which is also free, but only for individual use. Any business users who want the software have to cough up for the purchase licenses.

Sun claims that as well as supporting Solaris and Mac OS X as hosts, its new and improved VirtualBox 1.6 now also comes with seamless windowing for Solaris and Linux guests, SATA support for up to 32 hard disks per VM and a programming interface for Web services. Solaris is also supported as a guest OS, but Mac OS X is not as yet.

Windows, as well as several Linux and Unix versions are supported as guests and Linux, Windows and experimental support for OS/2 Warp are supported hosts. (c) 2010 Incisive Media

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