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VirtualBox 6.1 Enters Development with Linux Kernel 5.4 Support, UI Improvements

Oracle has announced the general availability of the first Release Candidate of the upcoming VirtualBox 6.1 major update to its popular open-source and cross-platform virtualization software.

VirtualBox 6.1 promises to be the biggest update so far to the latest VirtualBox 6 series, which launched a year ago with major new features and improvements. This first major VirtualBox 6 point release brings support for the upcoming Linux 5.4 kernel series for both Linux hosts and guests, as well as experimental support for file transfers for Linux hosts on Windows guests.

Moreover, VirtualBox 6.1 adds several enhancements to the graphical user interface (GUI), among which we can mention soft keyboard visual improvements, improved mouse pointer and integration scaling, usability related fixes for the Export Appliance wizard, more consistent selection of the medium, showing users known images and allowing them to select the medium via the file picker.

Many other improvements and bug fixes

With VirtualBox 6.1, Oracle wants to bring its popular virtualization software to the next level by implementing support for YUV2 and related texture formats on Linux and macOS hosts using OpenGL, which promises to accelerate video playback when 3D is enabled by delegating the color space conversion to the host GPU.

Additionally, Oracle improved support for nested hardware-virtualization on Intel CPUs and fixed several drawing issues for the 3D case. On Linux, VirtualBox 6.1 will make use of non-blocking sockets for accepted incoming connections (port forwarding) and force disables kernel module signing during build, allowing users do it afterwards.

There’s also an option that lets users disable new functionality like the VISO creator, various Windows Guest Additions fixes around the VBoxVGA adapter, improvements for the EHCI controller implementation, a new network adapter type, updated documentation, and much more. You can download VirtualBox 6.1 RC1 for GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows right now.

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