Full-disclosure I’m both a fan and an everyday user of VirtualBox and have been for many years. Simply put, as an easy-to-use desktop virtualization tool, it works without much hassle, setup or prior knowledge.
The new VirtualBox 5.0.18 update isn’t a major milestone like the 5.x update, but it does have all kinds of incremental fixes that make VirtualBox work better. There is one particular that is an interesting security related flaw.
There is a fix in VirtualBox 5.0.17 and prior that could have enable a user in the GUI to encrypt a hard disk with an empty password – that’s not good.
On a go-forward basis, cause VirtualBox is going forward, there are no fixes in place to support the Linux 4.6 kernel, which is currently only at its rc4 stage, so it’s not even released yet.
Following are some of the other updates in the VirtualBox 5.0.18 update:
GUI: position off-screen windows to be fully visible again on relaunch in consistence with default-behavior (bug #15226)
GUI: fixed the View menu / Full-screen Mode behavior on Mac OS X El Capitan
GUI: fixed a crash under certain conditions during VM shutdown
GUI: fixed the size of the VM list scrollbar in the VM selector when entering a group
PC speaker passthrough: fixes (Linux hosts only; bug #627)
Drag and drop: several fixes
SATA: fixed hotplug flag handling when EFI is used
Storage: fixed handling of encrypted disk images with SCSI controllers (bug #14812)
Storage: fixed possible crash with Solaris 7 if the BusLogic SCSI controller is used
USB: properly purge non-ASCII characters from USB strings (bugs #8801, #15222)
NAT Network: fixed 100% CPU load in VBoxNetNAT on Mac OS X under certain circumstances (bug #15223)
ACPI: fixed ACPI tables to make the display color management settings available again for older Windows versions (4.3.22 regression)
Guest Control: fixed VBoxManage copyfrom command (bug #14336)
Snapshots: fixed several problems when removing older snapshots (bug #15206)
VBoxManage: fixed –verbose output of the guestcontrol command
Windows hosts: hardening fixes required for recent Windows 10 insider builds (bugs #15245, #15296)
Windows hosts: fixed support of jumbo frames in with bridged networking (5.0.16 regression; bug #15209)
Windows hosts: don’t prevent receiving multicast traffic if host-only adapters are installed (bug #8698)
Linux hosts: added support for the new naming scheme of NVME disks when creating raw disks
Solaris hosts / guests: properly sign the kernel modules (bug #12608)
Linux hosts / guests: Linux 4.5 fixes (bug #15251)
Linux Additions: added a kernel graphics driver to support graphics when X.Org does not have root rights (bug #14732)
Linux/Solaris Additions: fixed several issues causing Linux/Solatis guests using software rendering when 3D acceleration is available
Windows Additions: fixed a hang with PowerPoint 2010 and the WDDM drivers if Aero is disabled
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist