New BOINC installer includes VirtualBox
19 Nov 2013 Berkeley -
Starting with version 7.2.28, the recommended BOINC installer for Windows also installs VirtualBox, open-source virtualization software. This allows volunteered computer to run VM applications, benefitting both scientists and volunteers.
BOINC uses virtualization to allow scientists to develop applications on their preferred operating system - usually Linux - and then run them on volunteered Windows and Mac computers. The BOINC users call these VM apps.
BOINC's virtualization support uses a system called VirtualBox, which is open-source software maintained and distributed by Oracle.
The use of virtualization in BOINC provides several advantages:
- It makes it easier for scientists to develop applications for BOINC, since they no longer have to build and maintain versions of their programmes for Windows and Mac.
- It provides increased security for volunteers. Virtual machines provide a very strong security barrier; a programme running in a virtual machine has no access to the files on the "host" operating system.
- VM apps are automatically "restartable". The contents of the VM are written to disk every few minutes, and if your computer is turned off for a while, the application can restart close to where it left off.
You can also install VirtualBox separately. For more information about VirtualBox, you can visit the web site at https://www.virtualbox.org/