Skip to content or navigation

VirtualBox 2.1.4 – Preps Windows CAD for Mac

Sun’s VirtualBox joins Parallels and VMware’s efforts to bring support for OpenGL-based CAD and hardware virtualization to the Mac.


The addition of Sun’s VirtualBox to the virtualization options scene for Mac OS X is a welcome sign. There is no doubt about it–more competition in a area like this is a very good thing. Especially if you are a Mac user working in the CAD world. 

Unlike the overall 3D market, the CAD market is still–regretfully–intensely Windows-based. Mac users have been crying out for numerous applications for years, such as SolidWorks, AutoCAD, ProE, Revit, and the list goes on. To the benefit of having a Windows CAD inside your Mac is strong–even if it must live inside Windows itself. 

VirtualBox 2.1.4

Sun’s latest VirtualBox 2.1.4 now supports Intel’s VT-x hardware virtualization. This means it taps the specific hardware on the latest Intel x86 microprocessors which allows these chips to do virtualization of operating systems. 

Sun's VirtualBox is a free virtualization machine for OS X.

Sun's VirtualBox is a free virtualization software for Mac OS X (intel machines).

The new version of VirtualBox 2.1.4 also gains two features useful to running PC-based CAD apps on your Mac. The first of these is support for OpenGL. Currently this support is in a type of beta mode and is therefore installs in “off mode” but is easy to turn back on. The second feature is 64-bit support. This is less important for those running CAD apps on the Mac in virtualized environments. 

Sun’s VirtualBox may be lagging its main competitors Parallels and VMware’s Fusion but it has one powerful feature in its arsenal: it’s free! This likely means that development will continue to lag unless Sun deems the development of VirtualBox very important. 

Sun’s website for VirtualBox list companion projects in which Sun participates and these include notable items such as: OpenSolaris,, MySQL, NetBeans and GlassFish.

Reader Comments

Comments for this story are closed


INSIDER Xpresso 
Monthly newsletter with a focus on emTech (AI, machine learning, AAD, AR, robotics, 3d printing, and smart cities) its impact on CAD professionals.)

Subscribe now — it’s free!.

INSIDER Xpresso keeps CAD industry professionals up-to-date on next-gen emerging technologies (emTech) that will revolutionize the worlds of AEC and manufacturing and design. As an Xpresso reader, you will hear from some of the most important voices inventing and using the very latest tech in areas such as AI, machine learning, algorithm-aided design (AAD), AR, VR, MR, 3D printing, 3D computer vision, robotics, and SmartCities technologies.

Each issue arrives in your inbox on the first Sunday of the month. Issue #1 arrived on March 3, 2019. Full archives and easy navigation for your pleasure. Enjoy! 

Sign-up for our monthly newsletter
architosh INSIDER Xpresso.

  • Architosh will never pass any of your information onto third parties.
  • For more information read our privacy policy.
  • It is easy to unsubscribe at any time. Follow the links in the newletter footer.

(Recommended. These infrequent sponsored emails help us to provide our Xpresso newsletter for free.)

INSIDER Membership

Read 3 free Feature or Analysis articles per month.

Or, subscribe now for unlimited full access to Architosh.