Licensing: Frequently Asked Questions
This page deals with questions you may have about VirtualBox and its licensing. This information is accurate for VirtualBox 4.0 and later. You may want to look at the User FAQ and Developer FAQ for additional topics.
- How is VirtualBox licensed?
The VirtualBox base package (i.e., everything but the VirtualBox Extension Pack) contains the full VirtualBox source code and platform binaries and is licensed under the GNU General Public License, version 2. You can distribute and modify the base package, provided that you distribute all modifications under the GPLv2 as well.
The VirtualBox Extension Pack is available under the VirtualBox Personal Use and Evaluation License, which is a free license for personal, educational or evaluation use, or an Enterprise License, which is for fee license that covers most other business uses.
More information about the Oracle VM VirtualBox Enterprise License for the VirtualBox Extension Pack can be found on the Oracle VM VirtualBox pages, which also contains a link to the Oracle Store where you can directly buy licenses. Please contact Oracle for additional information.
- Will the licensing terms of VirtualBox be changed in the future?
We are not currently planning to do so, but it doesn't really matter. The license that Oracle has granted you with the GPL is perpetual and cannot be taken back. Even if Oracle were to change the license again, this would only affect future versions, and anybody would still be permitted to redistribute the existing VirtualBox code under the terms of the GPL.
- What do you mean by personal use and educational use in the Personal Use and Evaluation License (“PUEL”)?
Personal Use is defined in the PUEL as an instance of the VirtualBox Extension Pack that is downloaded onto a single Host Computer and accessed on the same Host Computer or on a single client that is connected to that Host Computer for the purpose of displaying Guest Computers remotely.
Educational use is defined in the PUEL as “any use by teachers or students in an academic institution... as part of the institution’s educational curriculum.”
- What are the benefits of purchasing an Oracle VM VirtualBox Enterprise license?
With Oracle VM VirtualBox Enterprise, you can better manage, track and record your VirtualBox Extension Pack software usage within your enterprise and ensure that all installations are properly updated and have the latest security patches. In addition, Oracle VM VirtualBox Enterprise can optionally come with world class support from Oracle covering both the Oracle VM VirtualBox base package and the VirtualBox Extension Pack.
- How do I purchase an Oracle VM VirtualBox Enterprise license?
To purchase Oracle VM VirtualBox Enterprise licenses, visit the Oracle Store, or contact your local sales office. Oracle VM VirtualBox Enterprise Named User Plus licenses must be purchased in an initial quantity of at least 100.
- Can I redistribute the VirtualBox base package binaries?
Yes. The GPLv2 allows you to distribute the VirtualBox base package binaries, in modified or unmodified form, as long as you adhere to the terms and conditions of the GPLv2.
- What are “VirtualBox Guest Additions”?
The “VirtualBox Guest Additions” are a set of software drivers and utilities that are shipped as a subset of the VirtualBox base package and that are installed inside a virtual machine for better performance and usability. Like the VirtualBox base package, the VirtualBox Guest Additions are licensed under the GPLv2.
- Can I redistribute VirtualBox Guest Additions?
Yes. The GPLv2 allows you to distribute the VirtualBox Guest Additions, in modified or unmodified form, as long as you adhere to the terms and conditions of the GPLv2.
- Can I redistribute the VirtualBox Extension Pack?
No. Neither the Personal Use and Evaluation License nor the Oracle VM VirtualBox Enterprise license allows you to distribute the VirtualBox Extension Pack binaries. So you may not make them available on your own websites or other mirrors or distribute them in any other way.
- Which guidelines apply to the use of the name VirtualBox?
The term “VirtualBox” has been registered by Oracle as a trademark in various countries. If you choose to ship custom binaries and/or source code revisions of the product, you may not use the VirtualBox name in those versions.
Last updated 17 November 2016