Licensing: Frequently Asked Questions
This page deals with questions you may have about VirtualBox and its licensing. This information is accurate for VirtualBox 5.2 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 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 Extension Pack Personal Use and Evaluation License, which is a free license for personal, educational or evaluation use, or an Enterprise License, which is a for-fee license that allows most commercial, non-distribution uses restricted by the PUEL.
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.
For information about a license to distribute the VirtualBox Extension Pack, please contact
- Will the licensing terms of the VirtualBox base package be changed in the future?
We are not currently planning to do so, but it doesn't really matter. The license that applies to the VirtualBox base package is perpetual and cannot be taken back unless you violate the license. Even if Oracle were to change the license again, this would only affect future versions, and anybody still in compliance would still be permitted to redistribute the existing VirtualBox code under the terms of the GPLv2.
- What do you mean by personal use and educational use in the VirtualBox Extension Pack 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 for noncommercial purposes.
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.”
Personal Use and/or Educational Use expressly exclude any use of the Product for commercial purposes or to operate or run a business, organization, governmental organization, or educational institution.
- What are the benefits of purchasing an Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack Enterprise license?
Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack Enterprise license includes the use of the Product for commercial purposes or to operate or run a business, organization, governmental organization, or education institution.
With Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack Enterprise license, you also can better manage, track and record your VirtualBox Extension Pack software usage within your organization and ensure that all installations are properly updated and have the latest security patches. In addition, Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack Enterprise license comes 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 Extension Pack Enterprise license?
To purchase Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack Enterprise licenses, visit the Oracle Store, or contact your local sales office. Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack Enterprise Named Workstation User 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?
Not without a special license from Oracle. Neither the Personal Use and Evaluation License nor the Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack Enterprise license allows you to distribute the VirtualBox Extension Pack binaries. Unless you obtain a separate license from Oracle, you may not make them available on your own websites or other mirrors or distribute them in any other way. If you are interested in obtaining a distribution license, please contact
- 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 13 January 2021