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It doesn't matter whether you just use it for fun or run your multi-million euro business with it. Also, if you install it on your work PC at some large company, this is still personal use. However, if you are an administrator and want to deploy it to the 500 desktops in your company, this would no longer qualify as personal use. (http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Licensing_FAQ)

Does that mean it is totally OK to use Virtualbox at my company on a small number of computers?

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IMO they deserve the money, and it's not really -that- much. –  Phoshi Feb 27 '10 at 19:29

3 Answers 3

I think it's summarized pretty succinctly in "§ 2 Grant of license':

“Personal Use” requires that you use the Product on the same Host Computer where you installed it yourself and that no more than one client connect to that Host Computer at a time for the purpose of displaying Guest Computers remotely.

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As I read it, no you need a license. It is not the numbers, it is that you are using it for corporate use. The 500 is just an example; the key is that you are using it for non-evaluation purposes in a business.

See the full license. The summary is:

In summary, the VirtualBox PUEL allows you to use VirtualBox free of charge

* for personal use or, alternatively,
* for product evaluation. 

In addition, academic use of VirtualBox is also permitted free of charge by the PUEL.

If you do not belong to either category, you will have to purchase a commercial license. Do not hesitate to contact Sun Microsystems, Inc. in this matter.

This only covers the full package. If you only need the features in the VirtualBox Open Source Edition (OSE) edition that is under the GPL and does not require a license for corporate use.

If you are really looking for something free you do have a number of other options: VMWare Server, VMWare ESXi, Microsoft Virtual PC 2007, Windows Virtual Machine.

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I only need the features in the Virtualbox OSE so I guess there's no need to buy a license, right? –  AO Feb 27 '10 at 19:40
    
From virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads "The VirtualBox OSE sources are available free of charge under the terms and conditions of the GNU General Public License, Version 2. By downloading from the below links, you agree to these terms and conditions." –  shf301 Feb 27 '10 at 19:44
    
...so I have to download the source code and build Virtualbox for myself for the terms and conditions to apply? –  AO Feb 27 '10 at 19:46
    
Yes or find some one to build them for you. There is a project that offers Windows builds: sourceforge.net/projects/vboxwin32 –  shf301 Feb 27 '10 at 21:14

I'm sorry to read the same in all these virtual box forums, nobody really has a decent answer as to whether vbox is free for use in a corporte environment or not, I've tried calling Sun/Oracle in repeated times and ask for the pricing but they refuse to give you any info if you don't come from a big corporation, the whole thing is dammed, and for the one who argues that a free solution is Mocrosoft or VM ware, I'm not sure about this either, VM ware player and server have similar restrictions in their licensing documentation

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