You won't be able to run Windows 11 on Oracle VirtualBox VMs anymore

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Key notes

  • Users who are still running Microsoft's future operating system on Virtual Machines are in for a big surprise.
  • The Redmond tech company has decided to make a drastic change and now there's now evading the system requirements.
  • Insiders that will now attempt to update their Windows 11 builds on VMs that do not have TPM support will get an error.
  • However, Oracle developers are working hard, trying to find a plausible solution for this whole mess, according to the company.
Windows 11 VirtualBox Oracle

Using VMs has become a full-blown habit for many of us, and the news that we could actually run this future major software with their help was music to our ears.

However, we thought that you should also know that the upcoming OS is no longer compatible with the popular Oracle VirtualBox virtualization platform after Microsoft changed its hardware requirement policies for virtual machines.

Of course, we can all remember that, when Redmond officials first announced Windows 11, they stated that the system requirements threshold for installing the operating system has somewhat changed.

And even though many people thoughts that it’s just a matter of time before Microsoft caves, due to immense backlash, nothing has changed.

VMs are now also bound by the system requirements

Seeing how the enterprise and software developers commonly use virtual machines to test new operating systems, the tech giant said that Windows 11 would not check for compatible hardware when installed or upgraded.

Microsoft recognizes that the user experience when running the Windows 11 in virtualized environments may vary from the experience when running non-virtualized. So, while Microsoft recommends that all virtualized instances of the Windows 11 follow the same minimum hardware requirements as described in Section 1.2, Windows 11 does not apply the hardware-compliance check for virtualized instances either during setup or upgrade.

However, it seems that there has been a change of heart, and developers are now enforcing these infamous system requirements on virtual machines (VMs), without any prior warning.

This build includes a change that aligns the enforcement of the Windows 11 system requirements on Virtual Machines (VMs) to be the same as it is for physical PCs. Previously created VMs running Insider Preview builds may not update to the latest preview builds.

In Hyper-V, VMs need to be created as a Generation 2 VM. Running Windows 11 in VMs in other virtualization products from vendors such as VMware and Oracle will continue to work as long as the hardware requirements are met.

If Insiders attempt to update their Windows 11 builds running on virtual machines that do not have TPM support or use a small system disk now, they’ll be in for quite a surprise.

We know that you were probably wondering about VMWare Workstation, Hyper-V, Parallels, and QEMU users. Long story short, this will not be a problem as long as they support TPM passthrough and Secure Boot.

Keep in mind that Oracle VirtualBox does not currently support these features, causing Microsoft’s new policy change to effectively make it so you cannot use this OS.

All is not lost, according to Oracle developers

Given the fact that Oracle VirtualBox devs dropped the ball on TPM support, they are now working on a passthrough driver that will allow a host’s TPM to pass through to the Windows 11 guest.

Upon completion, a Windows 11 device will see a host’s Trusted Platform Module and should allow Windows 11 upgrades and installations to continue.

Different than VMware, which creates a virtual TPM, VirtualBox’s new driver will require you to have a TPM 2.0 processor for this feature to work.

But, given that the driver is still in its early stages, it is unclear if it will be available when Windows 11 is officially released on October 5th.

VirtualBox is a very popular virtualization platform, due to it being free and easy to use, so this lack of support will surely affect many people who wish to continue testing or get started with the operating system.

More about the topics: Windows 11