Viruses have been of interest to mankind since their discovery as small infectious agents in the nineteenth century. Because many viruses cause diseases to humans and agriculture, they were rigorously studied for biological and medical purposes. Viruses have remarkable properties such as the symmetry and self-assembly of their protein envelope, maturation into infectious virions, structural stability, and disassembly. Solution X-ray scattering can probe structures and reactions in solutions, down to subnanometer spatial resolution and millisecond temporal resolution. It probes the bulk solution and reveals the average shape and average mass of particles in solution and can be used to study kinetics and thermodynamics of viruses at different stages of their life cycle. Here we review recent work that demonstrates the capabilities of solution X-ray scattering to study in vitro the viral life cycle.