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How to Use Virtualbox to Create Virtual Machines on Your Computer

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VirtualBox logo. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines n your computer. VirtualBox Virtualization

Have you ever want to try a different operating system but didn’t want to replace Windows? Would you like to try a new piece of software but would prefer to do it in a safe sandboxed environment? Is there software that you would like to use but the title isn’t available in Windows? How about just geeking out and going extremely experimental without fear of damaging your Windows Installation? All of this can be yours with a virtual machine. A virtual machine is basically a virtual computer that you install on your current operating system. You can install different operating systems on it. A virtual machine behaves like a separate computer and even has its own has virtual hardware. It basically fools the operating system you are installing into thinking that you are installing it on a real computer. Your physical computer is called the host and the virtual machine is the guest. An operating system that you install on a virtual machine is stored on a virtual hard drive that is actually a big file that exists on your physical hard drive or SSD.

Why Would You Install a Virtual Machine?

  • To try out different operating systems.
  • To run software that isn’t designed for your main operating system.
  • To try different software and experiment with settings in a safe sandboxed environment.

VirtualBox is a free and simple to use virtualization application. In this post we are going to look at how to get and use VirtualBox. To help you understand better how it works we are going to install Ubuntu Linux in a virtual machine.

How to Get and Use VirtualBox

  1. Download VirtualBox.
  2. Open VirtualBox.
  3. Click New.
  4. Follow the prompts to create your new virtual machine.
  5. From within VirtualBox boot into the operating system you just installed.

The concept really is that simple. To illustrate how this works just follow along with what I do. You will have a better understanding of virtualization and VirtualBox. You will also have created your first virtual machine.

How to Install Ubuntu Linux on Virtualbox

Here we are going to install Ubuntu on VirtualBox and we are adding the VirtualBox Extension Pack. The Extension Pack will allow you to use physical USB devices, the host webcam, connect to remote virtual machines, and more in your guest operating system.

Download an Ubuntu ISO.

Ubuntu download page. Download Ubuntu ISO. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines n your computer. VirtualBox Virtualization

 

Open VirtualBox.

VirtualBox. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines n your computer. VirtualBox Virtualization

 

Click New.

VirtualBox. Click New. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines n your computer. VirtualBox Virtualization

 

Give your virtual machine a name and make sure Type is set to Linux and the appropriate version is selected. Then click Next.

VirtualBox. Give your virtual machine a name and make sure Type is set to Linux and the appropriate version is selected. Then click Next. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines n your computer. Virtualization

 

Allocate how much RAM you want to give the virtual machine when you run it. How much you give will be dependent on how much total RAM you have. I have 16GB so I assigned 4GB to the virtual machine. Then click Next.

VirtualBox. Allocate how much RAM you want to give the virtual machine when you run it. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Select “Create a virtual hard disk”. Then click Create.

VirtualBox. Select "Create a virtual hard disk". Then click Create. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Select VDI and click Next.

VirtualBox. Select VDI and click Next. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

You can choose either dynamically allocated or fixed size. I recommend fixed size because the virtual machine will run faster that way. After making your selection click Next.

VirtualBox. You can choose either dynamically allocated or fixed size. I recommend fixed size because the virtual machine will run faster that way. After making your selection click Next. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Select how large you want the virtual drive to be. I chose 50 GB but yours will be dependent on the amount of storage you have available. Then click Create.

VirtualBox. Select how large you want the virtual drive to be. I chose 50 GB but yours will be dependent on the amount of storage you have available. Then click Create. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

With your new virtual machine selected click Start.

VirtualBox. With your new virtual machine selected click Start.How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Click the folder icon.

VirtualBox. Click the folder icon. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Click Add.

VirtualBox. Click Add. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Navigate to your ISO. Select it and click Open.

VirtualBox. Navigate to your ISO. Select it and click Open. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Click Choose.

VirtualBox. Click Choose. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Click Start.

VirtualBox. Click Start. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Make sure Ubuntu is selected and hit the Enter key.

VirtualBox. Make sure Ubuntu is selected and hit the Enter key.How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Select your primary language and click Install Ubuntu.

VirtualBox. Select your primary language and click Install Ubuntu.How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Select your keyboard layout and click Continue.

VirtualBox. Select your keyboard layout and click Continue. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Make sure Normal Installation is selected. Also make sure there are check marks by both download updates and install 3rd party software. Then click Continue.

VirtualBox. Make sure Normal Installation is selected. Also make sure there are check marks by both download updates and install 3rd party software. Then click Continue. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Choose to erase disk and click Install Now.

VirtualBox. Choose to erase disk and click Install Now. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Click Continue.

VirtualBox. Click Continue.How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Make sure the location selected is in your time zone and click Continue.

VirtualBox. Make sure the location selected is in your time zone and click Continue. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Enter the requested information and click Continue.

VirtualBox. Enter the requested information and click Continue. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Click Restart Now.

VirtualBox. Click Restart Now. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Back at the VirtualBox main window click Settings.

VirtualBox. Back at the VirtualBox main window click Settings. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Click Storage.

VirtualBox. Click Storage. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

If it is still set to boot off the ISO right click on it and chose to remove it. Mine wasn’t so I didn’t have to change anything. When you are done here click Ok.

VirtualBox. If it is still set to boot off the ISO right click on it and chose to remove it. Mine wasn't so I didn't have to change anything. When you are done here click Ok. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Back in the Ubuntu window hit the Enter key.

VirtualBox. Back in the Ubuntu window hit the Enter key. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Click your username.

VirtualBox. Click your username. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Type in your password and hit the Enter key.

VirtualBox. Type in your password and hit the Enter key. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Work your way through the remaining prompts to finish setting things up.

VirtualBox. Work your way through the remaining prompts to finish setting things up. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Click the arrow in the upper right corner to open the menu.

VirtualBox. Click the arrow in the upper right corner to open the menu. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Click Power Off/Log Out.

VirtualBox. Click Power Off/Log Out. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Click Power Off.

VirtualBox. Click Power Off. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Click Power Off.

VirtualBox. Click Power Off.How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Download the VirtualBox Extension Pack binary file.

VirtualBox. Download the VirtualBox Extension Pack binary file.How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

In VirtualBox open the File menu and click Preferences.

VirtualBox. In VirtualBox open the File menu and click Preferences. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Go to Extensions and click the Add New button.

VirtualBox. Go to Extensions and click the Add New button. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Select the Extension Pack and click Open.

VirtualBox. Select the Extension Pack and click Open. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Click Install.

VirtualBox. Click Install. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

After reading the licence agreement click I Agree.

VirtualBox. After reading the licence agreement click I Agree. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

If User Account Control pops up click Yes.

VirtualBox. If User Account Control pops up click Yes. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Click Ok.

Virtual Box. Click Ok. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Click Ok.

VirtualBox. Click Ok. How to use VirtualBox to create virtual machines on your computer. Virtualization

 

Now if you start up your Ubuntu virtual machine you will be ready to check out Linux and see what you think. Congratulations, if you followed along you just set up a virtual machine. After you are back in Ubuntu I highly recommend that you open the Devices menu at the top and click on Install Guest Additions. Just follow the prompts. Guest Additions will give you a lot more control over window size among other things. One thing to keep in mind is that a virtual machine won’t be as fast as your physical computer and will have to borrow resources such as RAM, processor power, and video memory.

Did you install Ubuntu in VirtualBox? If so how did it go? Do you already use a different virtualization application? If so I would love to hear about it down in the comments.

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