Sunday 26 May 2019

How to set up Virtual Box in Linux

There are hundreds of Linux distribution and being a Linux fan, I am always eager to try out something new. Sometimes it's just for a day or two in a virtual box while some other time I end up making it my primary OS. However, it's not always feasible to install a Linux Distribution to test on the primary hard drive or getting hold of a USB and creating a live USB. In that case VirtualBox is the perfect solution.

VirtualBox is powerful virtualization tool with lots of features and high performance. It's a free and open source software licensed under GNU General Public License and is available for Windows, Linux, Mac and Solaris. You can run almost all Linux distributions in a VirtualBox without actually installing on your hard drive.

Setting up a virtual box for a new Linux flavor to try out is the first step. It's a repeating step for each of the Linux distribution you are setting up. 

This article explains how to set up VirtualBox for Linux. These steps will remain common no matter what Linux distro you are trying and is the first step after downloading your favorite ISO file. 

If you do not have VirtualBox, grab a copy from the official website : for your host system.

Setting up a VirtualBox for Linux.

Step 1 : Open VirtualBox and click on the New button. Follow the rest of the steps to set it up. 

Step 2 : Enter Name of the Operating System, which Type is it and the version you are using. There are already some default types like Ubuntu, Arch, Debian, Fedora etc. However, if you don't see the OS you are trying to install, select Linux and the 32/64 version option. 

3. Next step is to assign the memory (RAM). I usually select double the RAM suggested in Recommended configurations to make sure I do not face any lagging or slowness. 

4. Create a hard disk partition to be used by your OS. You can create a new virtual hard disk or use an existing one. 

5. Hard disk file type : You can either go for a VirtualBox Disk Image which you can use in any other system, or a Virtual Hard Disk. I usually leave it as the default one - VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image).

6. Specify how you want your hard disk to work. A dynamically allocated hard disk takes up your primary storage space only when needed by the VirtualBox. However, a fixed size hard disk take longer time to create but is faster than the dynamic one. Go for a Fixed size for a more faster read/write access of files. 

7. Location and Size. You can specify the location of the Virtual Drive you just created and the size you want to allocate it. Its always good to allocate a good size since you might end up installing various software and/or updates and end up filling it very soon. Click on Create to finish the process. 

8. Once done, a virtual machine gets created and you can see it in the list. In the below image, you can see the Elementary OS 2 machine which I just created and see all the specifications in the detail sections.

9. The last step is to associate an ISO with the machine your just created. Select the machine and click on Start from the top panel and a window will open. 

It asks to select a virtual disk file or a physical optical drive. Click on the folder option and select the ISO file you just downloaded for the Linux distribution which you are trying. Once done, click on Start and the VirtualBox will boot into the OS. 

Next steps include installing the operating system. You can now switch back to the article where you are reading how to install a Linux distribution in VirtualBox. 

Let us know in the comments if you are facing any issue or need any clarification in any of the steps above and we might help.  


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