How to setup Virtual Machine using VirtualBox
Using virtual machines, you can enjoy running two different operating systems side-by-side at the same time. You can access both the OSs and do different tasks in them. For example, you can run a Linux OS inside your Windows or may be FreeBSD or DOS – it all depends on you what you want to run inside a virtual machine.
VirtualBox is a free software from Oracle. It is available for various platforms and works quite efficiently on any platform. It support many guest (virtual) operating systems and it’s easy to work with it. Virtual machines are useful when you need to run two operating systems, old software which is not compatible with your operating system, test a new OS or software, etc.
First of all, you need to download the needed files: VirtualBox and its extension pack. Extension Pack provide extra features to the virtual machine, e.g., USB support, remote connection support, etc.
- Download the software for your platform: Download VirtualBox
- Download the VirtualBox Extension Pack from above link – download the correct version as per the version of downloaded VirtualBox.
After you’ve downloaded the needed files, complete the second step by installing VirtualBox.
- Open the downloaded setup and start the installation.
- It’s simple – you only need to click Next button three times, then Yes button, and then Install button.
- Click Yes on UAC (run software with admin privileges) dialog.
- If you get any Windows Security dialogs for installing the device software, then press Install button.
- Finally, click Finish button to end the installation.
- Open the VirtualBox Extension Pack and click Install button on the shown dialog.
Note: This tutorial was performed on Windows but the procedure for installing VirtualBox is quite same for all platforms. Rest of the steps given in the tutorial is same for all platforms.
Create Virtual Machine
- Open VirtualBox.
- Click New button.
- You’ll see ‘Create New Virtual Machine’ dialog – click Next button.
- Give a name to your virtual machine. Select the operating system you’re going to install in the virtual machine and choose the OS version (and select the right platform type – 32-bit or 64-bit). Click Next.
- Choose the right amount of RAM for the virtual machine. If you’re not sure, leave the default value. Click Next.
- Click Next on the ‘Virtual Hard Disk’ window.
- Virtual Disk Creation wizard will get started. Click Next. Click Next.
- Select the location of the virtual hard disk file (select a location with enough free space otherwise the virtual machine can crash). Select the size of the virtual hard disk. If you’re not sure, leave the default value. Click Next.
- Press Create button (on Virtual Hard disk creation wizard window). Then press Create button (on Virtual Machine creation window).
- Virtual Machine is created and you’ll see a virtual machine (with name that you entered) in the left pane of the VirtualBox window. For example, you can see a virtual machine named ‘win10′ in the screenshot below.
Start Virtual Machine
- Select the virtual machine and click ‘Start’ button.
- ‘First Run wizard’ will be shown – click Next.
- ‘Select Installation media’ will be shown – leave the default option and click Next button. It will boot the optical (CD/DVD) drive of your computer. Alternatively, you can also select a disc image file to boot the virtual machine from. Do it this way: press the folder-like icon, choose the image file and press open button, and then click Next.
- Finally, click Start button.
- Virtual machine will come to life and it will start booting. For example, you can see the Windows 8 Release Preview’s install disc’s boot screen in the screenshot below.
Now, you can install the operating system in the virtual machine from the bootable installation media. Installation of the operating system is out of the scope of this tutorial.
After the installation has been complete, you can eject the disc from the virtual operating system and then after, you can start the virtual machine any time to boot the guest (virtual) operating system using the Start button in VirtualBox manager.
Virtual machine is a great tool for testing. Professionals use it for many purposes but common users can use it to test multiple operating systems and run incompatible or insecure software. Installing and setting up a virtual machine is very easy. If you follow the above given steps, you’ll be able to set up a virtual machine within the time interval of few minutes.
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