Oracle VM VirtualBox is a program that allows you to create operating systems on virtual machines, i.e. to use Windows programs on Linux. If a program doesn’t work under WINE, for example, it will probably work in its native environment, Windows. Using VirtualBox would be a better and easier alternative than installing a separate partition for Windows on a Linux machine.
Install Oracle VirtualBox
Windows users looking to use Linux for the first time will find it beneficial to try it out in a virtual machine.
The pros for installing Linux in a virtual machine include:
- The ability to try a version of Linux without affecting the Windows host machine.
- The virtual Linux operating system will perform the same way as it would when installed to the physical hard drive.
- Software installed into the virtual machine remains intact and can be used even after a reboot.
- The virtual machines can be backed up and restored easily so if you mess up it isn’t so much of an issue.
For this guide I have chosen Ubuntu as it is one of the most popular and easy to use Linux distributions.
In order to follow this guide you will need to download Ubuntu (either 32-bit or 64-bit depending on your machine) and Virtualbox.
Navigate to the downloads folder on your computer and double click on the VirtualBox installer.
The Welcome Screen
The first screen is a welcome screen.
Click “Next” to move on.
You will now be asked which components you wish to install. I recommend leaving the default options selected.
Click “Next” to get to the “Custom Setup” screen.
Choose Windows Start Folder
Choose which folder you want VirtualBox to appear in within the Windows menu structure.
Create Desktop Shortcut
At this point you can choose whether to create a desktop shortcut or not.
Clicking “Next” takes you to the “Network Warning” screen.
You are now ready to install Oracle VirtualBox.
Click “Install” to start the installation.
Accept All Warning
During the installation you may be asked for permission to install the application and your antivirus and firewall software may request permission to install VirtualBox.
When the installation has finished you can run Oracle Virtualbox by leaving the “Start Oracle VM VirtualBox after Installation” checkbox checked.
Click “Finish” to complete the installation.
If you left all the default options checked during installation you will also be able to run VirtualBox by clicking the desktop icon.
Oracle VirtualBox works on all versions of Microsoft Windows from Windows XP upwards including Windows 8.