Using Oracle VM VirtualBox in Windows

Students and academic professionals alike somewhere in their career have had the need to run a second OS on their computing systems. Dual booting is out of the question for many people since it is something that the geek’s do as perceived by the common masses. People often tend to use VMware which, even though full of features is paid software and even gets tedious to use due to its wide array of options to configure it. There is an easier alternative to running VMs on your Windows system, you can use Oracle VM VirtualBox.

What is Oracle VM VirtualBox?

It is a free and open-source Hypervisor from Oracle Corporation that is intended to run on x86 computers.

Oracle VM VirtualBox

Default Interface of Oracle VM VirtualBox

Note: We already have two Ubuntu VMs created in our setup.

What is a Hypervisor?

A Hypervisor / Virtual Machine Monitor is a software/firmware that helps to create, manage and run a Guest OS on top of Host OS.

Creating a new Virtual Machine in Oracle VM VirtualBox:

Creation of a new VM is fairly simple even for the novice of users.

Click on the New Button just below the File option in the upper menu to initiate the new VM creation dialog box as follows.

Create_new_VM

  • Enter the name of the VM, type of OS the VM will harbor and also the version (32/64-bit).
  • After that click on the next button.

Allocate Memory for VM:

new_VM_memory

Note: We have allocated more than 3GB RAM for our VM since we have abundant RAM on our host system.

  • After that click on the next button.

Allocate VM Disk Size:

new_VM_hdd

  • Choose the option which says ‘Create a virtual hard disk now’ option since most of the time you will be creating a new VM anyways.
  • After that click on the Create button.

Set VM Disk Type:

new_VM_hdd2

  • Choose the type of Virtual Disk file type, leave this option mostly unchanged.
  • After that click on Next button.

Manage VM Disk Storage:

new_VM_hdd3

  • Now select how you want the virtual disk file to be created and managed.
  • After that click on the Next button.

Set VM Disk Size and Location:

new_VM_hdd4

  • Next, select the virtual hard disk file size and location for it on your system.
  • After that click on Create button.

new_VM_hdd5

  • That’s it your new VM is now ready to use.
  • Simply start the VM by double-clicking on it and choosing the OS and you are ready to go.

Few changes to be made to the settings tab of the VM for smooth functioning:

new_VM_hdd5

  • Click on the newly created VM and then click on the Settings button on the top.
  • This will reveal a new menu as such below.

new_VM_hdd6

  • Click on the System tab in the new small window and navigate to the processor tab.
  • Allocate sufficient amount of cores for the VM to run smoothly.

Note: Allowing access to all the cores will put too much pressure on your host system if your processor is not a beefy one.

new_VM_hdd7

  • Navigate to the Display tab and adjust the amount of video memory available to your VM.
  • Also, enable 3D acceleration.

Note: Do not enable 2D acceleration for VM other than those of Windows OS, since they cannot utilize it.

Reasons to prefer Oracle VM Virtualbox:

  • Simple and easy to use UI/UX.
  • Free and Open-Source, so no licensing issues.
  • The virtual machine running state can be saved as a snapshot.
  • No complicated setup for running a VM.
  • Previously created disk images can be used too in newer VM configs.

Download and install Oracle VM VirtualBox from the link below:

https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

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