Virtualbox for the starters is a tool that enables you to install a number of operating systems on your computer without uninstalling your older versions. For example, if you were running Windows 10, and you wanted to run a Linux operating system or any other versions of windows, then this tool would be very necessary to you. We shall see how to Install Virtualbox in this article.
Virtualbox is mostly necessary for programmers, system administrators, and system security guys who work around many operating systems at the same time.
Another way to run two or more operating systems on your computer would be dual-booting the two systems you want on the hard disk. We shall not talk about this today, another time. Let’s start with the easier means, thus Virtualbox.
However, before you think of installing this tool, find out what RAM your computer holds, plus the storage available. Most people have complained about Virtualbox slowing down their computers, which is true simply because it’s consuming much of their memory in RAM. Therefore, be cautious about your computer RAM and the number of machines you would love to virtually run.
Components that come with Oracle Virtualbox
This shouldn’t go unsaid; Oracle Virtualbox comes with a number of components that are selectable during the installation process. Below are some basic components of oracle Virtualbox;
USB support: This is the package that carries special drivers for your Windows host that Oracle VM Virtualbox requires to fully support USB devices inside your virtual machines.
Networking: This package is responsible for extracting networking drivers for your Windows host that Oracle VM Virtualbox needs to support Bridged Networking.
Python support: This carries Python scripting support for the Oracle VM Virtualbox API. However, this shall require an already working Windows Python installation on the system if it works for you appropriately.
Step-by-step installation of Virtualbox on Windows
Assuming you have downloaded the latest version of Virtualbox from oracle Virtualbox, and now ready to run it. Double click on the executable or right-click and select run as administrator when a menu pops up.
The installation Welcome dialog shall pop up; this will enable you to choose a hard disk partition or directory to install Oracle VM Virtualbox, plus the components you would like to install.
Just keep clicking next on the first three pages.
Click yes when prompted and then install.
Finally, click yes when prompted and finish installing Virtualbox on Windows
Installing Virtualbox on Linux
For Linux operating system, there are two ways you can install Virtualbox and other software, either through the terminal or using the generic installer.
You will type the command below
sudo dpkg -i virtualbox-version-number_Ubuntu_xenial_amd64.deb
For the generic installer,
Before installing, ensure you download the appropriate package compatible with your Linux distro
1. Unpacks the application files to the target directory /opt/VirtualBox/
2. Builds and installs the Oracle VM Virtualbox kernel modules: vboxdrv, vboxnetflt, and vboxnetadp.
3. Creates /sbin/rcvboxdrv, an init script to start the Oracle VM VirtualBox kernel module.
4. Creates a new system group called vboxusers.
5. Creates symbolic links in /usr/bin to a shell script /opt/VirtualBox/VBox which does some sanity checks and dispatches to the actual executables: VirtualBox, VBoxVRDP, VBoxHeadless andVBoxManage.
6. Creates /etc/udev/rules.d/60-vboxdrv.rules, a description file for udev, if that is present, which makes the USB devices accessible to all users in the vboxusers group.
7. Writes the installation directory to /etc/vbox/vbox.cfg.
How to Install Virtual machine in Virtualbox instantly
We saw how to get started with Virtualbox and learning to work around it in the section above. In this section, I will go forward and teach you more on how to install virtual machines and working around Virtualbox on your computer.
Before going any further, let’s see the requirements you must have in place before you think of installing a virtual machine. I will keep on referring to the previous section, so ensure to read through if you never got a chance to see it. Storage was the number one requirement before installing Oracle Virtualbox because it’s needed in the virtual environment.
However, there are a few other requirements we need while installing a virtual machine this time round, this includes;
- An already installed Virtualbox running on your computer
- An ISO image of the desired guest operating system
Assuming we all have these in place, let’s proceed and install our guest operating system in the virtual environment on our computers by following the below steps
- Double click on the Virtualbox shortcut present on your desktop to start Virtualbox
- On the menu below the toolbar, select NEW>>Next and enter the Name of the virtual Machine plus the type of operating system to install, e.g. Linux or Windows.
- Then you will be required to select the correct distribution of the chosen operating system, Ubuntu, Mint, or Kali-Linux for Linux distros, and Windows 7, 8, or 10 for Windows operating system.
- The next step is selecting the amount of memory to allocate to the Virtual machine you are creating. Depending on the size or your hard disk and available space, you can assign anything so long as it’s above 2GB of Ram. It’s always recommended to leave the selection untouched and just press next.
- Select Create a new hard disk and click next, a new wizard will pop up.
- Select either a dynamically expanding storage or Fixed-size storage, it, however, recommended leaving it as dynamically expanding
- Select the initial size of it. Then click on the Finish button.
The first phase of installation is done. That was actually more based on setting up your VM for installation, now let’s proceed with the real installation of your VM.
- Double click on your newly created VM to start or simply select it and click start to load it in the allocated memory.
- When the first dialogue pops prompting you to direct the virtual machine where it should pick your installation ISO file, please do so and hit enter for it to be loaded in memory.
- VM will now boot from the image. The following steps are the usual steps for installing any other operating system for those who have installed one before.