I’m a lot into virtualization. I tried different apps on different systems. At first I tried VMWare Workstation on my old computer which had a Pentium IV processor & 768 MB RAM. But to truly experience the power of VirtualBox, you will need a fairly powerful system. Here are my recommended specs :-
- Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 or higher
- AMD Athlon X2 5600+ or higher
- 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended)
- 100 GB or more hard drive space
- Direct X or OpenGL enabled graphics card or onboard chip.
Virtualbox supports hardware-enabled technologies such as Intel VT & AMD-V. To see wheather your processor supports virtualization or not you can download CPU-Z. Enclosed is the screenshot of CPU-Z of my system which clearly shows AMD-V being listed under the Instructions tab.
I’m using Windows 7 has the host OS as lot of guys want to install GNU/Linux but are afraid to do so. So I’ll be instructing on how to install Ubuntu under Virtualbox.
To install Ubuntu under virtualbox, we need to go through the following steps :-
- I assume that you already have the Ubuntu disc image or CD. If not then please download it from www.ubuntu.com relevant to your processor architecture still 32-bit is recommended.
- Install Virtualbox on your OS. Windows & Mac OS X users can download and install it via visiting www.virtualbox.org. GNU/Linux users can get it via installing it from their package-manager. FreeBSD users can compile it via the ports manager.
- Now either copy the disc-image of Ubuntu on the HDD (recommended) or just pop in the CD in the optical drive tray.
Rest of the tutorial is explained in the screenshots.
Now as we click on the Next button, we’re presented with the OS selection screen.
Here, Select Linux from the dropdown menu & then select Ubuntu. If you’re using 64-bit release then select Ubuntu 64-bit.
Now we come to the hardware allocation part. Follow these simple steps :-
- When asked about the RAM, allocate about 1/3rd RAM of your system. 512 MB should be enough if you don’t intend to multitask.
- Allocate about 10 GB of space. Generally, the HDD image is stored in your C:\ drive or the partition where the OS is installed. But you can & you should move the location to elsewhere on your disk partition.
Now we need to add a disc image to the installation. See the screenshot for more details.
The feature can be opened via clicking on the CD-DVD device’s section.
The, those using CD image can add their image by clicking on the Add button. Those using physical drive can just add their device via the CD-DVD device.
After this, you can start the installation of Ubuntu.
Installation of Ubuntu :-
Installation of Ubuntu is a piece of cake. You just need to follow these steps :-
- Select Install Ubuntu.
- Then, select your time-zone.
- Select your keyboard.
Partitioning is not a big matter of concern if you’re installing GNU/Linux in a virtualized environment. However, you might need to get familier with it as you’ll need some knowledge while installing GNU/Linux natively.
The partition scheme of GNU/Linux contains mainly three things :-
- ‘/’ – This is the root partition. Here your OS is installed. The default file-system in modern distros is ext4.
- /home – This is the home folder. Here you can store your music, movies, documents etc.
- swap – This is called swap space of virtual-memory.
If you’re installing it natively, then I suggest that you should give about 10 GB to / & then rest to your /home partition. Swap should be around 1.5 times the size of RAM upto 2 GB. If you have more than 2 GB RAM , then just allocate the size of your RAM to swap space.
Returning back, here is the screenshot of partition screen. I just selected Erase & use entire disk. Then, you just need to answer some questions more like your name, password & computer name. Then finally click on install and sit back & enjoy.
After the installation, reboot the VM & you’ll be presented with the Ubuntu desktop. Now, we just need to install one more thing called “Guest Additions”. This will greatly boost the performance of Ubuntu.
Select the Install Guest Additions as shown in the picture. Then, navigate to your home folder and navigate one last command.
To install this module, just copy :-
- VBoxLinuxAdditions-x86.run if you’re running a 32-bit version to your home folder.
- VBoxLinuxAdditions-amd64.run if you’re running a 64-bit version your home folder.
Then, Open Terminal from Applications > Accessories > Terminal. Then execture the following command :-
sudo sh VBox (and then press tab, it will auto-complete)
Then just reboot. After rebooting, you will see that you can easily navigate between the host & guest OS. If you need seelmless integration with the host OS, then press ‘Right Ctrl & L’ your desktop will then transform.
Overall, VirtualBox is highly recommended. You will see that it doesn’t even eats the RAM that is allocated to the Guest OS unless you’re heavily multitasking on it.