How to install a Linux Virtual Machine

Preface

You need two pieces of software to have Linux machine going under your laptop: The virtualization software, and an image of the operating system you plan to stage in your Virtual Machine (VM). Trying to keep this article as short as possible, any issues with hardware requirements and licensing for production use are left outside.

Step 1

Identify the combination of virtualization software and Linux platform you need. This demo will install Oracle VM VirtualBox and deploy UBUNTU 18.04 64 bit, on a laptop running Windows 10 Home

Step 2

Download the VirtualBox binaries here: https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

VirtualBox Download
Select your platform (“Windows hosts” in our case), choose Save, let it download and then run the executable.
Oracle VM installation
Go through the installation steps. As a start, you can leave everything default. Keep disk space in mind

Download the LINUX distribution:
https://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop

Download the Linux release
Review the release notes, and observe the system requirements. Since you will running the OS as a VM, all requirements add to the requirements of your host operating system and your virtualization software

Ubuntu Desktop download
Choose to save the file. Ideally, keep its download path simple (ie c:\VMs\UBU1804). Avoid long paths or complicated names

Once done, it is time to launch the VirtualBox and create the virtual machine. Find the “Oracle VM VirtualBox” icon on your desktop or program group. It looks like this:

Capture
Double click to launch

When it has launched, click on the left-most icon in the toolbar (“New”) then provide a name for your VM, the type and the version. This should much the Linux distro you have downloaded.

Creating the VM
type a name of your choice, then put in Type and Version lists the version you have already downloaded

Memory selection
This entry should match the requirements of the distro (see above) but also the capacity of your machine.

In the next three pages of the install process you need to create a Virtual Hard Disk. The simplest choice is to select VHD (Virtual Hard Disk)/Fixed size. The distro notes should point to a minimum disk requirement (see above screenshot)
Capture
Minimum disk should be the requirement of the Linux distribution of choice, or larger

Capture
…this might take so time, be patient!

Capture
When this is finished, you will see your newly created machine in the list. Click on the green “Start” button to launch it for the first time

…The first time you launch your VM, it will ask
for a start-up disk. This will be the Linux distribution file that we downloaded:
Capture
The start-up disk for your Linux Virtual Machine is the distribution you have already downloaded. Notice the .ISO extension of the file

From then on, there will be a Welcome dialogue (similar to any startup installation such those that come in smartphones).
Capture
When running this dialogue within the Oracle VirtualBox, the “Try Ubuntu” option allows you to keep using the .ISO file, the “Install Ubuntu” option will use the Virtual Hard Disk we created previously and install the operating system there. In both cases, our laptop’s existing OS will not be affected

Ready VM
The result of your effort: a fully functional LINUX machine, with Internet access and device connectivity (USB headsets, mouse) just as your “real” laptop

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