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How to install Linux in Virtualbox to be able to use the operating system without a computer? Step by step guide

Installing a virtual machine on the computer brings many advantages. For example, for those who do not know Linux or want to explore it in depth, this tool allows them to test a distribution and opens the possibility to run in conjunction with the main operating system.

One of the ways to run a virtual machine on the computer it is with VirtualBox, a tool that has been open source since 2007, currently distributed by Oracle Corporation as part of its virtual product line and has a free version for personal or evaluation use.

In this grade we will show the benefits that are obtained using VirtualBox, the way to install it without making any mistakes in the procedure and, finally, you will have some alternative tools that allow you to create virtual machines.

What is VirtualBox and what are the benefits of installing Linux on a virtual machine?

How Virtual Box works

VirtualBox is a tool that makes it possible to create virtual machines on which various operating systems are installed. To cite a case: if you have installed Windows or MacOS, gives you the option to add Linux and use both at the same time. To these operating systems running on virtual machines They are known as guests and the one installed on the computer is called the host.

In the case of Linux, it is possible to function as a guest and also to be the host of other software. The question is Is there any benefit to using Linux in a virtual machine with VirtualBox?

These are the reasons for making this decision:

  • There is no risk of losing information that is saved in the main operating system.
  • In an emulation like this, there is no need to partition the hard driveas the tool does not interfere with the main system.
  • It is a multiplatform application, which ensures compatibility with other operating systems.
  • We can modify the devices that we can think of from the computer.
  • It is useful for conducting experiments and determine how your PC behaves.
  • Run incompatible programs with the main system.
  • And finally, if we download an application that has a virus, this it will affect only the virtual machine and not the physical system.

Learn step by step how to install Linux in a Virtualbox virtual machine correctly and without errors

VirtualBox it is much simpler than others that provide the same functions, easy to operate even for novice users and there are many tutorials that offer help. We are going to focus on two basic steps for the program to work well: preparing the machine and install Linux.

Go for it:

Prepare the virtual machine

When that moment arrives, VirtualBox must already be installed on your computer, in addition to the image of the operating system with which you have thought to create your virtual machine.

With this clear, you must take the following steps:

  • The first thing is to install VirtualBox.
  • If we use Debian or Ubuntu, we copy in the terminal the following command: sudo apt-get install virtualbox
  • If it is Arch Linux, touch type: sudo pacman -S virtualbox
  • Or in case it is Red Hat or Fedora, we enter: sudo dnf install virtualbox
  • After installing it, start Virtualbox and click on the tab “New”.
  • Appears to you “Create new virtual machine” and mark on “Next”.

VirtualBox interface to create new virtual machine

  • In this window you must put the name of the virtual machine and the operating system you want to install. When filling in the fields, click on “Next”.
  • Now, VirtualBox will assign you a RAM to your virtual machine by default, if you wish you can modify it by moving the bar on both sides.
  • Later, select boot hard drive, you can select “Create new virtual hard disk” or “Use an existing hard drive”.
  • By selecting what are you going to create a new virtual hard disk, it will load a new window with a wizard that will guide you through the configuration.
  • In this field there are two options. One is to create a “Dynamic Expansion Storage“That takes up less space or a”Fixed size storage”.

Adjust RAM memory to new virtual machine in VirtualBox

  • We choose the first option to advance to the next step.
  • Here he asks us to select one “Location” and the “Size”Of the virtual image.
  • In the next window, before finishing, it will give you the settings you made. If it is correct, you press the button “End up”And the new hard disk will be created.
  • Now, the parameters with which the virtual machine will be created appear on the screen, including “Name“,”OS type “, “Base memory “ and “HDD”. To finish you must click on “To close”.
  • Once you close, appear the new virtual machine has already been created indicating all available configurations and features.

Install Linux

The next step it will help us to have the operating system that we will use in the virtual machine. In our case, we will install a distribution of Linux.

To do so, we follow the following steps:

  • We open VirtualBox, we select the virtual machine that we want to start and click on the button “Start
  • The “First run assistant ”, which will guide you through the rest of the process and click on “Next”.

Start an OS installation in VirtualBox

  • This time, we are going to select the operating system, by clicking on the tab “CD / DVD images”From where we will select the ISO file.
  • The media that contains the installation tool appears on the screen and, by clicking “Next”, It will show a summary of the virtual operating system that we are installing. If everything is correct, we click on “End up”.
  • In the next step, The distro will have already booted because LiveCD has started, but if we want to install it completely we must click on the icon that is on the desktop.
  • When starting the installer, the first thing it will ask is to set the language.
  • Then gives us the minimum requirements that must be met to install the distro in the virtual machine.
  • Now touch “Allocate disk space”.
  • Then, it asks us to configure the “Time zone” and the “Keyboard distribution”.

Time Zone in Virtual Box Fedora Installation

  • Finally, it will ask us to enter the credentials for login.
  • In a few minutes We will have Linux configured in the virtual machine and we should “Restart”To see all the changes.

List of the best alternatives to Virtualbox to create all kinds of virtual machines without problem

There is no doubt that VirtualBox is the most popular of all tools for creating virtual machines. The main reason is because it is completely free, but also because of the multiple functions it offers.

However, if you want to know other options beyond VirtualBox, we have selected three that are among the best:

VMWare Workstation interface

VMware it works since 1998 and gives the opportunity to configure virtual machines and make use of them in parallel. It is compatible with the main operating systems, eliminating the barriers and limitations of having only one.

Six of the prominent features of this software are as follows:

  • It’s compatible with virtual machines created with other programs.
  • It has advanced security measures.
  • It allows share machines and configurations with different users.
  • It can restore virtual machine to a previous state in just seconds, using snapshots.
  • Supports 4K resolutions.
  • Proven performance when running 3D applications.

Install Qemu on your PC

We continue with another tool that used to create virtual machines on Linux, Windows and MacOS operating systems. Its function is to simulate the components of CPU and memory RAM. Also, to improve performance, run the guest system on the host hardware.

To get to know it better, we leave you six Qemu benefits:

  • It can run without administrator credentials, something that differentiates it from the other alternatives.
  • Allow change size of virtual disks that have been created.
  • It is free and open source.
  • It is capable of executing 32-bit and 64-bit processors.
  • Virtual machines can be controlled remotely.
  • It can manage seamlessly from command windows.


Hyper V interface on Linux

This tool is a Microsoft proposal who joined since 2008 and lately has been included in Windows 10 with the 64-bit architecture. In the first instance, it was only available to large companies but later it was reaching individuals.

Six of its main characteristics are the following:

  • Creates backups to a physical location to retrieve content in emergencies.
  • Custom controllers that facilitate its use.
  • Console access before the operating system starts on the virtual machine.
  • Offers advanced features useful for professionals.
  • Gives the option to install virtual machines on physical disks from where the PC can be booted.
  • Be part operating system Windows.

Using virtual machines offers many advantages, especially if you need to run a tool that is not compatible with your operating system. What is important is to familiarize yourself with the terms and characteristics of the applications in order to get the best out of each one of them.