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Installing Ubuntu in VirtualBox

This page describes how to install Ubuntu as a guest OS in VirtualBox. These instructions have been tested with VirtualBox for Windows as host OS but they should be the same for any host OS.


Download VirtualBox here. Run the installation and follow the instructions. When starting VirtualBox, go to Machine->New to create a new virtual machine. This start a simple guide for setting up a new virtual machine.
Enter a name for your virtual machine and select the OS type (in this case, Linux and Ubuntu). Note, if you type 'Ubuntu' as the name of your virtual machine, OS type will automatically be determined to Linux/Ubuntu.
Next select the amount of RAM for the virtual machine. Default if 512MB but consider increasing this to 1GB or more. You can always change the amount of RAM later if you find out you have allocated too much or too little.
In the next step, choose 'Boot Hard Disk' and 'Create new hard disk'. Choose 'fixed-size storage' if you do not mind the extra time it takes to setup the virtual machine. This option will increase the write performance somewhat of the virtual hard drive while the guest OS is running. You have to determine the size of the virtual hard drive. Default is 8GB. This should be enough but if you have the storage space to spare, consider increasing it to around 20GB.

Downloading and installing Ubuntu
You can download Ubuntu external link: here. In VirtualBox, select your virtual machine on the list to the left and click on 'Storage' on the list to the right. This will bring you to the storage settings for the virtual machine. In the storage tree, click on the CD/DVD drive (the image of a CD). On the right side, click the CD image next to the CD/DVD attribute to reveal a menu. click on 'Choose a virtual CD/DVD disk file' and choose your downloaded Ubuntu .iso file. After selecting the .iso file, click 'OK' to apply the settings and return to VirtualBox main window. Start the virtual machine. The virtual machine will boot from the virtual CD. Follow the installation instructions. Most default settings can be accepted without modifications. Before restarting the virtual machine after the installation, right click on the CD image at the bottom and choose 'Remove disk from virtual drive'. This 'ejects' the CD from the drive.

Guest additions

The guest additions are After restarting the virtual machine and logging in, it is time to install the guest additions. While not mandatory, these additions provides better integration between host and guest OS. Features includes resizing of host OS window and drag and drop between host and guest.
On the window menu of the virtual machine, select Devices->Install Guest Additions. This will add an .ISO file as a CD in the virtual machine, similar as to put a CD in the drive. On the menu in the virtual machine, select Places and then the menu for CD/DVD drive. It should be named VBOXADDITIONS_xxx… or similar. This will mount the CD in the Ubuntu system and should ask if the CD Autorun should be executed. Press 'OK' or 'Yes' on the questions to allow the Autorun to execute. If the Autorun prompt does not show up, right click on the CD/DVD icon on the desktop and choose Open with Autorun Prompt.
When the installation is completed, right click on the CD/DVD icon and choose 'Eject'. Right click on the CD image at the bottom and choose 'Remove disk from virtual drive'. Restart the virtual machine.

Topic revision: r2 - 2013-06-17 - MikaelEriksson
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