Using Ubuntu Linux/Virtualization

Virtualization is a system where an operating system can be installed into another host operating system. The technology involves using some space on the hard disk where the virtual system would be installed and operated. There are many free and proprietary software for virtualization. VMware and VirtualBox are 2 such examples.

When an operating system is installed in a virtual box it behaves exactly the same and the end user would not even know that a system is actually running in another operating system. This way one need not partition the hard disk for another operating system.

This becomes particularly useful for testing an operating system before deciding to actually use it as a complete replacement, or using virtual machines for software development. When we think of this option as an intermediate phase in the migration process, one can think of installing Ubuntu inside Windows and using it for some days with all its features and capabilities. When users get familiar with the partitioning and other complex tasks they can confidently install Ubuntu directly.

Running Ubuntu in a VirtualBox edit

  1. Download the Ubuntu ISO from Canonical's website.
  2. Download the Oracle VM VirtualBox.
  3. Create a new virtual machine. You should give it the name "Ubuntu" and, if needed, select Ubuntu in the OS dropdown list.
  4. Select how much RAM you will allocate to your virtual machine. Too much RAM and your host operating system will not run while the guest is running, which causes it to fail sometimes.
  5. Select "Create a virtual hard drive now".
  6. Select a dynamically allocated or a fixed size disk. A dynamically allocated virtual hard drive will keep growing and growing until your computer hits its hard drive limit. A fixed size virtual hard drive will keep growing until it hits the fixed size.
  7. Select the limit for the hard drive. Let it create the virtual hard drive.


  1. Click on "Settings" > "Storage".
  2. Click the CD/DVD icon with a + on it to select the ISO.
  3. Choose the Ubuntu ISO.
  4. Click on "System" and set the boot priority to CD/DVD first, so the virtual machine will boot into Ubuntu.


  1. Open the Ubuntu virtual machine.
  2. Select the language.
  3. Double-click Install Ubuntu.
  4. Install Ubuntu while answering the questions, and voila!

Running Ubuntu in a VMWare edit


To do:
Give a guide to running Ubuntu under VMWare

Installing VirtualBox on Ubuntu edit

Further reading edit