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How To Install Ubuntu 11.10 Or Any Other Operating System On Virtual Box

Are you a predominantly A Windows user but want to try out some new OS without hurting your current Windows installation?...Then, this is it! The Virtual Box from Oracle Inc. will let you run your favorite Operating System as any other program in Windows' own environment. So, In this article, I'll help you setup Ubuntu machine in Virtual Box to run it in Windows' Environment.

Note: Here we has used Ubuntu 11.10 as a reference OS, but It's not restricted to Ubuntu, You can Install any Operating System you want on VirtualBox.

Essential downloads for this tutorial:

  1. Virtual Box (From Oracle Inc.)
  2. Ubuntu .iso image OR LiveCD (OR any of your favorite OS)
Download and Install Virtual Box

Download VirtualBox from the above mentioned link. (If you have already installed the VirtualBox, then you may skip this section.)

Virtual Box is very easy "next, next,....finish" type installation, so I won't explain that in detail, instead I will tell you just to download it from the above mentioned link and install it to your desired location on your PC.

Creating A Virtual Machine

After the successful installation of VirtualBox, you'll need to create a Virtual Machine inside the Virtual Box, in which you may select the size of RAM and Hard Disk to be used by Ubuntu (or any desired OS).

So, to create a Virtual Machine, open Virtual Box window and click on Machine and select New

Then, the New Virtual Machine Wizard will open up. Click Next.

In the next window, type the OS name in the VM Name. The OS Type section will get changed automatically as you will type the VM Name.
Now, select the Memory that you want to allocate to the new OS. While selecting the memory, keep in mind the minimum requirements of the OS to be installed. As we are installing Ubuntu here, we have selected 1.5GB here, as we have a 4GB machine. After selecting the RAM or Memory, click Next.

Now it will ask you to create the hard disk. As you are doing this first time, select "Create New Hard Disk" and click next.
Now in the next window, you'll be prompted to select the file type of the Virtual Hard Disk File. You can select any of them, but we have selected VHD here. Then click Next.
Then an important prompt is presented here asking whether you want to create the Dynamically Expanding Hard drive or a fixed hard drive. The Dyanmically hard drive will keep increasing as per the need of the OS while Fixed Hard drive will remain in the fixed volume state as you will select the volume size in the next step. We have selected the dynamically allocated hard drive. After selecting your choice, click next.
Now it will prompt to select the location and size. Generally you need not to select the location. But if you are interested to install it in another location, select your desired location by clicking the right icon.

And for the Hard disk size selection, you are free to select the size of the Hard disk. But, once again, keep the minimum requirements of the OS in mind. Here, we have selected 20GB for Ubuntu 11.10.
As soon as you click next, You will be presented with the summary. Double check the details and then click 'create'.
Then another summary will be presented. Click 'Create'.
As soon as you click create, it will create a entry named Ubuntu in the VirtualBox window. And thus, you have successfully created a Virtual Machine.

Insalling the Operating Syatem On Virtual Machine

Now, to install the operating system on the recently created Virtual Machine, right click on the OS entry in the Virtual Box window and select "Settings.."

In the setting box, navigate to the "Storage" tab. In the pane at the Right side, click the small CD-Drive like icon to select the ISO Image.
Then in the next dialog box, click "Choose Disk".
Then select the ISO image of Ubuntu(Or your desired OS) from its saved location. So, after the selection the Ubuntu ISO Image will show up under "IDE Controller".

Now, move your eye to right side of that pane, as you can see the Attributes row adjacent to the ISO Image selection pane. Check "Live CD/DVD" option and click "OK".

Thus you have pointed your virtual machine's CD Drive to the Ubuntu ISO Image to get it installed on the Virtual Machine through the Live CD/DVD.

Starting the Installation of Ubuntu

Now, after all is done successfully, Right click in the Ubuntu entry of the virtual Machine and click Start.

After clicking "Start" button, be patient as the installation of the new OS on the Virtual Machine will start. It will prompt you to select the language. 

Note: In the installation process, keep your NumLock off as we got unexpected error while installing Ubuntu. But it's fine if you are installing the OS other than Ubuntu.

Now, it's all set to install the OS in the VirtualBox, as the native interface of the OS (Unity in case of Ubuntu) will come up. 

After this do the installation of the Operating system normally and install the Operating system on VirtualBox by Oracle.

Rajat Patel

Rajat Patel

Founder at TheNextGeek.com. Software Engineer & Business Analyst by profession. Avid open source evangelist. Mostly writes about Technology that interests him, and some neat tricks to make your day-to-day tech life a breeze.

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