How to Install VirtualBox

VirtualBox allows creating virtual computers capable of running multiple operating systems without the need for dual boot mode or hardware configuration. Installing VirtualBox is not too complicated, most of the time is spent installing the standard operating system. See Step 1 below for how to install VirtualBox and the operating system.

Install VirtualBox

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Download VirtualBox. You can download Oracle's VirtualBox completely free from the developer's website. Need to download version compatible with operating system.

There are many options for Linux operating systems. Select the appropriate Linux package or use the "All distributions" option if Linux is not listed.

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Install the VirtualBox program. If you use Windows, double click on the installation file and follow the instructions. If using a Mac, open the DMG file you just downloaded and drag the VirtualBox file into the Applications folder.

During the Windows installation process, keep the default settings intact.

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Start the program. VirtualBox allows you to manage several virtual machines and easily create new ones. You can run VirtualBox directly on the installation program or start it from the desktop icon.

Create a Virtual Machine

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Assemble the installation disc. When creating a virtual machine, you need to install the operating system just like you normally would. That means you need an operating system installation disc if you want to install on a virtual machine.

If you download the ISO file for the installation disc, you can burn the contents to a blank DVD or install directly from the ISO file.

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Select the "New" button. This opens a wizard that proceeds with the virtual machine creation process.

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Determine the operating system. On the first screen of the wizard, you are asked to name the new virtual machine and select the operating system you want to install. Select the operating system from the Type menu, then select the compatible version from the Version menu.

For example, if you install Windows 7, you must select "Microsoft Windows" in the Type menu and then select "Windows 7" in the Version menu.

If you install a 64-bit version of the operating system, make sure you select 64-bit in the Version menu.

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Set up RAM. You need to specify the amount of RAM for the virtual machine. VirtualBox will automatically choose the minimum capacity for the operating system, but you can increase or decrease it as you like.

You can choose the amount of RAM equivalent to that used to install the operating system.

You should not choose the maximum level because this will leave no free space for the regular operating system when running the virtual machine.

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Create virtual hardware. Virtual machines need a virtual hard drive to install the operating system and programs. This virtual hard drive is created on free space on the machine. VirtualBox will set the appropriate capacity depending on the operating system, you can adjust it yourself.

Make sure the virtual hard drive has enough space to install the operating system. Check your operating system specifications to determine the minimum capacity required.

Keep in mind that any programs installed will write to the virtual hard drive's memory, so plan accordingly.

The most popular virtual hard drive format is VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image).

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Start installing the operating system. After configuring the virtual machine, the wizard closes and switches to the VirtualBox main screen. Double click on the new machine in the left menu to start it for the first time.

A new wizard will appear that will start the operating system installation process.

If you are installing from a disc, insert the disc into your computer and select "Host drive" and select the corresponding drive letter from the pull-down menu.

If you are installing from an image file, click the folder icon to access it on your computer and begin the installation.

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Install the operating system. After choosing the installation method, the process will be started. Installation is similar to installing the operating system on a regular computer. Read the instructions corresponding to the operating system used for more details:

Windows 8

Windows 7

Windows Vista

Windows XP


Linux Mint

Ubuntu Linux

Use Virtual Machines

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Start the virtual machine. After installing the operating system, the virtual machine is ready to operate. Double click on the machine in the menu on the left side of VirtualBox's home page to start the virtual machine. The virtual machine will boot and load the newly installed operating system.

The virtual machine runs in a window. No matter where the virtual machine window is focused, any keystroke or mouse click will affect the virtual machine, but not the real machine.

You can create a desktop shortcut by right-clicking on the machine in the VirtualBox window and selecting "Create Shortcut on Desktop".

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Turn off the virtual machine. You have several shutdown options and they have different effects on the virtual machine. When you click on the "X" in the upper right corner of the screen, you'll see a few options:

Save machine state - This option allows saving the virtual machine state when the machine is turned off. Programs will be saved in their current state and everything will be restored when the device is turned on.

Transmit shutdown signal - This option allows the virtual machine to be turned off when the power key is pressed on the real computer.

Power off the machine - This option allows the machine to be turned off when the machine's power is cut off. The content will not be saved.

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Take a snapshot of the virtual machine. VirtualBox allows you to copy the exact state of your machine and return to that state at any time. This is extremely useful when you want to test software or reconfigure your computer.

You can take a photo by clicking on the Machine menu and selecting "Take snapshot". The screenshot will be added to the virtual machine list on the left side of the VirtualBox menu.

You can restore a photo by right-clicking on it and selecting "Restore". Changes to the virtual hard drive since the image was taken will no longer be restored.