penguin flapping its wings in the snow

Virtual Box is a very simple virtual machine package which can be installed on Linux, Mac, Windows, and Solaris. It is open source, so you can compile it to run on other systems as well.

In this tutorial, I will cover how to install virtual box and install your first virtual machine. The process of creating the virtual machine does not vary much between operating systems. As long as you know how to install the OS (Example: Windows or Linux) then you too can create a Virtual Machine. In this case, I will be creating an Ubuntu Linux virtual machine. Ubuntu version 10.10 has a new installer, so it looks a little different if you have used previous versions, but it is still fairly intuitive.

After we create our virtual machines; I will go over some of the basics regarding Virtual Box including installing the guest additions.

**Note this content was copied from our old site and maybe. Little out of date

Installing Virtual Box

  • Download Virtual Box from
  • Double click on the Installation file
  • Click Next
  • Accept the License Agreement
  • Click Ok
  • Select the Options you wish to Install
  • Click Next
  • You will now get a warning that it will disrupt your network Connection. Be sure you aren’t doing anything else on your computer before clicking Yes
  • Click Install
    • The install will take several minutes.
  • Check the box next to Start Virtual Box
  • Click Finish, Virtual Box will now Launch
  • Create a Virtual Machine
  • Click on the New button in the top Left
  • Click Next
  • Give the virtual machine a name, such as Ubuntu
  • Select the appropriate operating system from the drop-down menu
  • Click Next
  • Drag the slider to the right or left to allocate more or less memory to the virtual machine.
    • This is not necessarily how much memory your virtual machine will use, rather it is the maximum amount that it can use. Virtual Box does not recommend using more than 50% of your total system memory
  • Click Next
  • Select Create new Hard Disk
  • Click Next
  • Click Next Again
  • Select whether you want Dynamically Allocated storage or fixed size storage.
    • Dynamic means it will allocate space as you need it. For example, if you choose to give the virtual machine an 8 GB hard disk and select Dynamic storage, almost no space will be used at this time; but it will grow as you add files to the virtual machine..
    • Fixed size means it will allocate all the space now; immediately using 8 GB of space on your hard disk. Dynamic is more efficient in its use of space, but fixed gives you better performance. I typically select Dynamic.
  • Click Next
  • Enter the size of the hard drive you want to allocate to your virtual machine.
  • Click Next

Downloading Ubuntu

There are two versions of Ubuntu:

  • Ubuntu Server
  • Ubuntu Desktop

The most noticeable difference between the two is Ubuntu Desktop comes with a Desktop. The specific Desktop it comes with depends on which version of Ubuntu you are running. Ubuntu used to use Gnome, then it started using something called Unity. Ubuntu desktop also comes with a lot of pre-installed packages like Libre Office and Firefox. If you don’t need a GUI, it is better to go with Ubuntu Server.

  • Download Ubuntu server here:
  • Download Ubuntu Desktop here:

After you click the download link, the ISO file should automatically start downloading. Keep in mind where it is saved to on your computer as you will need the ISO file in the next section.

Powering on your Virtual Machine

  • Click on your Virtual Machine, click on the Start Button
  • A Window will open for your virtual machine console, followed by a Wizard to perform the initial configuration on your virtual machine
  • The first screen of the wizard will ask for a media source. The media source is the CD/DVD or CD/DVD Image you wish to install your operating system from.
  • Click the Folder button on the right side of the screen next to the drop-down menu to select the CD/DVD image you wish to use. If you are using a physical CD/DVD then you can simply insert the disk into the drive at this point and click Next and Skip Steps 5-7
  • Assuming you clicked on the Folder button in the previous step, you will have a screen where you can select a CD/DVD Image, click on the Add button and browse to the image CD image you wish to use, Select it, click Open.
  • Click on the CD from the list of available images, Click Select
  • Click Next
  • Click Finish

At this point, your Virtual Machine will power on and boot off the CD/ISO you added in the previous step.

Installing Ubuntu

If you are installing Ubuntu Server, you will encounter a wizard where you can follow the steps to install Ubuntu server. For the most part, you can simply accept the defaults and everything should work, assuming you have a DHCP server on your network.

If you are installing Ubuntu Desktop, you will be prompted as to if you want to try Ubuntu, or if you want to install it. If you click Try Ubuntu, it will boot into the GUI environment without writing anything to the hard drive. This will let you try Ubuntu without changing your computer.

If you choose to install Ubuntu, you will encounter a similar installer to what you would have seen had you downloaded the Ubuntu server ISO