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Running Windows in Ubuntu part 2 – VirtualBox rocks! May 3, 2007

Posted by amazingrando in Linux Tips, Windows-Linux Transition.


Following up on my prior post about running Windows (or other OS’s) in Ubuntu, I kept searching around for something better than VMware server. Why? I wanted something that was:

  • Not only free, but open source
  • Easier to install and configure than VMware
  • Had a GUI for managing virtual machines
  • Fairly stable and speedy

It seems like a tall order, but I found Innotek’s VirtualBox a few weeks back. It’s open source (GPL), easy to install and configure, has a nice GUI for configuring VM’s, virtual drives, etc. There’s no need for serial numbers like with VMware. It offers host accelerator drivers for Windows and other OS’s. Overall it’s been very stable for me. Oh, and they have good documentation! At present this is my recommended choice for running another OS under Ubuntu.

How to install:

  1. Download the .deb file of VirtualBox for your version of Ubuntu
  2. Use GDebi package installer (right click on the package from Nautilus), or you can use sudo dpkg -i *.deb where the asterisk is the name of the package file you downloaded
  3. This should install VirtualBox and any dependencies
  4. When it’s done you’ll need to add yourself to the new vboxusers group
    1. Open /etc/group with GEdit sudo gedit /etc/group
    2. Find the line vboxusers:x:1001:
    3. Immediately after the last colon, add your user name. For example, if mine is rando, then it would now look like vboxusers:x:1001:rando
    4. Save the file
  5. Having done that, restart
  6. Finally you can run VirtualBox from the command line and set up a virtual machine (an icon will also appear under Applications -> System )

I have skipped many options for pre and post-installation in order to give you a quick run-down on how to get up and running. For all the details, check out their excellent documentation.

Hopefully you’ll have as much fun with VirtualBox as I have!



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