How to install a Linux distro in VirtualBox


How many times you saw a new distribution, thought of installing it on your machine, thinking of reinstalling files and applications, then drop the idea? If you are a newbie, you don’t want to mess with your current setup but want to check the other one. So this article is for new people who are hesitant to try virtualbox.Virtualbox can help you setup a virtual machine so that you can install a new operating system without messing up your current configuration. Virtualbox is a software which emulates all components of a real computer and provides to the operating system installed in it. You can test drive a new distribution or install it into the virtual hard disk.

Download Virtualbox
This is the easiest step, you just need to browse your distro’s package manager or software center, find and install the Virtualbox software.

When opening the software, you will be greeted with this screen. It will list already installed Operating Systems on the virtual machine. As you can see I already have an Elementary Loki install.

Click on the New button. It will popup a new window where you can name your OS name and type. We will try installing a new Elementary OS. Because Elementary OS is based on Ubuntu, we set the type as Ubuntu 64 bit.

Then choose the RAM size. About 2GB of RAM size is recommended.

Now it asks whether we want to create a Virtual Hard Disk, what it means that if we want to specify a virtual hard disk we have created earlier or create a new one. We don’t have any previous one, so create a one.

The virtual hard disk file we require is of type VDI(VirtualBox Disk Image). So choose that.

Choose dynamically allocated, and virtual box won’t waste unwanted space.

For the file location and size, set 8GB and choose the directory where you want to install the OS files. Just create a directory in the /home folder for this virtual os and choose that one.

Now our virtual machine is ready.

Now we need to install the real Operating System into it. So select our newly created virtual machine from the list and click Settings. Go to the Display section and set the video memory to atleast 64 MB and enable 3D acceleration.

Then go to the Storage section and choose the OS installation iso file by clicking on the small disk like icon to the right of the Optical drive field.

Click start and the OS will install to the virtual machine.

VirtualBox is a software so whatever you do with OS installations inside the software will not make any harm to your original OS.