Usually when you purchase a device, it comes with a preinstalled operating system (Windows/IOS). Obviously not everyone wants to overwrite this with a Linux environment as they may find it difficult or find it doesn’t suit them, therefore we are going to download Linux into a Virtual machine.
Lots of people also set up their computers to multi-boot, this is when you install multiple operating systems on a computer and choosing at startup which one to boot. Dual booting is a term used to describe a computer with two operating systems. (This will be briefly demonstrated too).
For those of you who don’t know, a Virtual machine is an emulation of a computer system. They provide the functionality of a physical computer. A VirtualBox is a software visualization package that installs on your system as an application. This allows other operating systems to be downloaded into the application and run them as you please.
Before we begin downloading our virtual computers we need to obtain a virtual optical disk image (.iso). Downloading Ubuntu is a very large file (over 700MB) therefore I suggest downloading a torrent for it. I personally had uTorrent downloaded already, but you can use any torrent downloader or opera web browser.
Head to Ubuntu’s downloads to get started:
By using Opera web browser, you can simply download torrents instead of using eg. Bittorrent. Download Opera
You can use any virtual computer you like, if you aren’t sure of any you can take a look at the link below:
We will be using Oracle’s VirtualBox for this tutorial.
- Firstly we have to download our virtual machine:
2. When you’ve launched VirtualBox, click new to create a new machine, set up the name, operating system and version then select next.
3. After this you have to allocate base memory (RAM) in Megabytes. If you aren’t sure how much RAM you have/want to use just stick with the default. Otherwise for example if you’ve 4GB of RAM, you can allocate 1GB to your virtual machine.
4. If you’re just using VB for the first time, you want to select ‘Create new hard disk’.
5. File type = Virtual Disk Image – VDI.
6. Dynamically expanding virtual hard drive is the best because it only takes up what it uses, but when installing new softwares etc. it’s actually faster to use Fixed-size storage.
7. Enter the location of where you want this file stored. It will show you a quick summary as well as another size option and if all the details are correct you may select create.
8. When it’s created and you double click to boot, it asks for you to select a virtual optical disk file. Here is where you enter the .iso (Torrent Ubuntu). This will allow Ubuntu to be launched on the virtual computer. An alternate way to do this is to select on the storage tab and change the CD/DVD disk file to the .iso file.
While downloading inside your Virtual Machine, don’t be afraid to overwrite or erase the disk file as ubuntu has no knowledge the host machine is there!
When you complete the installation process you are welcomed by a completely different operating system.
Well done you downloaded Ubuntu – Linux to your own Virtual Computer!