With VirtualBox, you can install various operating systems in a virtual environment. To do this, you do not need to reinstall the underlying OS. VirtualBox executes the computer emulator and runs under your main OS. In this case, the entire virtual system is stored in one file – a virtual hard disk that emulates the real hard drive. This file contains the operating system, as well as user files. In this article, we’ll show how to use VirtualBox.
Distinctive features of the VirtualBox
- The program is free, open source.
- Very simple and easy to use interface.
- Ability to install almost any operating system.
- Work with virtually all formats of virtual hard disks.
- Flexible configuration of the virtual environment.
- Program installation.
How to use VirtualBox
After you run the installation file of the program, you will see the following window:
This is the initial installation window. To continue the installation, select the components and the installation directory, click the “Next” button.
In this window, you can select the installation path (by default this is% ProgramFiles / Oracle / VirtualBox,), as well as the necessary components for installation.
VirtualBox USB Support – From here you can enable/disable support for USB devices.
VirtualBox Network – Here you can enable/disable the installation of the network interface.
After setting the required parameters, click the “Next” button.
Next, you will see a window with a warning about the need to install virtual network interfaces. They are necessary for the virtual machine to be able to connect to the network. To start the installation process, click the “Install” button.
Done. We installed VirtualBox. To close the installer, click the Finish button.
Settings (Ctrl + G) – From here you can make some basic settings of the program.
Import / export configurations – the ability to load previoImport/exportmeters or unload current ones.
Virtual Disk Manager (Ctrl + D) – With this tool, you can manage virtual disks (HDD, CD-ROM, etc.).
Network operations manager – displays the network activity of the VM.
Exit (Ctrl + Q, Alt + F4) – exit the program.
New (Ctrl + N) – Create a new virtual machine.
Settings (Ctrl + S) – Settings.
Delete – Delete the selected VM.
Start – Start the selected VM.
Stop – to stop the marked VM.
Update (Ctrl + R) – Update the VM.
Show Log … (Ctrl + L). It displays a log file with information about the operation of the virtual machine.
Contents … (F1) – Help file of the program.
VirtualBox Web Site … – Visit the official website of the program.
About VirtualBox – Brief information about the program.
These buttons are located on the toolbar, it is similar to the “Machine” menu, which we reviewed above (see screenshot below).
New – Create a new virtual machine.
Settings – Current Machine Settings
Delete – Delete the VM.
Start – Start the marked VM.
Stop – Stop marked VM.
How to create a virtual machine?
The developers of the program have simplified the creation of a virtual machine to the maximum. To start the New VM creation wizard, open the program and press “Ctrl + N.” Here is the first window that appears in front of us after we started the wizard.
Here you need to enter some information about the machine – this is the name of the VM (Field Name), as well as the type and version of the operating system that you plan to install. To go to the next step, click “Next.”
The system will prompt you to set the required amount of RAM of your computer, which will be allocated to the virtual machine.
Given your choice of operating system in the previous step, as well as the configuration of your computer, the program will automatically set the recommended amount of memory, which should not have any problems with the use of a virtual operating system. Of course, you can adjust the memory to a greater or lesser extent simply by moving the slider. It all depends on the capabilities of your PC. Having set the required volume, boldly press “Next.”
At the next stage, the wizard will prompt you to create a new hard disk or select an existing one (if you created it earlier). In the latter case, specify the path to the virtual disk file, and the wizard will automatically connect it.
If you are creating a new disk, click “Create a new virtual hard disk.” Let’s look at this procedure in more detail.
How to create a virtual hard disk?
In the first window that opens, there is nothing to configure. You can select any hard disk. It is better to leave by default. Feel free to click “Next.”
In the next window, we can determine the type of virtual hard disk:
– Dynamic expansion – dynamically changing the volume of the disk. If this value is selected, the hard disk file will increase as it is loaded with information. For example, you created a dynamic disk with a size of 12 GB. Initially, the virtual hard disk file will occupy only a few megabytes of real space. As you use the virtual machine (OS installation, copying files, etc.), it will expand to the specified limit. When deleting files, decrease.
– Fixed size – immediate allocation of the necessary space on a real hard disk. If you select this value, the program immediately creates a file, the size corresponding to the volume of the virtual hard disk.
Choose the type of hard disk that is convenient for you and click the “Next” button.
At the next stage, the system will prompt you to specify the name of the hard disk and the location of its storage (if not set, the default path will be used). To go to the next step, click “Next.”
Set the size of the virtual hard disk. If you plan to install Windows 7 and higher, it is recommended to allocate at least 20 GB of virtual disk space.
After making the necessary settings, click the “Next” button to continue.
Before creating a VM, we recommend that you recheck the configuration. If you want to make any changes, click “Back” and return to the section where you need to change the settings. If everything is ok, click “Create.” A new VM will be created and will appear in the main menu of the program.
Configure virtual machines
To configure the newly created VM, you must select your machine from the list and click the “Settings” button.
The following window appears:
Now we will describe in detail each setting item.
Tab “General” – displays the main settings of the selected VM (see screen above). Here you can configure the computer name, as well as the type of OS that you are going to install. In the sub-tab “Advanced” you can enable the general clipboard and the drag-and-drop function. In the “Description” and “Encryption” sub-tabs, the textual description of the virtual machine and the encryption, respectively.
“System” tab – setting of the main parameters of the created VM. Here you can set the order of boot devices, enable APIC and ACPI I / O capabilities. Also, you can also adjust the amount of RAM allocated for the VM and select the type of chipset (it is recommended to leave it by default). In the “Processor” sub-tab, you can manually assign the number of allocated processors to the current virtual machine, the download limit, and support for additional CPU capabilities.
Tab “Display” – setting up the graphics subsystem for the virtual machine. Responsible for allocating video memory and support for 3D acceleration on the VM. It is also possible to capture video and provide remote access to the VM (the sub-tabs “Video Capture” and “Remote Access” respectively).
The “Media” tab (Hard disks) – setting up virtual hard disks. Here you can select a virtual hard disk controller and connect a virtual optical drive.
Audio Tab – Here you can enable/disable the virtual sound card, and select its controller.
Network tab – allows you to configure access to the Internet. You can select the virtual machine access mode: through the physical bridge (the real OS can be disconnected from the network), NAT mode (recommended), internal network and virtual adapter. Up to 4 adapters can be configured per 1 virtual machine.
USB tab – Enables / disables USB support. Here you have the opportunity to enable access to the USB ports of your PC, and also choose a controller (USB 1.1, 2.0 or 3.0).
Public folders tab – allows you to open virtual machine access to folders on a physical PC and perform data exchange. In some cases, this is a very useful option.
Starting the Virtual Machine
To start the virtual machine, double-click on it in the list of machines or select it and click the Start button located in the same list above.
Note: to be able to use the cursor in the virtual machine; it is enough to click anywhere in the working window. A corresponding warning appears, where you will be asked to continue. After that, the cursor can be used only in the virtual machine environment. To “free” the cursor, just press the right “Ctrl.”
When you press the key, you can use the cursor in the real machine, and if you press it again, it will be active only in the virtual one.
After starting the machine, you will see a launch window similar to the real machine. If you add an operating system that you need to install, you will go through the same installation and configuration steps as in a real PC.
The virtual machine’s working window menu.
The purpose of this article is to explain the principles of working with virtualization virtual environment VirtualBox as much as possible in detail and understandably. If you enjoyed reading our guideline about how to use VirtualBox, don’t forget to share.
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