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How to run Linux on top of Windows using VirtualBox?

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  • 6 min read

If you want to try a new OS or want some specific features of a different operating system without having to do a disc partition or need a new OS on your device temporarily, here is a solution which enables you to run Linux over your Windows device without needing to dual boot your system or doing disc partition. It provides an entirely usable OS that runs on top of your everyday operating system without disturbing your current setup.

For running Linux on top of your Windows desktop or laptop, let us start with downloading the software you will require through the entire process — Virtualbox and Linux. You can download the software by clicking on the links given below.

Download the .iso file of the Linux OS that you want to run on your PC or laptop. Remember to select the correct Ubuntu version according to your system — 32-bit or 64-bit.

Also read: Hassles of running a dual boot system: Issues and Fixes

How to install Virtualbox on your PC?

Install the Virtualbox on your system by double-clicking on the setup file for the Virtualbox and follow the steps mentioned below to run Linux on Virtual box, on top of Windows on your PC.

Step 1: The setup wizard for the Virtualbox will pop up. Select the directory where you want to install the software and click on Next.

Step 2: Check all the checkboxes and click on the Next button. Next, click on the Yes button on the Network Interfaces window.

Step 3: Click on Install to finish the installation of Virtualbox. Also read: How to restore USB drive after making it bootable?

How to run Linux over Windows using VirtualBox?

Once you have installed Virtualbox on your system, run the application and create a virtual machine.

Step 1: Click on New icon in the taskbar at the top of the window.

Step 2: Type the name of the system and choose the Linux as the type and Ubuntu as the version and click on Next.Step 3: Choose the amount of memory you want to assign to the OS. I have assigned two gigs of RAM for the Ubuntu on my laptop, and it works as smooth as butter. Configure the amount of RAM according to your purpose of installing the OS. Step 4: Select the Create a virtual hard disc now option and click on Next. On the next window, select the Virtual Hard disk Image radio button and click on Next. Step 5: Select the Dynamically allocated radio button and click on Next.

There are two ways of creating a virtual hard disk – Dynamically allocated and fixed size. When you create a virtual disc using the dynamic allocation, the size of the disc becomes variable and depends on the total size of applications in the OS. While in the fixed-size allocation, it fixes the size of the disc. Dynamic allocation is much more efficient to use as memory is dedicated according to the present needs of the OS.

Step 6: Now, using the slider, choose the amount of storage you want to dedicate to your new OS. 10GB is the minimum amount of storage you need to dedicate, but I would suggest you go with 20GB of storage. You can also go with more storage capacity if you need storage. Click on Create after deciding the amount of storage. After you complete determining the amount of storage memory for the new OS, you need to select the .iso file of Ubuntu that will be required for the boot process.

Step 7: Click on the name of the OS in the Virtualbox window.

Step 8: Now, you need to choose the disc image file of the Linux OS we downloaded in the beginning. Click on the icon next to the drop-down menu and select the .iso file for the new Linux OS. Click on Choose after selecting the .iso file. Then click on Start. The Virtualbox will start the process of installing a new OS on your system. Just a few steps more, and we will have Linux running on your Windows device.

Step 9: Select the language in which you want to continue the installation and hit Enter.Step 10: Choose the Install Ubuntu option and hit Enter.Step 11: Choose the Linux language and click on Continue. On the next window, select the Normal Installation option and click on Continue.

Step 12: Select the Erase disc and Install Ubuntu option and click on Install Now. This will not erase any personal data of yours, which is stored on the Windows platform.

Once the installation completes, you can create a user profile, set a password and select your time zone and every other thing you would have done when you install a new operating system on your laptop or desktop.

You can now use your new Linux OS on top of your Windows device without erasing the older OS or doing any disc partition on your system. Let us know in the comments below if you face any difficulty or issues in installing Virtualbox or Linux on your device.

Also read: What is Secure boot and how to disable it?

Akshit Kansal

Akshit Kansal

A BTech student whose interest lies in automobiles, tech, music, coding and badminton.