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Virtualization Part 2: Oracle VirtualBox

This is our second part of the Virtualization Series covering virtualization. This one will stay on the desktop again and cover Oracle’s Free VirtualBox virtualization software. First let’s get the download.

You can get the software at this link:

Browse to where your Download location is and double click the VirtualBox installer

When the install starts, Click Next

This screen shows the options for VirtualBox, generally you want them all

Click Next

Leave both checked

Warning! Well not really, it’s just letting you now that you will lose network connectivity while VirtualBox installs, Click YES

Now you’re ready to install, Click Install


More Installing

Install Complete, Leave “Start Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.1.20 after installation” checked. Let’s create our first VM in VirtualBox.

Click New on the top left, Blue icon

Welcome Wizard, click Next

Enter VM name and what OS you will be installed.

Click Next

In this exercise we will be again installing Microsoft Windows 7 x64 Enterprise

Click Next

Now you allocate memory to the VM. 2GB is good enough for the VM install

Click Next

Here you create the Virtual Hard Disk for the VM, Click Next

VirtualBox does something unique vs. the other virtualization platforms. It lets you choose the Virtual Hard Disk format. It lets you choose from the following format, VDI,

  1. VDI, VirtualBox Image

  2. VMDK, VMware Virtual Machine Disk

  3. VHD, Microsoft Disk format

  4. HDD, Parallels Hard Disk format

To keep this simple we are going to keep the VirtualBox disk image, .VDI

Select VDI and click Next

This screen show how the disk will be used. There are two options:

  1. Dynamically allocated

  2. Fixed size

Option 1 is where the virtual disk grows as it’s needed. There are advantages to this and disadvantages. Advantages are it doesn’t take up as much space as a fixed size virtual disk would. Disadvantage it’s a little slower because it has to expand to fit the files you are installing or creating on that virtual disk.

Option 2 is where you pre-allocate all the space for the virtual disk now, at VM creation and not allow it to dynamically grow. This take the VM creation a little longer but there is no performance degradation due to the fact that it’s already there and it doesn’t have to spend time expanding the file.

Click Dynamically allocated because you’re working with limited space on your machines and you won’t really see the performance hit it takes. Click Next

Here you allocate where the disk will be created and how big it will be. It defaults to 25 GB but I like to keep it at 60 GB. Choose your locations and size and click Next

Summary screen, click Create

Finally you get to the VirtualBox Manager Screen

Now that the VM is created there are other options we can set for the VM before you start it. First we have to assign an ISO to the VM for it to boot and to install our OS.

Right Click your VM named Windows7 and click Settings

On the General Tab you will see all the OS options you picked for the install.

Click System to see more options. In the Systems tab there are Motherboard options, what devise are plugged into your VM, Processor options and what type of Hardware Acceleration you will be using.

Next tab is Display. It will allocate set amount of RAM for video memory to the VM

On the Storage tab you see what IDE and SATA devices you have connected to the VM. Remember these are virtual devies and not whats on your physical computer.

Here you actualy have to assign the ISO to the VM for the OS install.

On the right of the screen there is a CD Icon, click it

Choose a virtual CD/DVD Disk file. We are choosing our Windows 7 x64 media again.

Showing the ISO mounted in the VM

The next tab is Audio. Generally left as default enabled or you can disable.

Next Tab is Network. This is where you can assign how many network adapters are assigned to your VM and what type of network is being used. In another post we explained the difference between NAT, Bridged, Private and None.

Leave NAT Selected and click on the next tab.

Serial Ports is the next tab, generally not used and is disabled by default

USB Tab. Here you can assign what USB device on your physical system in your VM.

Shared Folders allows the VM to see a folder on the physical disk of your physical system. This can be your ISO library if you are doing other installs in the VM.

Click OK to close this window

Back at the VirtualBox Manager, click Start to start your VM

Your Windows install will start, follow my previous post on installing Windows 7 from a USB stick, all the steps are pretty much the same after you boot your computer form the USB stick.

That’s a quick rundown of Oracle’s VirtualBox. As with VMware Player you can basically run almost any OS on it in its x64 and x86 flavors.

Thanks for reading. Post any questions or comments below.


As with my VMware post, I forgot to add installing the Guest Additions. Virtualbox Guest Additions are designed to be installed inside a virtual machine after the guest operating system has been installed. They consist of device drivers and system applications that optimize the guest operating system for better performance and usability

Here is a breakdown of what they are:

  1. Mouse pointer integration. No need to press keys to get mouse and keyboard control back to host from guest

  2. Shared Folders. Shared folder on the host and guest

  3. Better video support

  4. Seamless windows. Virtual Machine runs in the background but the application your using is viable in the foreground of the Host

  5. Generic Host/Guest communications channels

  6. Time Sync.

  7. Shared Clipboard. Copy and Paste from your host to your guest

  8. Automated Logons. Using the same username and password from your host to your guest

Here is how that installation works in the VM.

From the windows where the VM is running click Devices > Install Guest Additions

Follow the install from there

Click Run VBoxWindowsAdditions.exe

Welcome Screen, Click Next

Chose install directory (leave default) Click Next

Select Components (leave default) Click Next


Accepts driver install, Click Install

Accept second driver install, Click Install

Wizard finish, Click Reboot Now

Once your VM reboots it will have all the above features installed and working. My recommendation is to absolutely install the Additions

Thanks again

#Windows #Virtualization

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