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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Installing Linux on virtual box

Hey Hi and hello to all, ended up here on my blog. why what happened??? you are being taught Linux in your college or school?? and you are freaking out how to install it so you can learn it? don't know whether to put it in dual boot or not but having trouble installing it. or you are just in a mood to try Linux because everybody said "its a free operating system and it can run smoothly on your PC"  oh yeah its definitely free as its open source.
ok forget about open source that is a big term for you just remember its free.

So here we go with the routine. It has two parts, part one which is setting up the Virtual box and part two installing the OS onto your HDD.

Things required:
Oracle Virtual Box(free)/VMware workstation(paid+advanced)
A system with virtualization enabled (VT-x on Intel and AMD-V on AMD processor)
any linux OS or live disc you want to install 

Skill: novice
Time: 1/2 hour
Difficulty: easy

My worthy Disclaimer: This is as educational post and you can find many of these articles on net, and mishandling the software may lead to system crashes, so please stick to the guide and if you want to experiment anything you are doing it at your own risk!
Part I

So lets start the game:

1) Download Oracle Virtual Box from the official site. just click it over and it will start the download. currently its Virtual box 4.1.18 available. Now install it that will be quite easy.

2) After that run this application by double clicking on it, the first interface you will  see is like this

                                                                 (click to enlarge image)

you won't see tinycore or xp, oh man you haven't installed them yet :D
3) Now click on 'New' a blue circle in the top left a window will appear, click next. after that it will ask you to name your virtual machine(VM). ok for demo i will be installing Opensuse 12.1 So I'm naming it opensuse it will automatically detect 'Operating System' and "Version'. now click next

4) After clicking next it will ask you for the RAM, how much memory you want to allocate for the RAM . Now this purely depends on your system, how well is your system configured, it may be a very high performance PC or a "just study" PC. plus are you a multitasker or not. suppose if you are on low specs likewise 1GB RAM allocate 256MB of RAM that will just do for you but you might experience sluggish behavior, i said "sluggish" now many of you will say you are wrong linux runs pretty well on low specs PC too. I agree with you but at current you will be working on your windows OS and virtual box will be an application. so in that way your host OS i.e windows OS will also need RAM and guest OS i.e Linux will also need RAM. that is why I'm saying this it may .
              Note: Don't allocate too much RAM to guest OS otherwise the host OS will not work properly and you may experience system crash.
At last I would say the RAM part is purely on your choice here I'm allocating 1GB to it. ok moving on now.

5) Now comes up setting up the Harddisk space for your VM. Actually what VM does is it fools the guest OS by telling it that i have a set of hardware for you. But actually you always had a processor a single HDD. so VM is just fooling around the OS and creating an environment for the Guest OS.
Click next a new window will pop up, asking the type of virtual disk, you can choose from 4 different options you can choose 'VDI' the native disk or 'VMDK' if you want to export it and use it with VMware worksation later on in future. click next and let it remain on Dynamically Allocated.

So setting up the HDD select the place where you want to store the VDI file. Now provide it at least of 10GB of space if you have, otherwise 8GB is also good. I said 10 because it is a difficult task to increase the disk space later on. and don't worry thinking " man my space will get wasted" don't worry it uses dynamic memory allocation which allocates memory when it is needed. just check the space on your C drive after allocation it won't show any disk usage stats. thats Dynamic allocation ;)
finally it will show you the summary lastly click on 'Create'. and your HDD is done.

6) Just after that it will review your VM settings if every thing is right click on 'Create' and here you are, you have setup your very own opensuse Virtual machine.

7) Now click on opensuse and click on settings>system now in motherboard tab uncheck floppy from 'Boot Order'

8) Now go to 'Storage' there in IDE controller click on single disk with a plus sign saying "Add CD/DVD device" a small window will pop up asking to choose the disc or to leave empty click on 'Choose disk' now locate the ISO of the Opensuse 12.1 in your directory wherever you saved it. and open it.
oh i didn't told you where to get the live discs or the ISO files. In my earlier post i.e Linux Vs Windows i have given the sites for a few Linux. those are bit old but they are the official sites.
For latest Opensuse 12.1 click here. and choose whatever download is suitable for you.

9) At last click OK and now you are set to launch your Opensuse OS.
10) Now click on opensuse and click on start. the booting processes must have started.
Part II
 1) The first screen it will show is like this, with the help of keyboard navigate to "Installation' and click enter

2) There will be a Welcome screen after pressing enter now again click next to proceed

3) After clicking next it will ask you for clock and time zone select Asia( for India) in Region and Kolkata. then click next

4) Now the trickier part setting up the disk( you are with me don't worry ;)), click on create partition setup choose 'IDE disk.......' in the next screen proceed to next and then again next.

5) Setting up the user enter your credentials and password and please remember that password that might come in handy any time. click next to proceed.

6) Check all your setting in the Live Installation setting page and proceed to next, now let the installation begin and let it complete later on while it has finished copying the files it will ask you to reboot click on 'Reboot now'. after rebooting it will show you the same start up screen navigate to 'Boot from Hard Disk' it will return to installation process and now you must have reached to Automatic configuration in which it had started downloading the packages from the net i have skipped that part for now. But you please continue with that. those are essential for your OS running.


7) After the download completion it will enter to the user i.e the actual OS GUI. once reached shutdown the OS and go to settings of the opensuse and in storage right click on the  IDE devices and click 'remove attachment'. now it will let you boot normally.
Opensuse 12.1 GUI
 oh pal its been 5 hrs i have been writing this guide, now still if you have any query below is the comment section for you, you need help getting software or running any command I'm there for you.
But for some native windows application you still need to use your windows OS, otherwise there is a software in Linux called 'Wine' that can run Windows application on Linux. And this is why i was persuading you to install Linux or any other OS on a Virtual machine. because it always comes in handy to switch over in seconds ;)
thanks for reading :)


  1. how much memory to allocate in 1 GB RAM???

  2. just see in task manager how much memory is in current use? if its around 300MB allocate 512 to the RAM otherwise reduce it accordingly if the Host OS starts lagging you can re-allocate it later on.