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Linux install in VirtualBox

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posted on Apr, 5 2015 @ 10:43 PM
Okay guys, I'm back. I’ve been busy with school lately.

Today’s tutorial will be on how to install Linux in VirtualBox. It's pretty easy.

Download the following: I'm assuming your running Windows, but if you’re on a Mac just choose the Mac OS download
- VirtualBox - Choose "VirtualBox 4.3.26 for Windows hosts x86/amd64"
Fedora Linux with KDE - Download one of the two on the bottom. Choose 32 for 32bit processor or 64 for 64bit processor. If you have an Intel that is Core Duo and beyond, you can run 64bit, otherwise choose 32bit. You'll know if VirtualBox doesn't give you the option to run 64bit Linux.

Step one: Install VirtualBox. This is easy, just click the download and choose next, next, next.
Step two: Install complete. Click on the VirtualBox icon either on the start menu or desktop. In VirtualBox you will see the “New button”, press it. The first screen is the operating system type. In name type in "Fedora Linux". It should auto select the version for you, choose next. It will automatically choose 64bit. I like to give my virtual machines 4GB of memory, so put in 4096MB. If you wish to only give it 2GB, type in 2048MB and choose next. This screen is where you will choose the virtual hard disk type and size. Choose create, then choose VirtualBox Disk Image (VDI) unless you have a reason to use a different format, then choose next, and then choose "Dynamically allocated." The next screen is the hard disk size. I usually give my virtual machines 100GB. It will not actually take up that much space on the hard disk, until you fill up the disk inside the virtual machine. It resizes automatically as you need more space, to the specified maximum that you type. In my case, that is 100GB before it runs out of room. Choose the "Create" button. Now we are back at the VirtualBox start screen. Right click on "Fedora Linux", choose "Settings” or use the “Settings” icon on the toolbar. Click on "Storage" located in the left hand side list. Click on the CD-ROM drive that says "Empty." On the right side of the dialog is a little picture of a CD-ROM with a down arrow. Click on that. Select "Choose a CD/DVD disk file." Now navigate to your downloads folder where you saved your Fedora ISO download, select it and choose open, then click “Ok.” Make sure "Fedora Linux" is selected and choose the Start button - it is a green arrow pointing to the right. Now our Virtual Computer is booting up. Press the enter key on "Start Fedora". It can take some time to load depending on your system.

We are half way there.

We are now going to go through the Linux install process. This process in VirtualBox is to get you comfortable doing the install, so that you can do it on your real PC one day. Okay, double click the icon on the desktop that says, "Install to Hard Drive." It will ask you what language you want. Then you will be presented with 4 icons. Click on "Installation Destination." Make sure the 100GB disk has a check mark next to it. If it doesn’t, click on it until it does. For this tutorial, choose "Automatically configure partitioning." At the end of the tutorial I will delve into what partitions are necessary for the install if you wish to create them yourself. You will need to do this to install Linux on your PC, otherwise bad things can happen if you’re trying to keep Windows as a dual boot. Select the "Done" button at the top of the screen. I know that there are other icons there, but these are usually correct automatically.

edit on 02015b2015 by lobograndemalo because: Spelling

posted on Apr, 5 2015 @ 10:43 PM
If they are not, then set them properly before moving on. Then choose "Begin Installation" at the bottom of the screen. While it is installing you will be presented with two icons. Choose "ROOT PASSWORD" and give it a password that you will remember. The root account is the admin account on Linux. It is all powerful. It has the user ID of 1 allowing it to be the master key. Then when you’re done putting a password in, click on "USER CREATION" and put your information in. I would select "Make this user administrator". Okay, now all that is left to do is sit back and wait for the install to finish. It will say, "Complete!" when it is done, choose "Quit" at the bottom right of the screen. Click on the "Devices" menu in VirtualBox and choose "CD/DVD Devices", then click "Remove disk from virtual drive." Then choose the blue "F" icon in the bottom left of the screen, in Linux/X-Windows. Select leave and click restart. Now we are presented with a boot menu. It will automatically choose the first menu option, which is fine. If you wanted to manually select a different one for disaster recovery, use the arrow keys within the first few seconds, then press enter.

Voila! If all went well you should be at the login screen. Welcome to X Windows (XOrg today) running on Linux! Login with the user id and password you created. Please don't login as root. We use the root account for updates and creating kernels etc, but we never login directly as root. The use of “su” or “sudo” for root is for another tutorial. Chances are, you will not use root very often, but don't forget it.

You can do whatever you want inside this virtual machine. You can try and break it if you want. It will not harm your main Windows. Virtual machines are great for testing new software, viruses, anti-virus, etc. Or just for learning without having to remove Windows.

Okay, I said I would go over manual partitioning.

References for sizes:
1024 bytes = 1Kilobyte,
1024 Kilobytes = 1 Megabyte,
1024 Megabytes = 1 Gigabyte,
1024 Gigabytes = 1 Terabyte etc.

Linux generally needs 3 partitions:
In Windows, drives are mounted by “A:”, “B:”, “C:” etc. In Linux, drives are mounted as folders.
A partition that is / or called root. Root = '/'. So any time someone refers to root, it means /. The Windows equal to / or root is C:. So this partition is where your home files and programs will be.
Swap - A swap partition is where Linux will put things from memory to the hard disk and vice versa for virtual memory. Mainly, it will do this for a running program that is in the background. If you end up using swap because you are out of memory, this is not good. Your computer will run really slow. You should have a swap partition that is twice the size of the memory you have. So if you have 4GB of ram, you will need an 8GB swap. If you need to figure out the math, just multiply 1024 by 8 for # GB of ram.

edit on 02015b2015 by lobograndemalo because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 5 2015 @ 10:44 PM
/boot - the boot partition isn't necessary, but it is a good idea in case the root or / gets corrupted. Usually this is between 100MB and 500MB. If you were a network administrator, the /boot partition would be on a separate hard disk for safety in case the root drive failed. I would make /boot 500MB. This is where the kernel and grub will reside. Grub is the first menu that you will see when booting. This is what will handle loading the operating system, and for dual booting is what will boot Windows. There are a couple of other ways to partition the system, but they are server/net admin setups. Having a root /, SWAP, /boot is fine for a workstation. Even having just / root and SWAP for learning is fine.

An optional /home partition is wise. The home partition is the equivalent of C:Users in Windows. If you have it setup as a partition when you want to reinstall Linux, you will keep all your files and setting. So having a separate home partition is smart, but not required.

Technically you only need a root or / partition to run Linux.

Linux is installed in a virtual machine now. Enjoy!

edit on 02015b2015 by lobograndemalo because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 5 2015 @ 10:52 PM
Excellent walk through! You should do one for a "run from bootable device" i.e. an USB as well.

Running Linux from a bootable device such as a USB makes it possible to run on most machines that allow running .Exe's from a USB. A really cool feature if people want to run their own OS on a public machine as long as the "admins" did not block .exe's from a USB, which is a commonly missed security option.

I love the fact that Ubuntu is light enough to run from a simple USB without being installed on the actual HD
edit on 6-4-2015 by jackjoedoe because: changed OP to OS, to correct my error.

posted on Apr, 5 2015 @ 11:58 PM
a reply to: jackjoedoe

Ya you're right. Running Linux on a USB drive is arguably a better solution. Especially for techs, its a must have. From resetting Windows passwords to recovering files quickly. Linux is a really a great tool.

I wrote the Linux usb tutorial up, thanks to you recommending it. Thankfully its much easier because of Universal USB Installer.

posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 04:46 AM
Nice tutorial.

I prefer VMWare Player, as it looks like VirtualBox is slower and uses more resources, but that's just my personal opinion and the process is more or less the same.

posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 04:34 PM
a reply to: ArMaP

Ya there's quite a few vm's out there. VirtualBox does take up a lot of resources, but it works. I have systems that have over 6 months of uptime in VBox. They all pretty much work the same. QEMU is another popular one.

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