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Oracle VirtualBox

Discussion in 'Virtual Machine' started by IJAC, Sep 12, 2019.

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  1. IJAC

    IJAC Super-Moderator Super Moderators

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    This tutorial is for Oracle VirtualBox. There are others to choose from if desired.
    VB will install on a Windows or a Linux host machine. The host machine will be your real computer and the guest will be the virtual OS.

    Oracle VirtualBox is open source and comes in the basic package and is "licensed under the GNU General Public License V2". Additional extension packs can be downloaded for added functionality like USB 2.0, 3.0, remote desktop support Protocol, Host webcam passthrough, Intel PXE boot ROM,Experimental support for PCI passthrough on Linux hosts, Disk image encryption with AES algorithm.

    For in depth explanation and for downloads see the manual page:https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/UserManual.html

    VirtualBox will download and install like any other software. If you are familiar with this process you just download and install. See section 1.6 in the manual for more info.

    Once you have the VB install you are ready to install your guest OS be it Linux or Windows or any other OS that is on this list taken from the manual.

    Currently, Oracle VM VirtualBox runs on the following host OSes:
    • Windows hosts (64-bit):
      • Windows 7
      • Windows 8
      • Windows 8.1
      • Windows 10 RTM (1507) build 10240
      • Windows 10 November Update (1511) build 10586
      • Windows 10 Anniversary Update (1607) build 14393
      • Windows 10 Creators Update (1703) build 15063
      • Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (1709) build 16299
      • Windows 10 April 2018 Update (1803) build 17134
      • Windows 10 October 2018 Update (1809) build 17763
      • Windows Server 2008 R2
      • Windows Server 2012
      • Windows Server 2012 R2
      • Windows Server 2016
      • Windows Server 2019
    • Mac OS X hosts (64-bit):
      • 10.12 (Sierra)
      • 10.13 (High Sierra)

      • 10.14 (Mojave)
      Intel hardware is required. See also Chapter 14, Known Limitations.

    • Linux hosts (64-bit). Includes the following:
      • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, 18.04 LTS and 18.10
      • Debian GNU/Linux 9 ("Stretch")
      • Oracle Linux 6 and 7
      • Redhat Enterprise Linux 6 and 7
      • Fedora 28 and 29
      • Gentoo Linux
      • SUSE Linux Enterprise server 12 and 15
      • suspense Leap 42.3 and 15.
    To install your first guest OS follow these instructions from the manual:

    1.7. Starting Oracle VM VirtualBox
    After installation, you can start Oracle VM VirtualBox as follows:

    • On a Windows host, in the Programs menu, click on the item in the VirtualBox group. On Vista or Windows 7, you can also enter VirtualBox in the search box of the Start menu.
    • On a Mac OS X host, in the Finder, double-click on the VirtualBox item in the Applications folder. You may want to drag this item onto your Dock.
    • On a Linux or Oracle Solaris host, depending on your desktop environment, an Oracle VM VirtualBox item may have been placed in either the System or System Tools group of your Applications menu. Alternatively, you can enter VirtualBox in a terminal window.
    When you start Oracle VM VirtualBox for the first time, a window like the following is displayed:

    Figure 1.2. VirtualBox Manager Window, After Initial Startup

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    This window is called the VirtualBox Manager. The left pane will later list all your virtual machines. Since you have not yet created any virtual machines, this list is empty. The Tools button provides access to user tools, such as the Virtual Media Manager.

    The pane on the right displays the properties of the currently selected virtual machine. Since you do not have any machines yet, the pane displays a welcome message.

    The buttons on the right pane are used to create and work with VMs.

    The following figure gives an idea of what Oracle VM VirtualBox might look like after you have created some VMs.

    Figure 1.3. VirtualBox Manager Window, After Creating Virtual Machines

    eaef4aaabe1405785f96db8394e53811.png

    1.8. Creating Your First Virtual Machine

    Click New in the VirtualBox Manager window. A wizard is shown, to guide you through setting up a new virtual machine (VM).

    Figure 1.4. Creating a New Virtual Machine: Name and Operating System

    57e336c2fbf79c40975531ff70e3438b.png

    On the following pages, the wizard will ask you for the bare minimum of information that is needed to create a VM, in particular:
    1. The Name of the VM will later be shown in the machine list of the VirtualBox Manager window, and it will be used for the VM's files on disk. Even though any name can be used, bear in mind that if you create a few VMs, you will appreciate if you have given your VMs rather informative names."My VM" would thus be less useful than "Windows XP SP2 with OpenOffice", for example.
    2. The Machine Folder is the location where VMs are stored on your computer. The default folder location is shown.
    3. For Operating System Type select the OS that you want to install later. The supported OSes are grouped. If you want to install something very unusual that is not listed, select Other. Depending on your selection, Oracle VM VirtualBox will enable or disable certain VM settings that your guest OS may require. This is particularly important for 64-bit guests. See Section 3.1.2, “64-bit Guests”. It is therefore recommended to always set it to the correct value.
    4. On the next page, select the Memory (RAM) that Oracle VM VirtualBox should allocate every time the virtual machine is started. The amount of memory given here will be taken away from your host machine and presented to the guest OS, which will report this size as the virtual computer's installed RAM.
      Caution
      Choose this setting carefully. The memory you give to the VM will not be available to your host OS while the VM is running, so do not specify more than you can spare. For example, if your host machine has 1 GB of RAM and you enter 512 MB as the amount of RAM for a particular virtual machine, while that VM is running, you will only have 512 MB left for all the other software on your host. If you run two VMs at the same time, even more memory will be allocated for the second VM, which may not even be able to start if that memory is not available. On the other hand, you should specify as much as your guest OS and your applications will require to run properly.

      A Windows XP guest will require at least a few hundred MB of RAM to run properly, and Windows Vista will not install with less than 512 MB. If you want to run graphics-intensive applications in your VM, you may require even more RAM.

      As a rule of thumb, if you have 1 GB of RAM or more in your host computer, it is usually safe to allocate 512 MB to each VM. In any case, make sure you always have at least 256 to 512 MB of RAM left on your host OS. Otherwise you may cause your host OS to excessively swap out memory to your hard disk, effectively bringing your host system to a standstill.

      As with the other settings, you can change this setting later, after you have created the VM.

    5. Next, you must specify a Virtual Hard Disk for your VM.

      There are many and potentially complicated ways in which Oracle VM VirtualBox can provide hard disk space to a VM, see Chapter 5, Virtual Storage, but the most common way is to use a large image file on your "real" hard disk, whose contents Oracle VM VirtualBox presents to your VM as if it were a complete hard disk. This file represents an entire hard disk then, so you can even copy it to another host and use it with another Oracle VM VirtualBox installation.

      The wizard displays the following window:

      Figure 1.5. Creating a New Virtual Machine: Hard Disk
    6. 4da1264645973dc63a19e88c53a93bd3.png
      At this screen, you have the following options:
      • To create a new, empty virtual hard disk, click the Create button.
      • You can pick an existing disk image file.

        The drop-down list presented in the window lists all disk images which are currently remembered by Oracle VM VirtualBox. These disk images are currently attached to a virtual machine, or have been attached to a virtual machine.

        Alternatively, click on the small folder icon next to the drop-down list. In the displayed file dialog, you can click Add to select any disk image file on your host disk.
      If you are using Oracle VM VirtualBox for the first time, you will want to create a new disk image. Click the Create button.

      This displays another window, the Create Virtual Hard Disk Wizard wizard. This wizard helps you to create a new disk image file in the new virtual machine's folder.

      Oracle VM VirtualBox supports the following types of image files:
      • A dynamically allocated file will only grow in size when the guest actually stores data on its virtual hard disk. It will therefore initially be small on the host hard drive and only later grow to the size specified as it is filled with data.
      • A fixed-size file will immediately occupy the file specified, even if only a fraction of the virtual hard disk space is actually in use. While occupying much more space, a fixed-size file incurs less overhead and is therefore slightly faster than a dynamically allocated file.

      For details about the differences, see Section 5.2, “Disk Image Files (VDI, VMDK, VHD, HDD)”.

      To prevent your physical hard disk from running full, Oracle VM VirtualBox limits the size of the image file. Still, it needs to be large enough to hold the contents of your OS and the applications you want to install. For a modern Windows or Linux guest, you will probably need several gigabytes for any serious use. The limit of the image file size can be changed later, see Section 8.24, “VBoxManage modifymedium”.

      Figure 1.6. Creating a New Virtual Machine: File Location and Size
    7. a17d014694e4f52eba5c7d21b7cf41d7.png
      After having selected or created your image file, click Next to go to the next page.

    8. Click Create, to create your new virtual machine. The virtual machine is displayed in the list on the left side of the VirtualBox Manager window, with the name that you entered initially.
    Note
    After becoming familiar with the use of wizards, consider using the Expert Mode available in some wizards. Where available, this is select able using a button, and speeds up the process of using wizards.

    Starting a New VM for the First Time
    When a VM is started for the first time, the First Start Wizard, is displayed. This wizard helps you to select an installation medium. Since the VM is created empty, it would otherwise behave just like a real computer with no OS installed. It will do nothing and display an error message that no bootable OS was found.

    For this reason, the wizard helps you to select a medium to install an OS from.

    • If you have physical CD or DVD media from which you want to install your guest OS, such as a Windows installation CD or DVD, put the media into your host's CD or DVD drive.

      In the wizard's drop-down list of installation media, select Host Drive with the correct drive letter. In the case of a Linux host, choose a device file. This will allow your VM to access the media in your host drive, and you can proceed to install from there.

    • If you have downloaded installation media from the Internet in the form of an ISO image file such as with a Linux distribution, you would normally burn this file to an empty CD or DVD and proceed as described above. With Oracle VM VirtualBox however, you can skip this step and mount the ISO file directly. Oracle VM VirtualBox will then present this file as a CD or DVD-ROM drive to the virtual machine, much like it does with virtual hard disk images.

      In this case, the wizard's drop-down list contains a list of installation media that were previously used with Oracle VM VirtualBox.

      If your medium is not in the list, especially if you are using Oracle VM VirtualBox for the first time, click the small folder icon next to the drop-down list to display a standard file dialog. Here you can pick an image file on your host disks.
    After completing the choices in the wizard, you will be able to install your OS.

    Saving the State of the Machine
    When you click on the Close button of your virtual machine window, at the top right of the window, just like you would close any other window on your system, Oracle VM VirtualBox asks you whether you want to save or power off the VM. As a shortcut, you can also press Host key + Q.

    Figure 1.8. Closing Down a Virtual Machine

    e9b0abac33ab5bcef66a7fa554f4d2df.png

    The difference between the three options is crucial. They mean the following:
    • Save the machine state: With this option, Oracle VM VirtualBox freezes the virtual machine by completely saving its state to your local disk.

      When you start the VM again later, you will find that the VM continues exactly where it was left off. All your programs will still be open, and your computer resumes operation. Saving the state of a virtual machine is thus in some ways similar to suspending a laptop computer by closing its lid.

    • Send the shutdown signal. This will send an ACPI shutdown signal to the virtual machine, which has the same effect as if you had pressed the power button on a real computer. So long as the VM is running a fairly modern OS, this should trigger a proper shutdown mechanism from within the VM.

    • Power off the machine: With this option, Oracle VM VirtualBox also stops running the virtual machine, but without saving its state.

      Warning
      This is equivalent to pulling the power plug on a real computer without shutting it down properly. If you start the machine again after powering it off, your OS will have to reboot completely and may begin a lengthy check of its virtual system disks. As a result, this should not normally be done, since it can potentially cause data loss or an inconsistent state of the guest system on disk.

      As an exception, if your virtual machine has any snapshots, see Section 1.11, “Snapshots”, you can use this option to quickly restore the current snapshot of the virtual machine. In that case, powering off the machine will not disrupt its state, but any changes made since that snapshot was taken will be lost.
    The Discard button in the VirtualBox Manager window discards a virtual machine's saved state. This has the same effect as powering it off, and the same warnings apply.
    All this information and a more in depth look into VM see the manual at:https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/UserManual.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2019
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