Linux for Starters: Your Guide to Linux – Running VirtualBox – Part 20

This is a series that offers a gentle introduction to Linux for newcomers.

In computing, virtualization refers to the act of creating a virtual version of something, including virtual computer hardware platforms, storage devices, and computer network resources.

We will walk you through setting up a virtual machine running openSUSE. The words host and guest distinguish the software running on the machine from the software that runs on the virtual machine. For the purpose of this article, the host machine is running Ubuntu, the guest machine is OpenSUSE.

Software like VirtualBox allocates parts of the CPU, RAM, storage disk, and other components so that a virtual machine can use them to run properly. The virtual OS thinks that it’s running on a real system, but it runs just like any other program on your computer.

VirtualBox has a wide variety of uses. For a newcomer to Linux it lets them test a variety of different distros without messing up their existing setup. Think of the operating system running in a safe, sandboxed environment,.

With virtualization, you want as much RAM as possible, as you need RAM for the host operating system and the guest(s) operating systems. While 8GB is sufficient for many desktop uses, it’s insufficient for virtualization. We only recommend using VirtualBox if your machine has more than 8GB of RAM. The faster and more powerful your PC, the more that virtualization offers.

Enable Virtualization in the BIOS

You may need to access your computer’s BIOS and enable virtualization. The exact steps depends on your specific hardware, but if you need this step, the general procedure to follow is along the lines:

  • Access the PC BIOS when you boot the machine. The BIOS key is set by your manufacturer and could be F10, F2, F12, F1, or DEL.
  • Find and enable Intel Virtualization Technology (VTx);
  • Enable Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d);
  • Save the settings.

Page 2 – Download Guest OS / Install VirtualBox

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Set up host machine
Page 2 – Download Guest OS / Install VirtualBox
Page 3 – Create New Virtual Machine
Page 4 – Settings
Page 5 – Power on the Virtual Machine
Page 6 – Guest Additions
Page 7 – Snapshots & Cloning

All articles in this series:

Linux For Starters: Your Guide to Linux
Part 1 What is Linux? Why use Linux? What do I need?
Part 2 Choose a Linux distribution meeting your specific needs and requirements.
Part 3 Make a bootable Ubuntu USB stick in Windows.
Part 4 We show you how to install Ubuntu 21.04 on your hard disk.
Part 5 Things to do after installing Ubuntu.
Part 6 Navigating your way around the Desktop.
Part 7 Updating the system, install new software.
Part 8 Open source replacements for proprietary Windows desktop software.
Part 9 Get started with the power and flexibility of the terminal.
Part 10 We cover the basics of files and permissions.
Part 11 Getting help from your system.
Part 12 Learn all about the file system.
Part 13 Manipulating files from the shell.
Part 14 Maintain your system with these simple tips.
Part 15 Managing users on your system.
Part 16 Explore different desktops to GNOME 3.
Part 17 Gaming on Linux.
Part 18 Protect your privacy with this guide.
Part 19 Access the Windows desktop from Linux using a remote desktop client.

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