When you need to run some tests on your computer or just be curious about how a system is, it can be very laborious to have to format the machine and then reinstall everything in it to reuse it normally. For these cases, there is a more effective alternative to virtual machines that can simulate computers and install test operating systems without affecting what you have on your machine.
VirtualBox, in turn, is one of the most used programs for this purpose and can be used in many systems such as Windows, Linux or Mac. Here’s how to create and use virtual machines in VirtualBox:
Before proceeding, it should be noted that the performance of a virtual machine will not always be the same as a system that is installed directly on your computer. This, in fact, occurs because of a number of factors, from the configuration of your machine to the drivers supported by the system being emulated, which are not always appropriate for virtualization.
Requirements for running a virtual machine
As for the hardware requirements part, there is no recommended minimum configuration for using VirtualBox. However, it is suggested to follow some recommendations for emulation of a quality system. Look:
- Recent Intel or AMD processor;
- 512 MB of RAM, however, the more RAM you have, the better the speed of the virtual machine;
- The free disk space varies with the requirement of the system to be installed, so it is recommended to have a little more space than required to work with them.
In addition to these points mentioned above, to install a system on the virtual machine, of course, you will need the image of it. This file can be in ISO format or, if you have a CD / DVD player, it can also be used if you have the disc for installation.
Obtaining and Configuring VirtualBox
The program to be used for this task is free and its installation is very simple to be performed, where the virtual machine settings are that keep some secrets. Check out:
- Access this link from the official VirtualBox page and download it;
- After completing the download, perform your installation normally. It is not necessary to change any parameters during the process.
With the application installed, just for an organization issue, the first step is to define where the files of the virtual machines will be stored. Here’s how to proceed:
- Open the program and, in your home screen, click on “Preferences”;
- Under “Standard Folder for Machines”, click the “Down Arrow” and go to “Other …”. Select the desired location where the files will be saved;
- Close this configuration window by clicking “Ok”.
Made the step above, now comes the time to actually create the virtual machine, in which the first steps will be the selection of the system to be run. So, at this moment, you already have the image or disk file in hand that will install it. Here are the steps:
- Back in the VirtualBox home screen, click “New”;
- In “Name”, just define any name for the virtual machine. It will only serve to identify it in the initial list of the program;
- In “Type” and “Version”, you must select which system. If the operating system you are installing is not in the “Type” or “Version” list, there are “Others” options, which are for off-list items. That is, even if it is not listed, there is a chance that you can run what you want in VirtualBox;
- For this tutorial Linux Mint 32 bit was selected. Check the image of the machine configured for it;
- You should now set the amount of RAM destined for the virtual machine. The bar indicates by color how your performance will be, and what is recommended is always to keep it in the green;
- Finally, press “Create” to generate the “Hard Disk” and follow the generation guide. In it, you do not need to change parameters, unless you want a different size than stipulated by VirtualBox.
Now that the virtual machine is already created, it is almost ready to start. However, just like an ordinary computer, it requires a system so you can connect and be used. Look:
- In the left menu, select the virtual machine you just created and go to “Settings”;
- Note that the screen is different from the last time, because now you are touching the “Hardware” of the virtual machine;
- Click “Storage”, choose the “CD” icon and, next to the “Optical Drive” option, click the other “CD” and use the option you want to load the image file or your CD / DVD drive “;
- Click “Ok”.
Back to the screen starts the application, just double click on the name of the machine, which it will start. From this moment, you only need to perform the installation of the operating system, as you would have traditionally done on a computer.
Of course, in addition to what was shown above, when navigating other items in the settings, you can change parameters of the video card, emulated USB interfaces and other items, however, this is a more advanced part and will be shown in a next matter if you just want to test a system on your computer.
If you need help, have doubts or concerns, do not hesitate to leave a comment in the comment box below and we will try to help you as soon as possible!