Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sun xVM VirtualBox

You are MS Windows user and you are about to give a chance to GNU/Linux, but repartitioning your hard drive is a bit difficult and you need time to do this. You are reading the right post now. It is possible to install Slackware and other GNU/Linux operating systems on MS Windows as guest operating system through Sun xVM VirtualBox which is a powerful virtualization program freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). VirtualBox not only run on Windows hosts but also runs on Linux, Macintosh and OpenSolaris hosts and you can install one or more operating systems as guest on host operating system through VirtualBox. I have guest Slackware and guest Ubuntu on my host Slackware. This guest Slackware is my cavy for experimental use :). My brother also has a guest MS Windows XP installation on his Slackware box, because he needs MS Windows XP for the CAD/CAM software which has only Windows version. This software is preferred by his department for Computer Aided Drawing course.

Installation of VirtualBox is quite easy. Just download the binary package for your OS from the download page of VirtualBox and install it. For detailed installation instructions look at user manual on download page.

For Windows; download "VirtualBox-x.x.x-xxxxx-Win.exe" and just by clicking executable file complete the installation by the guidance of graphical windows installer.

There is no native binary package for Slackware on download page, but there is a binary package (*.run) for all Linux distributions. Download the executable binary package "VirtualBox-x.x.x-xxxxx-Linux.run" and execute file as root by

# ./VirtualBox-x.x.x-xxxxx-Linux.run


try to build VirtualBox package from SlackBuilds.org.

After installing VirtualBox, launch the program and start to build your virtual machine by clicking "New" button. First choose VM (Virtual Machine)
name and OS (Operating System) type, then set RAM size, create virtual HDD setting its size and finalize VM creation. Now using "Settings" menu for VM you have created, enable CD/DVD Drive, Floppy, USB and Audio and set video memory size. Be careful on that total virtual RAM and virtual video memory size must be consistent with size of your physical RAM. If total value of the size you assigned for VM's RAM and video memory exceeds the size of physical RAM, your computer get stuck. You can assign physical CD/DVD Drive or ISO Image as virtual machine's CD/DVD Drive, it depends on from which medium you will run guest OS installation. To install a guest OS on your VM, place installation medium, mount it and start VM. After some seconds VM will boot from bootable installation medium that you have inserted. Start installation and finish. After starting guest OS, do not forget to install "Guest Additions" package on guest OS for improvements.


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