How to Run Ubuntu in Virtual Machine From Windows


At work I now work a lot with Visual Studio on Windows 7 Professional. While I have to use Windows, I don't want to loose the functionality and power of Linux, so I run a virtual machine with Ubuntu Maverick. Both Windows and Linux run smoothly on my machine and I can share files among them. In this post I give some help for setting this up.

I chose Oracle's VirtualBox (also: VBox) as virtual machine. This decision was motivated mainly by speed. I tried Qemu and it was too slow to be usable. Bochs is also reputed to be slow, I didn't even try it. I found a performance comparison between VMWare, VirtualBox, KVM, and Xen. Most important I found operations per second on guest OS and I/O overhead. The reviewer concludes

To me, it seem that VMware and VirtualBox are the fastest virtual machine across the board. They have good CPU/memory performance, good disk access time and good network layer speed. 

KVM is, instead, a mixed beast: it has quite good CPU/memory and network speed, but it fail in the crucial I/O subsystem performance more often than not.

Xen is at the opposite end of the spectrum: it as respectable I/O access time but quite bad CPU/memory performance that, in turn, can badly influence network speed and CPU load also.

Installation of VBox is straightforward. It follows a short howto on sharing folders between a VirtualBox virtual machine with a Windows host and Linux guest OS.

  1. Install VirtualBox guest additions on the linux guest OS:
    1. in the running guest OS window, go to devices, install guest add-ons.
    2. make the VBox Additions iso available as drive: devices->CD/DVD->VBoxGuestAdditions.iso
    3. in the terminal (assuming the iso is automatically mounted as cd, which it is in Ubuntu): i) cd /media/VBOX... (exact name depends on version) ii) sudo sh VBOXLinuxAdditions-x86.run (or the corresponding 64 bit version)
    4. maybe you need to restart your guest OS.
  2. Share folder:
    1. in the VirtualBox guest OS window menu go to devices->shared folders and choose the host OS folder and a name for it under VirtualBox, say VBoxShare. You can choose permanent and can make it read-only if you want.
    2. in the guest OS linux terminal: sudo mkdir /media/WindowsShare; sudo mount -t vboxsf VBoxShare /media/WindowsShare
    3. you can put this also in fstab to have the share folder come up automatically on every boot: sudo gedit /etc/fstab

      VBoxShare /media/WindowsShare/ vboxsf defaults 0 0

Enjoy. Please leave a comment below for questions and suggestions.

3 Responses to "How to Run Ubuntu in Virtual Machine From Windows"

Hey thanks for the step by step information on how to run a virtual machine with Ubuntu. I was wondering if there was a way to share files among Windows and Linux. Thanks for the link to VirtualBox. I hope the installation is as easy as your illustration.

@Jason: Installation was easy as a pie. File sharing between host and guest is just a few clicks away.

Ι ωish this worκed propеrly on аnԁгoіd.

.. аlthough if it did I wοuld
ρгobably just maκe stuff liκe thіs аll dаy and
not get anythіng done...

my webρagе; cheap personal loans

  Subscribe to replies to this post

 
This conversation is missing your voice. Your feedback is appreciated.
Post a Comment


You can use some HTML tags, such as <b>, <i>, <a>

If you see a message that says "your request could not be processed" press preview first and then post.
 
You can follow the discussion of this post by subscribing.


 
You are free to include information from this article on your own site if you provide a backlink. You can use the following markup:
<a href="http://www.myoutsourcedbrain.com/2010/12/how-to-run-ubuntu-in-virtual-machine.html">How to Run Ubuntu in Virtual Machine From Windows</a>