Beforehand, it is used to be difficult to run multiple operating systems on a single machine. One has to do dual-booting i.e. to install the new OS directly onto your hard disk without removing the previous OS. This would increase the chance of losing precious data and cause many problems while working on multiple operating systems. Now it is easier after the development of free virtual machine software VirtualBox. Let us know what it is, how it works, how to install it and advantages of VirtualBox in this post.
What is VirtualBox?
VirtualBox is an open source software developed by Oracle after taking in mind the community backed ideas for running more than one operating system on a single physical system. It is a 86 bit and 64 bit AMD or Intel core processor supported cross-platform virtualization software for personal as well as professional developers use.
It is a software where you can create, run, manage multiple operating systems in a single unit with the help of virtual machines and even switch between operating systems running at the same time freely. That means, for example – you can run Linux, Solaris, etc. based operating systems on your Windows operating system or any other operating system which is your real host OS and switch among them without any problem.
It supports a large number of Windows, Solaris, Linux, Mac, etc or any guest operating systems without any limitation. Apart from these, it provides a platform to the professional developers and new learners to run or experiment their own self-made operating systems for checking the interfaces without causing any problem to the real host operating system.
How does it work?
Oracle VM Virtual Box is a high-performance product which contains a never-ending list of supported guest operating systems, features and platforms to run even an unknown self-made custom OS into its own virtual environment. VirtualBox provides a virtual version of your CPU and Memory to its guest OS which means it provides the virtual version of the hardware or software to another software. VirtualBox consists of virtual machines which act as an interpreter between host OS and guest OS. VM’s takes care of the process priority, process IDs, virtual memory management etc. between host OS and guest OS so that the VirtualBox processes seem to be normal by the host OS. VirtualBox emulates hard disks in one of many disk image formats such as:- VDI(VirtualBox Disk Image), VMDK, VHD etc. which stores data in files bearing “.vdi”, “.vdmk”, “.vhd” etc. filename extension respectively.
How to install any OS on virtual box?
At first, download the VirtualBox software by CLICKING HERE and install it on your computer system. Then to install any operating system on it you have to do the following steps:-
(Important:- Remember to insert the bootable DVD of your desired operating system on CD/DVD ROM drive or else locate the ISO file of the OS if it is stored on your hard drive when VirtualBox will look for it.)
Step 1:- Open the VirtualBox software and then click ‘New’ option from the top left toolbar.
Step 2:- Then input the Name, Type, and Version of your desired operating system into the ‘Create Virtual Machine’ dialog box and click ‘Next’.
Step 3:- Select your desired RAM in megabytes to be allocated to the virtual machine and then click ‘Next’.
Step 4:- Click the ‘Create a virtual hard drive now’ option to create a new virtual hard drive or click the ‘Use an existing virtual hard drive’ if you already have an existing virtual hard drive and then click ‘Next’
Step 5:- Now choose the type of file that you would like to use for the new virtual hard drive. If you do not need to use it with other virtualization software you can leave this setting unchanged and click ‘Next’.
Step 6:- Then choose whether your new virtual hard drive should grow as it is used (dynamically allocated) or if it should be created at its maximum size (fixed size) and click ‘Next’.
Step 7:- At the next dialog box, now type the name of your virtual hard drive into the box below or click on the folder icon on the right side of the box to select a different folder to create the file in. Also, select the size of the virtual hard drive in megabytes and then click ‘Create’.
Step 8:- Now your virtual machine will be created on the left sidebar. Click the ‘Start’ option from the top toolbar to start your guest OS. It will ask for the bootable DVD or ISO file location for executing your desired operating system. After finishing this process you can run another guest operating system virtually.
- One can enjoy android or ios based applications on VirtualBox after installing the related operating systems.
- While experimenting, users can save every particular state of the task done on virtual machines with the help of ‘snapshot’ feature so that if something goes wrong they can revert back to their desired state to do it once again without losing important data.
- Students, as well as professional developers, can learn, work or even check the functionality of different OS or self-made custom OS on their host operating system. VirtualBox also possesses 3D support and OS cloning system.
- It reduces hardware costs by running multiple operating systems on a single machine which would have needed different physical systems for different OS.
- If anyone wants to exploit the full performance and utilize the full potential of their computer systems, they can use VirtualBox.