Installing VirtualBox

We will set up a Linux machine on your development system. To do this, we need a virtual machine engine, which is a program designed to act like a real computer. There are several possible such engines available:

  • VMware - used in our labs (a commercial product available on all platforms)

    • VirtualBox - a free tool from Oracle (which we will use here)
    • Parallels - a commercial product for Mac

VMware seems to be the most advanced engine, but it is complex. There is a free version of this product, which is what is installed on lab machines. I prefer to use the VirtualBox engine these days.

Note

There is a free add-on package for VirtualBox that I will demonstrate in class. This package is called Vagrant, a tool that lets you spin up virtual machines for testing with a simple text file that controls the whole process. More on that later.

To install VirtualBox on a PC, you need to navigate to the product website and download the correct installer. I am going to demonstrate installing this tool on my Windows 10 system.

Here is the link I used to get the Windows installer:

Launch this program by double-clicking on the program file name in Windows Explorer:

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Click on “next” to proceed.

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You can accept the default location for this program. Click “Next” to continue

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Again, the defaults are fine. Click “Next” to continue.

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Here, the installer is warning you that you might lose access to the Internet during the installation. No streaming video should be going on! Click “Next” to continue.

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Now, we are ready to install the program. Click “Install” to continue.

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At this point, the installation will begin. The installer will copy files into place. You will probably see this pop-up during the process.

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Click on “Install” to let drivers be installed.

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The installation should complete with no problems. Click on “Finish” when this screen appears.

Now that you have VirtualBox installed, we need to create a real virtual machine running Linux. That is the topic of our next lecture!