How To Use Ubuntu On Windows 10 Using Virtualbox

Introduction

This post will show you how to download and use Ubuntu on Windows 10 in such a way that will won’t harm Windows.

The upside to following this tutorial is that Ubuntu will only run when you tell it to and it doesn’t require any special partitioning of your disks.

The method used to install Ubuntu is to download a piece of software called Virtualbox from Oracle which allows you to run other operating systems as virtual computers on top of your current operating system which in your case is Windows 10.

Requirements

If you want to use Ubuntu on Windows 10 you will need to download the following applications:

Requirements To Use Ubuntu On Windows 10

  1. Download Oracle Virtualbox
  2. Download Ubuntu
  3. Download Virtualbox guest additions
  4. Install Virtualbox
  5. Create a Ubuntu virtual machine
  6. Install Ubuntu
  7. Install Virtualbox Guest Additions

Download Oracle VistualBox

Use Ubuntu On Windows 10

Where To Download Virtualbox

In order to download Virtualbox go to www.virtualbox.org and click on the large download button in the middle of the screen.

Download Ubuntu

Use Ubuntu On Windows 10

Ubuntu Download Page

In order to download Ubuntu visit Ubuntu download center.

Ubuntu 17.04, 17.10 and beyond are the latest releases and have more up to date developments which may or are not available in 16.04. The upgrade process is not a big deal but obviously it requires more effort than just installing 16.04 and leaving it.

Support lifespan

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS will be supported for 5 years for Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu Core, and Ubuntu Kylin. All other flavours will be supported for 3 years.

Download Virtualbox Guest Addition

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Download Virtualbox Guest Additions

In order to use Ubuntu on Windows 10 and run the Ubuntu virtual machine in full screen mode at a suitable resolution. Virtualbox guest additions makes it possible.

In order to download Virtualbox guest additions go to download.virtualbox.org

You will see a lot of links on this page. Click on the link that you want to install.

Once the next page opens click on the link for VBoxGuestAdditions.iso (There will be a version number as part of the link i.e. VBoxGuestAdditions_5_0_6.iso).

Click on the link and let the file get download on your system.

How To Install VirtualBox

Open your download folder. Click on the Virtualbox application file you downloaded earlier on. The Virtualbox setup wizard will open now. Click on “Next” to start the installation process.

Select The Path Where To Install Virtualbox

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Choose where to install virtualbox

The next screen will let you select the Virtualbox installation options.

There is absolutely no reason not to select the defaults unless you want to choose a different installation location in which case click on “Browse” and navigate to where you wish to install Virtualbox.

Click “Next” to continue.

Create VirtualBox Shortcut Icons

Use Ubuntu On Windows 10

Creating Virtualbox Desktop Icons

You will now see the option to create shortcuts, either on the desktop and/or the quick launch bar and whether to register file associations such as VDI files to Virtualbox.

It depends on you whether you want to create shortcuts. Windows 10 is really convenient to navigate with the powerful search button so you might decide not to bother creating either of the shortcuts.

Click “Next” to continue.

Virtualbox Warns You About Resetting Network Connections

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Virtualbox Network Interface Warning

A warning message will appear telling that your network connection will temporarily be reset. If this is a problem to you right now then click “No” and come back to the tutorial at a later stage otherwise click “Yes”.

Installing VirtualBox

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Installing VirtualBox

Now we are finally at the point of installing Virtualbox. Click the “Install” button.

A security message will appear asking whether you are sure you wish to install Virtualbox and halfway through the install you will be asked whether you want to install the Oracle Universal Serial Bus device software. Click “Install”.

Creating A Ubuntu Virtual Machine

Install Ubuntu On Windows 10

Creating A Ubuntu Virtual Machine

You can start Virtualbox simply by selecting the “Start Oracle VM Virtualbox after installation” and clicking “Finish” or for future reference click the Windows Start button and search for virtualbox.

Click on the “New” button on the taskbar.

Select The Type Of Virtual Machine

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Name Your VM

Type your machine name. Personally I think it is a good idea to go for the Linux distribution name (i.e. Ubuntu) and the version number (16.04, 17.04, 17.10 etc). For example Ubuntu 16.04.

Select “Linux” as the type and “Ubuntu” as the version. Make sure you choose the correct version based on whether you have a 32-bit or 64-bit system.

Click “Next” to continue.

How Much Memory You Will Assign To Your Virtual Machine

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Set VM Memory Size

You now have to configure how much of your computer’s memory you will assign to the virtual machine.

Here you cannot assign all of your system’s memory to the virtual machine as you need to leave enough for Windows to continue running as well as any other programs that you have running within Windows system.

The minimum you should consider assigning to Ubuntu is 2 GB which is 2048 MB. The more you can give the better but don’t go overboard. As you can see I have 8 GB of memory and I have assigned 4 GB to the Ubuntu virtual machine.

Note: The amount of memory you set aside is only used whilst the virtual machine is running.

Scroll the slider to the amount you want to assign and click on “Next”.

Create A Virtual Hard Drive (VHD)

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Create A VHD

After assigning memory to the virtual machine you now have to set hard drive space. Select the “Create a virtual hard disk now” option and click “Create”.

There are a number of different hard drive types that you can choose from. Choose “VDI” and click “Next”.

There are two ways to create the virtual hard drive:

  1. Dynamically allocated
  2. Fixed size

If you select dynamically allocated it will only use space as it is required. So if you set 20 GB aside for the virtual hard drive and only 6 is required then only 6 will be used. As you install more applications the extra space will be allocated as necessary.

This is more efficient in terms of disk space usage but is not so good for performance because you have to wait for the space to be allocated before you can use it.

The fixed size option allocates all the space you request straight away. This is less efficient in terms of disk space usage because you may have set aside space you never actually use but it is better for performance. Personally I believe this to be the better option as your computer generally has more disk space than memory and CPU power.

Choose the option you prefer and click “Next”.

Finally you are at the stage of setting how much space you want to configure for Ubuntu. The minimum is about 10 GB but the more you can spare the better. You don’t have to go overboard though. If you are just installing Ubuntu in a virtual machine to test it out go for a smaller amount.

When you are ready click “Create” to continue.

Set The Size Of Your Virtual Hard Drive

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Set Size Of VHD

Finally you are at the stage of setting how much space you wish to give to Ubuntu. The minimum is about 10 GB but the more you can spare the better. You don’t have to go overboard though. If you are just installing Ubuntu in a virtual machine to test it out go for a smaller amount.

When you are ready click “Create” to continue.

Installing Ubuntu On Virtual Machine

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Selecting Ubuntu ISO

The VM has now been created but it is like a computer that doesn’t have an OS installed yet.

The first thing to do is to boot into Ubuntu. Click the start button on the toolbar.

This is the point where you need to select the Ubuntu ISO file you downloaded earlier. Click on the folder icon next to the “Host Drive” dropdown.

Navigate to the download folder and click on the Ubuntu disc image and then click on “Open”.

Start The Ubuntu Installer

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Install Ubuntu

Click on the “Start” button.

Ubuntu should load into the little window and you will have the option to try Ubuntu or install Ubuntu.

Click on the “Install Ubuntu” option.

Check Your VM Meets The Pre-requisites

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Ubuntu Pre-requisites

A list of pre-requisites will be displayed. Basically you need to make sure your machine has enough power (i.e. plug it in if you are using a laptop), has over 6.6 gigabytes of disk space and is connected to the internet.

You also have the option of downloading updates while installing and to install third party software.

If you have a good internet connection check the download updates option otherwise uncheck it and leave the updates to install at a later on or post installation.

I recommend selecting the install third party software option as it will allow you to play MP3 audio and watch Flash videos.

Click “Continue”.

Select The Installation Type

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Select Installation Type

The next step lets you decide how to install Ubuntu. As you are using a virtual machine select the “Erase disk and install Ubuntu” option.

Do not worry. This will not erase your physical hard drive. It will just install Ubuntu in the virtual hard drive created earlier on.

Click “Install Now”.

A notification will appear showing you the changes that will be made to your disk. Again this is only your virtual hard drive and so it is safe to click “Continue”.

Select Your Location

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Select Your Location

You will now be required to select where you live. You can either select the place on the map or type it into the box available.

Click “Continue”.

Select Your Keyboard Layout

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Keyboard Layout Selection

The penultimate step is to choose your keyboard layout.

You may find that the correct layout has already been chosen but it isn’t try clicking on the “Detect Keyboard Layout” option.

If that doesn’t work, click on the language for your keyboard in the left panel and then choose the physical layout in the right pane.

Click “Continue”.

Create A User

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Create A User

The final step is to create a user.

Type your name in to the box provided and give your virtual machine a name.

Now type a username and enter a password to associate with that user. (repeat the password as required).

The other options are to log in automatically or require a password to log in. You can also choose to encrypt your home folder to secure it.

As it is a virtual machine you may as well go for the “Log in automatically” option but I would recommend always selecting the “Require my password to log in”.

Click “Continue”.

Ubuntu will now be installed.

When the installation has finished click the File menu and click on close.

You have the option to save the machine state, send the shutdown signal or power off the machine. Choose power off the machine and click OK.

Recommended for you: Try Ubuntu without installing it on your PC

Installing Guest Additions

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Add An Optical Drive To Virtualbox

The next step is to install the guest additions.

Click on the settings icon on the VirtualBox toolbar

Click on the storage option and then click on IDE and choose the little circle with a plus symbol icon which adds a new optical drive.

An option will appear asking you to choose which disk to insert into the optical drive. Click on the “Choose disk” button.

Navigate to the downloads folder and click on the “VBoxGuestAdditions” disc image and select “Open”.

Click “OK” to close the settings window.

When you are back at the main screen click the start button on the toolbar.

Open The VirtualBox Guest Additions CD In Ubuntu

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Open The Virtualbox Guest Additions CD Folder

Ubuntu will boot for the first time but you won’t be able to use it as full screen until the guest additions are properly get installed.

Click on the CD icon at the bottom of the launcher panel on the left and make sure there are files for VirtualBox Guest Additions.

Right click on an empty area where the list of files are and choose open in terminal.

Installing Virtualbox Guest Additions

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Install Virtualbox Guest Additions

Type the following into the terminal window:

sudo sh ./VBoxLinuxAdditions.run

Finally you need to reboot the your VM.

Click on the little cog symbol in the top right corner and select shutdown.

You will be given the choice to restart or shutdown. Select “Restart”.

When the VM restarts choose the “View” menu and select “Full Screen Mode”.

A message will appear stating you that you can toggle between full screen and windowed mode by holding down the right CTRL key and F.

Click “Switch” to continue.

Outcome

Congratulations! You should now have successfully installed Ubuntu as a virtual machine within Windows 10. So why you are waiting, go ahead and use use Ubuntu on Windows 10.

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