How to install Ubuntu on Windows 10 with VirtualBox without messing with your PC


There are several reasons for wanting to use Ubuntu occasionally: to experiment, to take a screenshot, to try out a game, etc. To give Ubuntu that once in a while look without disturbing your PC at all, there is a very efficient way: install Ubuntu on Windows 10 with VirtualBox and here we explain how.

With VirtualBox, you install the Ubuntu distro and run it as a virtual machine.. We will explain step by step how to install VirtualBox first and then install the distro inside it, it is very easy. The best thing about this is that Ubuntu runs as if it were on a separate PC. Go for it.

Requirements to install Ubuntu on Windows with VirtualBox

To install VirtualBox and then Ubuntu you need your computer to meet the following requirements:

  • 4GB RAM for Windows 7.
  • 8GB RAM for Windows 8 and Windows 10.
  • Free hard disk space of minimum 100 GB.
  • Intel or AMD processor more than two cores with virtualization support.
  • Enable in BIOS the processor virtualization functions (very important).

What is VirtualBox and how to install it?

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VirtualBox is a free Oracle application with which you can create a virtual machine. It’s great for installing and testing other systems, capturing screens, and even running games. It will not work as if you had installed it as the main operating system, but We have tested it and it works quite well.. To download VirtualBox, you can do it directly from its official website by pressing the following button:

Download VirtualBox

Download the two files marked with the red arrows in the following image. As you can see, a “VirtualBox Extension Pack” is included that we will use later.

download virtualbox and extension package

We also recommend you that you download the latest version of “Ubuntu 64-bit” while you do the process of installing VirtualBox. You can download Ubuntu from its official page by pressing the following button:

Download Linux Ubuntu 64-bit

download ubuntu

Returning to where we were, Once you have downloaded VirtualBox, you run it and the window opens where you click on «Next». Then a window appears showing what features you want to install and where to do it. We recommend that you leave it as it is and click «Next», to unless your knowledge is sufficient and you want to achieve something specific.

box 1 Ubuntu VirtualB

Once you advance, the third step is the window for you to put a shortcut icon or «Shortcut». This is to your preference; we select “Create shortcut on the desktop” which creates the icon on the desktop and we recommend leaving “Register file associations” selected, so that VirtualBox opens whatever is associated with the type of file it handles. The fourth step is a window that warns you that it is going to start installing and that in the process you may lose your internet connection, so that take precautions and you will not lose anything. When you review and are sure you can click on “Yes”.

box 2 Ubuntu Virtualb

Then a box appears asking you confirm the installation again, press «Install». Once the PC completes its process, a box confirming the correct installation appears.

box 3 Ubuntu VirtualBox

Is left over install the “VirtualBox Extension Pack”. Double click on the downloaded file and VirtualBox will open (if you haven’t already opened it). It then asks you to accept the license conditions, does the installation and gives you a confirmation message.

box 4 Ubuntu VirtualBox

Ready, you can now start using VirtualBox. Now we go with the installation of Ubuntu.

How to create a virtual machine in VirtualBox

We start by opening VirtualBox by then press the «New» button. A window then opens where we will identify that space/virtual machine in the “Name” section, which is very important so that you can clearly identify if you intend to open other virtual machines.

We will leave the “Machine folder” by default, but if you want a specific folder you can do it. Once you put the name “Ubuntu” the “Type: Linux” and the “Version: Ubuntu (64-bit)” automatically appear. Make sure you do it like this, if you do not select those parameters, because it is what you are going to install. Once everything is done, press «Next».

box 5 Ubuntu VirtualBox

In the next step you will choose the size of the RAM that VirtualBox will use. The minimum is 1024 MB and it is recommended not to put less than 2000 MB (2 GB). We are going to put 3046 MB (3 GB) because we want it to work comfortably, but this is to your liking and needs. After pressing «Next» we enter to choose the hard disk, where let’s create a virtual hard drive and click on “Create”

picture 6 install Ubuntu on Windows with VirtualBox

Then the installation will ask you what hard drive file type want:

  • VDI is the default format of VirtualBox.
  • VMDK separates the disk into 2GB sized files for systems that require it.
  • vhd it is for compatibility with other virtualization systems.

In our case we will use Ubuntu casually for some applications, tests and games, we have already installed it and it works very well, it is like another separate operating system with a little delay (although if your PC is powerful you will not have lag). If you are going to use normal Ubuntu you can select “VDI” and you hit «Next».

If you are thinking of deeper uses, it is up to you to choose the type of hard disk file that suits you. In the next window it will allow you to choose the type of storage. The differences between «Dynamic Reserved» and «Fixed Size» are very well explained in the window. For purposes of this installation we recommend «Dynamic Reserved» and we prevent that virtual hard drive from taking up unnecessary space.

box 7 Ubuntu VirtualBox

It then asks you the size you want for that virtual hard drive. Ubuntu recommends 25 GB and VirtualBox 10 GB. We are going to place 30 GB and it is more than enough, but remember that this depends on the use that you are going to give to your virtual machine. If you are going to use Ubuntu to store a lot of things and you have a physical hard drive with good capacity memory, consider a larger virtual hard disk size. When you press the create button you will see the VirtualBox window with the virtual space created and with all the characteristics that we have already selected and others of your PC.

box 8 install Ubuntu VirtualBox

How to install Ubuntu in VirtualBox

We are going to finish the process of how to install Ubuntu on Windows with VirtualBox without disturbing your PC. Once inside VirtualBox with the virtual machine created, we are going to press the “Settings” button. Enter the «Storage» section.

Once there, click where it says “Empty” below where it says “Controller: IDE”. We go to the upper right of the window and press the light blue disk that displays a sub-menu, where you are going to select the downloaded Ubuntu file ending in “.iso”.

When closing the «Settings» window, You should already have a green arrow called “Start” activated. If you do not have it activated there is a problem: or you did not choose the folder where the Ubuntu installation file “.iso” is located correctly or you have not activated in the BIOS of your PC the option for the machine to accept virtualization. Go into BIOS and search for “Intel Virtualization Technology” or “SVM Mode”… activate it, save and exit the BIOS. Once in Windows, enter VirtualBox again and the green arrow should already be activated.

box 9 ubuntu

Pressing “Start” will begin the Ubuntu installation, with a system check. A screen appears where you select Spanish as the language and offers you to try or install Ubuntu. To make sure everything is working (this is also done to see if you like that distro, as there are many Linux distros), let’s test it first and then install it, so you are going to press “Try Ubuntu”. It will open the Ubuntu desktop as if it were installed. Everything works fine yes, but it is not installed.

ubuntu box 10

Before continuing, let’s modify the display settings, so that the windows are not cut in the installation and it is more comfortable. In the upper right corner we open “Settings”, select “Monitors” and choose the screen resolution. We recommend 1360X768 which opens a large window with no scroll bars, but this may vary depending on your PC’s features, choose the one that suits you. Once this is done press the “Install Ubuntu” icon on the desktop, choose Spanish language, select the Spanish keyboard and click on «Normal installation». You can also have it on the latest version by choosing “Download updates when downloading Ubuntu”.

box 11 ubuntu

It may be that the screen resolution becomes smaller again and what you have to do is (without leaving the installation) go back into settings in the upper right corner and put it back to 1360X768 or the one you chose. Continuing with the installation, an installation type window will appear. There you are going to leave selected “Erase disk and install Ubuntu” that it won’t actually delete anything from your physical hard drive, because remember that it is a dynamic virtual disk that you have created before. You are going to press “Install Now”.

Then a screen will appear for you to select where you are. Then it will ask you to enter your data. You have to enter a password, but if you select «Login automatically» you will not be prompted for a password to enter Ubuntu when you enter through VirtualBox. We click on “Continue”.

box 12 ubuntu

Ready, Ubuntu will finish upgrading and complete the installation. It may ask you to update or activate some apps and features; that will depend on you.

ubuntu9

You already know how to install Ubuntu on Windows with VirtualBox without disturbing your PC. There are other ways to use Linux on a Windows PC, such as the new WSL update, WSLg, oriented towards developers and that can now run a complete distro graphically. If you want to see details of this you can click here. But if you are not a developer, this installation with Virtual Box is very easy and works very well.. We hope we have helped you.

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