How to install Ubuntu on Windows (using VirtualBox)

We will install Ubuntu on Windows using VirtualBox. Other than virtualization the other way to install Ubuntu on Windows is to dual boot both operating systems but with dual boot you cannot share your files between your Windows and your Ubuntu and you need to restart your Windows computer every time you want to start your Ubuntu. Therefore I decided to show you in this video how to install Ubuntu on Windows using VirtualBox.

Download Ubuntu and VirtualBox

1) The first step is to download Ubuntu:
Once on the download page of Ubuntu, download the LTS version (Long Term Support). This will download the ISO file of Ubuntu.

2) The second step is to download VirtualBox:
Once on the download page of VirtualBox, select Windows hosts to download VirtualBox. This will download the executable file (exe) of VirtualBox.

Install VirtualBox

1) Then you need to install VirtualBox on your Mac, to do this double click on the exe file of VirtualBox that you just downloaded and follow the instructions to finalize the installation of VirtualBox.

2) You can now launch VirtualBox by double clicking on the VirtualBox shortcut on your Desktop or by typing VirtualBox in the search bar or by searching for VirtualBox in the Start menu.

Create the virtual machine

1) You now need to create the virtual machine. To do this, click on New and name it Ubuntu (Type: Linux, Version: Ubuntu (64-bit)) and click on Next.


2) Then select how much memory RAM you would like to assign to Ubuntu. Select 4096MB (4GB) if you have at least 8GB of RAM on your Windows or 2048MB (2GB) if you only have 4GB of RAM on your Windows. If you have less than 4GB of RAM on your Windows, try to assign 1024MB (1GB) and see if it works. Then click on Next.


3) Then select Create a virtual hard disk now to create the virtual hard disk and click on Create.


4) Next select VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image) and click on Next.


5) Then select Dynamically allocated and click on Next.


6) By default you will see 10GB of hard disk space, adjust it to 25GB (Ubuntu recommends 25GB minimum) and click on Create.


Install Ubuntu on Windows

Pre-configure your virtual machine

1) Once you have created the virtual machine you need to install Ubuntu on the virtual machine. To do this select the virtual machine newly created and click on Settings. Before we install Ubuntu you can click on General -> Advanced and select Bidirectional for both Shared Clipboard and Drag’n’Drop options. This will let you copy/paste and drag and drop between Windows and Ubuntu both ways. You can also click on System -> Processor and put 2 CPUs if you are still in the green zone and not in the red zone.



2) Now to install Ubuntu we will click on Storage and click on the CD/DVD-ROM (Empty) and on the right in Attributes / Optical Drive click on the CD/DVD-ROM and Choose Virtual Optical Disk File. Then select your Ubuntu ISO file downloaded earlier and click Open.


3) On a side note, if you need to share files between your Windows computer and Ubuntu you can click on Shared Folders and you will have the option to do that there by using a shared folder between your 2 operating systems. Now click OK.


Run the installation of Ubuntu

1) You now need to select the virtual machine and click on Start to turn the virtual machine on and it will start the installation of Ubuntu on Windows.

2) Next follow the instructions on the screen: select your language on the left and click on Install Ubuntu.


3) Then select your keyboard layout and click on Continue.


4) Next select Normal installation and select Download updates while installing Ubuntu and click on Continue.


5) Next select Erase disk and install Ubuntu: do not worry even though it says erase disk it will only erase the data on the 25GB virtual hard disk we created earlier but this disk is empty and has nothing on it so nothing on your Windows computer will be erased. Click on Install Now and then click on Continue.



6) Then select your region and click on Continue.


7) Next you would be asked for your name, computer’s name, username and a password. Fill in these information. You can select Require my password to log in (it will ask you for your password every time you log in). Then click on Continue.


8) From there the installation of Ubuntu is starting and you need to wait until the end of the installation which will take a few minutes.

Finalize the installation of Ubuntu

1) After the installation of Ubuntu is done, you will be asked to restart the virtual machine to be able to use Ubuntu. Therefore click on Restart Now. The Ubuntu virtual machine will reboot.


2) Ubuntu will ask you to remove the installation medium from the CD/DVD drive: this is usually taken care of by VirtualBox already but if it is not the case go back to Settings -> Storage of the virtual machine and remove the Ubuntu ISO file in Attributes / Optical Drive and click on the CD/DVD-ROM and Choose Remove Disk from Virtual Drive to remove the CD/DVD-ROM of Ubuntu and click OK so that the virtual machine is not trying to boot on Ubuntu CD/DVD-ROM the next time you reboot / start the virtual machine. Go back to your virtual machine and press ENTER.

Launch Ubuntu

1) The virtual machine will restart and once launched it will present to you with your name.


2) Click on your name and it will ask you for your password if you selected the option Require my password to log in earlier. Enter your password and press ENTER or click Sign In.


3) Then close the What’s new in Ubuntu by clicking Next several times and Done.

4) You can make Ubuntu bigger by clicking on the square icon on the top right or if you want Ubuntu to be full-screen you can click on View -> Full-screen Mode in the menu bar at the top and click on Switch.


5) Here you go! You now have installed Ubuntu on Windows using VirtualBox. Now you can use Ubuntu on Windows exactly as you would on a Ubuntu machine. You can now install software that are only compatible with Ubuntu. You can basically do anything that you would be doing with a regular Ubuntu machine.

Turn on / off Ubuntu

1) Now that your Ubuntu machine is on you may want to turn it off at some point so to do this click on the round / power button on the top right. It will display a window and then click again on the round / power button. It will ask you if you want to Cancel or Restart / Power Off Ubuntu.



2) Once your Ubuntu virtual machine is off, if you want to turn it on, you just need to click on the Ubuntu virtual machine and click on the Start button at the top.


3) Enjoy!

If you have any questions about Ubuntu on Windows or anything else, you can contact me here.

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