Installing Linux in VirtualBox

A friend of mine saw me running a distribution of Linux from within Vista and asked that I post how I set it up so here it goes:

  1. Download and install Virtual Box (see
  2. Download your favorite distribution of Linux. Download an install disk image (*.iso file). Here are a couple suggestions

Be sure to note where you save the *.iso file.

  1. Launch Virtual Box:
  2. Create a new Virtual Machine, by clicking Machine .. New (or just New on the toolbar). Then click “Next >”
  3. Give your Virtual Machine a name and then select the operation system you intend to install. Then click Next…
  4. Now, select the amount of memory (RAM) to dedicate to this machine when it is running. You don’t want to use all of your available memory since your system will still be running. I have 2 GB on my laptop so I dedicate anywhere from 512 – 1024 MB of RAM. Then, click next.
  5. Next, VirtualBox will create a virtual hard disk so you can set up how much hard disk space your virtual machine will have available. Click New to set up a new virtual hard disk, go through the steps to set one up. I used the settings below:
    Dynamically Expanding Image.
    20 GB
    Click Next.
  6. Now you can click finish to finalize the setting up of the Virtual Machine. Click Finish.

Installing Linux

  1. In VirtualBox, right-click on the machine you just created and select Settings. Click on CD/DVD-ROM in left hand window of the Setting dialogue box. Select Mount CD/DVD Drive and click ISO Image File. Browse for the ISE image you downloaded. Then click OK.
  2. Now, click Start and go through the Setup procedure for the Linux distribution.

Good Luck!


6 thoughts on “Installing Linux in VirtualBox

  1. I haven’t yet but it won’t be long before I need to try some computationally intensive code in Linux. That will be a good time to make the comparison. I really like being able to move back and forth between Linux and Windows so I am happy to be in a Virtual environment for now.


  2. First off I want to explain that I am completly neew to this stuff. I’m running windows xp and I am trying to get the linux version know as Debian 5.0 to run on a virtual drive. I followed you instructions and got the response
    FATAL: No bootable medium found ! System halted

    The Debian iso file is saved on the desktop under a file called linux.
    How do I get it to work?


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