Creating ubuntu 20.04 VM in VirtualBox

In a recent post, we installed Oracle VM VirtualBox in Windows10 and in Ubuntu Linux operating systems. In this post we shall create a new Ubuntu 20.04 Virtual Machine (VM) in VirtualBox which attempts to help persons who are beginners in using Oracle VM VirtualBox and others who would probably want to perform tests in an isolated operating system from the one residing in their personal computers. This post assumes that Oracle VM VirtualBox has been installed successfully and if not, refer on how to install VirtualBox by clicking here.

Downloading Ubuntu Desktop ISO Image

To create Ubuntu VM, the first step is to navigate to the Ubuntu Desktop download website by clicking here. The page appears as shown below in the browser.

Click on the green button shown above labelled Download to download the Ubuntu 20.04 optical disk image (ISO) which will be our input requirement to VirtualBox.

Creating Ubuntu VM

After downloading Ubuntu Desktop image, open VirtualBox from the desktop shortcut shown below and right click and select Open option.

The VirtualBox window is displayed consisting of some menu items on the menu bar. Click on File option which contains various configurations/settings for VirtualBox.

To view the help info for VirtualBox, click the Help menu which contains links to the VirtualBox website and community forums as shown below and about info that shows the VirtualBox version.

To open VM options, click on Machine menu and a list of two options appear as shown below. To create a new VM click on New… option.

A wizard is shown as below containing name field for the name of the VW to be created, Machine Folder: for the path to the directory which will contain the VM and its files, Type: for the type of the operating system that could be Windows, Linux, Mac etc., Version: that is a drop down for the OS versions.

Note that the name is mandatory and therefore cannot be blank. Then there is a button labelled Expert Mode that can be used to show detailed VM configuration but in this post we will just keep it simple. 

After entering the name, and the machine folder path, select the type by clicking the combobox and a dropdown pops as shown above. Since we are going to use Ubuntu OS which is a Linux based OS then select Linux option.

The above figure shows all the options having either been input (name) or selected as required. 

Ubuntu Desktop version 20.04 LTS has prerequisites that define the amount of memory and processing that the OS needs in order to run. This information is listed in their website and can be accessed by clicking here. In the setup the set RAM amount is 4 GigaBytes (GB) equal to 4096 MegaBytes (MBs). After setting this using the slider shown above, click Next to proceed.

This page entails creating a virtual disk in which the OS will be installed in. According to the Ubuntu community documentation, at least 25GB of hard disk is required for Ubuntu version 20.04. Ensure the middle option is selected (black dot inside the radio button) then click Create button to proceed with disk creation.

There are different types of Virtual Disks that can be used with VirtualBox. For details on the types refer the VirtualBox documentation by clicking here. Leave the selected option above as is and click Next to proceed.

One can configure on whether to create the whole physical disk space or not and this page gives the liberty to do so. In this post, the default selected option is left as is. Click Next to proceed.

The page shown above contains a slider similar to the previous one that one can use to decide the size of the virtual disk and an input for the path to the VM disk above it. To change the path click on the folder icon with green upward pointing arrow. Note not to set a disk size that exceeds your own disk even if the installation wizard might warn you of such as that would not be practical to add a disk size larger than computer’s own disk. Once finished, click Create to proceed.

The VM setup wizard disappears and takes us back to the VirtualBox main window but with a new VM whose name appears in the blue row as shown above. For more subsequent VMs that are created, they are shown in that column as a list.

A few extra configurations can be done on the VM. To open the configuration for the VM, right click on the VM and select Settings… option. 

The VM settings window shows and the default selection is General. Click on the System option to open the relevant system configuration options.

A panel containing three tabs is displayed as above, click on the Processor tab which is the middle tab as show above. The green bar indicates the allowed threshold/level of CPU processor that can be used i.e. in the above case, one cannot exceed 4CPU processors and if the slider is set over the threshold point then there will be a warning shown at the bottom part of the window. The set processor core count is set to 2 as indicated by the number in the right side of the slider. 

Click on the display to see the settings for VM display. It is optional to set video memory as it is automatically set in some cases. Adjust appropriately and click OK button to close the settings window.

On the main window, select the VM name and click on the green arrowed button to start the VM. 

Since this is the first time the VM is being run, then we have to select the disk image that is supposed to boot up / start up the VM but only for this first time. Click on the folder icon on the right of the Empty drop down to browse the computer files for the Ubuntu VM that we had downloaded earlier.

An Optical Disk Selector window is displayed as shown above where we can select the disk image from a list of disks shown however since we had not selected any disk earlier, no disk is shown in the white space area.

Click on the Add button to browse the computer files.

Navigate in the browse widow to the location of the Ubuntu image that we’d downloaded earlier. 

After selecting it and clicking Open button, the disk is now shown in the wizard as shown above. Click Start button to proceed.

The first installation procedure since version 20 is to check on the disk for any errors. As instructed, to cancel this process click Ctrl+C on your keyboard to cancel this step otherwise, let the disk check process to complete.

The installation wizard is shown containing a language selection as the first page. Select your preferred language and click Continue button.

Set your keyboard layout or if unsure, click Detect Keyboard Layout button to automatically detect keyboard layout then click Continue.

For the settings above, leave as is and click Continue.

For simplicity purpose, select the option as shown above to erase/format the disk and install Ubuntu OS.

The above pop up shows the disks and partitions that are going to be affected. Ubuntu uses EXT file system format for disks unlike in Windows. Click Continue.

This window shows the location of the computer as detected by Ubuntu. If using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), the map might show a different location. Click Continue.

Create a preferred name and computer name. Note that names should follow a given format and this can be referred to in the Ubuntu documentation. After entering name, computer name and password and leaving the rest as is, click Continue button.

The installation of Ubuntu 20.04 begins and is shown using a progress bar or a black ‘terminal’ window with text that keeps on changing. In the background the installation is downloading some files from the internet (if host computer is connected to the internet). This step may take some time depending on the processor and memory size allocated to the guest computer.

Once the installation is complete, the installation window with the progress bar closes and a window appears asking to restart the VM or continue. Click on Restart Now.

After restarting, the screen shown above appears showing the user that we created in the previous step. Click on the user on the screen i.e. in the screen above, lets click on ubuntu which is the user that was created in the previous steps.

Enter the password set during the user creation step. This is the final step in creating Ubuntu VM in VirtualBox. Note not to forget the password. 

At this stage, we have successfully created and installed an Ubuntu 20 VM in Oracle VM VirtualBox. 

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