Virtual Machine allows you to emulate any Operating System on your current running OS. It gives you freedom of running multiple Operating Systems at the same time on same machine, so that you are sharing the same physical hardware for different and multiple OS. Such emulators are termed as Virtualization Software.
Number of Virtualization softwares are available which can be used to deploy or install virtual machines. Most prominent and widely used are;
- Virtual Box
- VMWARE Player
This Tutorial uses Virtual Box to setup virtual machines in Windows Environment. Since Virtual Box is a freeware software and distributed under GNU license.
This section describes minimum requirements for Installing Virtual Box in Windows environment.
Supported host OS
- Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit)
- Windows 8 (32-bit and 64-bit)
Detailed list of supported host OS can be found at https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch01.html#hostossupport
We recommend to have minimum of below resources available on your machine to install Virtual Box
- 4GB of system memory
- 20GB of storage
- Any x86 compatible processor from Intel or AMD (with or without VT-x or AMD-V support)
Download Setup Files
TAMUQ Research Users can copy setup from "P:\Research and Graduate Studies\Research Computing\RC\VirtualBox\" .Latest version available is 5.0.12, we usually update our local repository when new version is released. Users who don't have access to P: drive, can download setup from https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads by selecting the required platform.
It is highly recommended to copy the setup files to your local computer before proceeding with Installation.
Installation of Virtual Box
This section describes step by step guide to Install Virtual Box on your host machine. You may need to tune certain parameters during Installation, such as Installation directory etc as per your needs.
- Right click "VirtualBox-5.0.12-104815-Win.exe" and select Run as Administrator, prompt will appear and click Yes.
- In next Dialog box window, you can choose your default Installation directory for this software. If there are no special needs, you can continue Installing in the same location already selected. Click Next.
- Keep all the options selected in next dialog box window and click Next
- Next Dialog Box gives Warning that your Network Interfaces will be disconnect temporarily. Make sure you don't have any crucial network activity in process which can be effected. It will install Virtual network drivers as well. Click Yes and in next dialog box click Install.
- You will get multiple Windows Security Warning "Would you like to install this device software", Select "Always trust software from "Oracle Corporation" and Click install.
- Installation will be completed and Virtual Box shortcut will be created on desktop OR in Start menu
Setting up Virtual Machines in Virtual Box
- Copy required Operating System from "P:\Research and Graduate Studies\Research Computing\RC\Virtual Machines\" in your local machine.
- Open the copied folder and execute file with .vbox extension.
- Username and passwords are placed in the same folder in README file. Make sure to change the username and password once your virtual machine is running.