Virtual Machines

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A so called Virtual Machine (VM) allows you to emulate any operating system on your currently running OS. It even enables the freedom to run multiple operating systems simultaneously on a given machine, so that you are sharing the same physical hardware for different and multiple OS. Such emulators are termed as virtualization hypervisors.

Virtualization Software

Number of Virtualization softwares are available which can be used to deploy or install virtual machines. Most prominent and widely used are;

  1. Virtual Box
  2. 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

From among the recent Windows (non-server) operating system versions, the following are supported:

  1. Windows 8.1
  2. Windows 10
  3. Windows 11 (21H2)

A complete list of supported host operating systems can be found at

Supported Hardware

We recommend to have minimum of below resources available on your machine to install Virtual Box

  1. 4GB of system memory
  2. 20GB of storage
  3. Any x86 compatible processor from Intel or AMD (with or without VT-x or AMD-V support)

Download Setup Files

TAMUQ users may copy the installer from "P:\Research and Graduate Studies\Research Computing\RC\VirtualBox\". The latest version available as of this writing is 7.0.10. Users who don't have access to the P: drive can download the installer from by selecting the required platform.

It is highly recommended to copy the setup/installer file(s) to your local computer before proceeding with installation.

Installation of Virtual Box

This section describes step by step how to install your VirtualBox Manager application on your host machine. You may need to tune certain parameters during installation -- such as the path to the installation directory, etc -- as per your needs.

  1. Right click "VirtualBox-7.0.10-158379-Win.exe" and select Run as Administrator; a prompt will appear; click Yes. (Note that the program version numbers in the images below are outdated. Please excuse that.)
  2. RIGHT
  3. 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.
  4. RIGHT
  5. Keep all the options selected in next dialog box window and click Next
  6. RIGHT
  7. Next Dialog Box gives Warning that your Network Interfaces will be disconnect temporarily. Make sure you don't have any crucial network activity in progress. It will install virtual network drivers as well. Click Yes and in next dialog box click Install.
  8. RIGHT
  9. 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.
  10. RIGHT
  11. Installation will be completed and Virtual Box shortcut will be created on desktop OR in Start menu

Setting up Virtual Machines in Virtual Box

  1. Copy required Operating System from "P:\Research and Graduate Studies\Research Computing\RC\Virtual Machines\" in your local machine.
  2. Open the copied folder and execute file with .vbox extension.
  3. 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.