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How to install Ubuntu Server on VirtualBox?

This post, which is a part of my VirtualBox series, shows how to install Ubuntu Server on VirtualBox. I have already shown you how to install Virtual Box on Ubuntu and Windows systems, and how to install Ubuntu Server as home server. This VirtualBox Ubuntu Server guide combines the two and allows you to install and run Ubuntu as Virtual Machine. Using this method you may also install Ubuntu on VirtualBox. In fact, the process is nearly identical for other Linux distributions, OS X, and Windows as well. Without further ado, let us look at how to install Ubuntu Server edition on VirtualBox 5.0.

Install Ubuntu Server on VirtualBox

Running a VirtualBox Linux Server allows you to run a server from your existing system without making any permanent changes to your hard drive. These SSDs, high-capacity hard drives, and 8GB (or even 16GB) RAM are very common. Therefore, most laptops can easily handle running two operating systems (one on the host and one as virtual machine). This VirtualBox Ubuntu installation guide is OS independent. Therefore, your host system can run any OS. Before we begin make sure that you have installed VirtualBox following one of the following posts:

Download Ubuntu ISO for VirtualBox

Head over to Ubuntu download page and download the release of your choice. Or, download the ISO image of any other operating system that your interested in. In this post, Ubuntu Server 14.04.02 LTS ISO image is used as example.

Download Ubuntu ISO for VirtualBox
Ubuntu ISO Download for VirtualBox

Create a Ubuntu Server VirtualBox VM

To install Ubuntu Server on VirtualBox, from the VirtualBox main window hit New to create a new VM. As you type the server name (TrustyServer in this case) the type and Version of OS may automatically be populated. If not, change them to appropriate ones.

VirtualBox Create Ubuntu Server VM
VirtualBox Create Ubuntu Server VM

Next, set the amount of RAM memory to allocate to the VM. I recommend choosing at least 1024 MB of RAM memory (2 GB if available). For a basic Ubuntu headless VirtualBox Server, you may be able to get by with 512 MB RAM. Then, you will be presented with the option to create a virtual hard drive for your VBox Ubuntu Server VM. You can use an existing virtual hard drive if you have one. If not, create a new hard drive with at least 8 GB space.

Create VM Hard Drive on VBox
Create VM Hard Drive on VBox

Leave the hard drive file type to the default (VDI). If compatibility with VMware is important, choose VMDK. In the next window, choose “Dynamically allocated” for “Storage on physical hard drive”. Dynamically allocated expands hard drive as needed up to a maximum size set in the previous step. Finally, click OK to complete creating a new VM for Ubuntu Server. The new VM should appear on the virtual machines list on the left.

Continued in next page….

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About the author


Anand is a self-learned computer enthusiast, a part-time blogger, and a Food Scientist by career. He has been blogging since 2010 on Linux, Ubuntu, Home/Media/File Servers, Smart Home Automation, and related HOW-TOs on htpcbeginner.com and smarthomebeginner.com.