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Getting Started with VirtualBox: A Beginner’s Guide

Getting Started with VirtualBox: A Beginner’s Guide


VirtualBox is a powerful virtualization tool that allows you to run multiple operating systems on a single machine. Whether you are an IT professional or just a curious technology enthusiast, VirtualBox provides an easy way to experiment with different operating systems and software configurations without interfering with your main computer setup. In this beginner’s guide, we will walk you through the process of getting started with VirtualBox, from installation to creating your first virtual machine.

Installing VirtualBox

The first step to getting started with VirtualBox is to download and install the software. VirtualBox is available for free on the official Website and is compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, and Solaris operating systems. Simply visit the Website, select the appropriate version for your operating system, and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.

Creating Your First Virtual Machine

Once VirtualBox is installed on your computer, you can start creating virtual machines. A virtual machine (VM) is an emulation of a computer system that runs on your physical machine. IT allows you to install and run different operating systems and software as if they were native to your computer. Here’s how you can create your first virtual machine with VirtualBox:

Step 1: Launch VirtualBox

Open VirtualBox from your applications menu or desktop shortcut. You will be greeted by the VirtualBox Manager, where you can manage your virtual machines.

Step 2: Create a New Virtual Machine

Click on the “New” button in the top-left corner of the VirtualBox Manager window. This will start the New Virtual Machine Wizard, which will guide you through the process of creating a new virtual machine.

Step 3: Set Up Virtual Machine Details

In the New Virtual Machine Wizard, you will need to provide some details about the virtual machine you are creating. This includes the name of the virtual machine, the type of operating system you want to install, and the amount of memory (RAM) you want to allocate to the virtual machine. Follow the prompts and make your selections accordingly.

Step 4: Create a Virtual Hard Disk

A virtual hard disk is a file that acts as the hard drive for your virtual machine. In this step, you will need to create a new virtual hard disk or select an existing one. The virtual hard disk stores the virtual machine’s operating system, applications, and data. Choose the appropriate option and follow the instructions to create or select a virtual hard disk.

Step 5: Finish Creating the Virtual Machine

Once you have completed all the steps in the New Virtual Machine Wizard, review your selections and click on the “Create” button. VirtualBox will then create your new virtual machine, and you will see IT listed in the VirtualBox Manager.

Running Your Virtual Machine

Now that you have created a virtual machine, you can start IT and install the operating system of your choice. To run a virtual machine:

Step 1: Select the Virtual Machine

In the VirtualBox Manager, select the virtual machine you want to run by clicking on its name.

Step 2: Click on the “Start” Button

Click on the “Start” button in the VirtualBox Manager toolbar. This will start the virtual machine and open a new window where you can see its display.

Step 3: Install the Operating System

Follow the on-screen instructions to install the operating system on your virtual machine, just as you would on a physical computer. You may need to insert an installation disc or provide a disc image file (ISO) of the operating system.


VirtualBox is a versatile virtualization tool that opens up a world of possibilities for users. Whether you want to experiment with different operating systems, test software configurations, or create a sandbox environment for web development, VirtualBox provides a user-friendly interface and powerful features to make IT easy and efficient. By following this beginner’s guide, you should now have a good understanding of how to get started with VirtualBox and create your first virtual machine.


Q: Is VirtualBox free to use?

A: Yes, VirtualBox is an open-source software released under the GNU General Public License (GPL), which means IT is free to use and distribute.

Q: Can I run VirtualBox on my Mac?

A: Yes, VirtualBox is compatible with macOS and can be installed on Mac computers.

Q: Can I run multiple virtual machines simultaneously?

A: Yes, VirtualBox allows you to run multiple virtual machines at the same time, as long as your computer‘s hardware resources can handle the workload.

Q: How much memory should I allocate to a virtual machine?

A: The amount of memory you allocate to a virtual machine depends on the operating system and applications you plan to run. In general, IT is recommended to allocate at least 2GB of memory to ensure smooth performance.

Q: Can I share files between my physical computer and a virtual machine?

A: Yes, VirtualBox provides a feature called “Shared Folders” that allows you to share files and folders between your physical computer and virtual machines.

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