How to install Linux on a windows machine using virtual box.




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TECHNICAL REPORT Our project was to install Linux on a windows machine using virtual box. Linux is a very important operating system due to its distinguishing features and is becoming more and more popular among engineers and students. So we wanted to do this project so that we can use what we learn, in our future. Our project used the phenomenon of virtualization to install Linux. Firstly in our project virtual box was installed then Linux was installed as a virtual machine. 1. Introduction: Linux is a very useful operating system it has many advantages over windows and is very helpful to engineers that is why we wanted to install it in our project so that we can learn more about it. It can be installed via various methods but the most convenient and useful method is installing it as a virtual machine using virtualization software called “virtual box”. 1.1 Linux and its popular distributions:

operating systems are commonly used in servers, defense, supercomputers and machines on which important data is stored, due to their stability. Nowadays they are also being used in PC’s and embedded devices (i.e., microcontroller devices). There are many Linux types, known as distributions. All of these distributions are freeware. It is difficult to name them all but most popular Linux distributions these days are RedHat Fedora and Ubuntu but concentration in this project will be on Ubuntu due to its suitability for electrical engineers and students.

is the latest addition to Linux family and is gaining popularity due to its GUI and user friendly features. One can do a number of tasks using it. It is simple to use, once one has learned it. It is compatible with most of the operating systems. It is simple and quick to update and is compatible with most PC architectures. It is one of the most famous Linux distributions and has a large number of developers. It is free and its supports virtualization. Due to these features it is used by us in our project.

is another famous Linux distribution and has many distinguishing features. It is famously known for its security and its administrative tools. It has both personal and office productivity applications and supports virtualization. Its applications are fully compatible with other operating systems, which makes it ideally interoperable. It is also has a user friendly interface.



is a tool that we are going to use in this project. It is a virtualiztion software and is developed by sun microsystems[1] which is known famously for its free softwares. It also has a community which develops and distributes it so it is also available from its community website[2]. It is a freeware and its open source edition is also available for free so it is a quite handy tool for virtualization. It is also more compatible and supports a large number of guests and hosts. Virtual box can provide each guest operating system its own virtual environment and is compatible with most of the computer architecture. It is preferred by most of the users. So it is best suited for our project and that is why we have chosen it for our project. Working of Virtual box and our project is based on virtual machine and virtual memory: Virtual Machine: It is a phenomenon in which the hardware resources of a physical operating system (host) are divided among virtual operating systems (guests) abstractly such that each virtual operating system can execute its own processes by using its own virtual hardware resources. Thus it creates an illusion in user’s mind that several operating systems are running on the same computer. Virtual Memory: Virtual memory forms the basics of the virtualization and hence the basis of our project, thus it is also being introduced here. Virtual memory is a technique used by operating systems and virtualization software that allows the execution of processes that are large and cannot be completely stored in physical memory. This technique is quite important nowadays because size of applications that we use is increasing due to amendments in them and physical memory is not growing proportionally. In the end of this report we have provided references and conclusions drawn from this project.

2. Objectives: • Our first objective was to know that whether it was possible to assign virtual memory, storage and resources to a virtual operating system manually. Usually operating system assigns these resources. We wanted to learn about the tool of virtualization i.e. Virtual Box. We wanted to install Linux without using tedious mounting commands. We wanted to know how virtual memory works. We wanted to know what happens inside the CPU when a process is loaded. We wanted to learn and test the Linux operating system. We wanted to learn different ways by which Linux can be installed. We wanted to learn how Linux can be installed using virtualization phenomenon.

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TECHNICAL REPORT As we know that this is the era of computers and everything can be done more efficiently by using computers. Electrical Engineers have a very close relationship with the computers. They can increase their personal productivity in their respective fields by using computers. Computers have to use some operating system to do their tasks. Mostly electrical engineers have to do programming for which they need a stable and secure operating system and Linux is the best choice for such individuals. That is why we have chosen it as our project so that we are able to gain more familiarization with Linux so that it can help us in our future as electrical engineers. Linux (Ubuntu) has a lot of in built applications that aid electrical engineers a lot in performing their tasks such applications include “XCIRCUIT” “LIBGEDA” common “GNUCAP(circuit analysis package)””GEDA” etc there are applications in it for science students too like “ABINIT” and “ZIMPL” etc. {a list of such applications can be found at [18]}. There are many ways to install Linux but installing Linux is not as easy as using it. One has to learn all those tough mounting commands to install Linux but there are few simplified ways to install Linux too. One of these methods is installing Linux by using virtual box .Knowledge of virtual memory and storage not only helps in installing operating systems but it also helpful in other situations as well for example by the phenomenon of virtualization an organization might not need to have many servers to give physical resources to clients instead they can have fewer servers and can assign virtual resources to its clients. Moreover electronics engineers can test their programs by using virtual machines engineers can save their work by snapshot tool and retrieve it in case of machine failure. Thus the objectives that we set are very helpful in the field of electrical engineering as it gives an insight about virtualization and Linux. It is also very useful for students because Linux is free software and using it may free them from the worries of buying operating system.

4. Main Section: Before the experiment we must explain a few terms that were introduced in the beginning:

Windows machine is a computer or any other system of hardware and processor on which Microsoft windows operating system is being used. 4.1 Firstof all we would like to explain why Linux? When we have Microsoft Windows. This is because Linux has many advantages over windows operating systems which makes it ideal for use especially for electrical engineers.



Linux is from the new generation of operating systems. It was based on a UNIX proprietary system called Minix. It is a free and open source operating system which any one can use, study, modify and distribute under the copy left act. As it is open source and free so there is a large number of Linux developers known as distribution maintainers. Due to this fact its kernel is being modified and updated continuously and unlike Microsoft windows there is a very less chance of bugs being introduced in it and users do not have to wait for the next service pack to be launched. Linux can be updated through internet free of cost. Similarly there is a very small chance of virus or any other kind of threat in Linux operating system as it has greater number of developers so the solution to a problem that arises due to a threat is quickly found and then released for others in no time as compared to other operating systems. It can be installed on any computer by simply downloading necessary system components from a FTP site and compiling them and it is also available in too compiled form and can be downloaded or bought and then can be installed on any compatible machine. One of the most famous Linux distributions is that from Slackware. Other commercial and non-commercial Linux distributions are also present such as Linux mandrake, Debian, SuSe, Gentoo, Knoppix and SLAX based Linux. There are other features too in Linux operating systems that make them ideal for use and especially for electrical engineers. Most of the operating systems in market are quite costly and sometimes out of reach of users. Their licenses are hard to get and is very time consuming and costly to buy such operating systems. Then they are not updated frequently and users have to suffer but Linux frees its user from all this labour as it is released under the GNU general Public License. So, users can use and update it free of cost and can modify it according to their needs. Thus this costlessness of Linux makes it ideal choice for users who cannot afford costly operating systems. 4.1.1 Distributing Linux: Most of the operating systems are copy right of their respective owners and can only be installed on a single computer and cannot be distributed further but Linux is released under the GNU General Public License. SO, it is not only free to use but it is free to and legal to distribute it too. This means that one can install it on any number of computers as he may please and without any cost.


TECHNICAL REPORT 4.1.2 Security: Linux is one of the most secure operating systems. Due to a large number of developers viruses and threats are cured in no time. Similarly the Walls and file access permission systems prevents hacker and viruses the access into one’s computer. As most of the software that runs on Linux is also free so users can safely download these high quality softwares from trusted websites free of cost and hence can free themselves from the worries of credit card theft and fraud and also from theft of private and personal information. 4.1.3 Freedom of choice: Linux gives you the freedom of choice i.e., you can pick a Linux distribution that best suites you from a large number of choices. Users and developers have contributed in the field of software development for Linux and hence this has resulted in numerous applications for a single task which gives the users to choose the software of their own choice without any cost. 4.1.4 Compatibility: Linux is compatible with most of the computer architectures and it does not need any extraordinary processing speed to run thus this feature makes Linux ideal choice for those users who do not have high speed processing machines and thus one can make use of the old computers by using Linux on them. Its performance on work stations and servers is also great. 4.1.5 Stability: It is a very stable operating system and does not need to be rebooted periodically for maintenance. Thus it can run for several days without freezing up like other operating systems. There are many Linux distributions and core tasking in each of them is same they differ in their software and GUI. We will only concentrate on Ubuntu here:

4.2 Ubuntu is the most famous Linux distribution today it has gained popularity over night after its release due to its user friendly features some of them are given below: 4.2.1 Simplicity: FUNDAMENTALS OF ICT TERM PROJECT

TECHNICAL REPORT It is very easy to get Ubuntu. You can either download its CD’s image file from [8], Order a free CD from [8] or can buy it from the market near you. Once you have got it, then comes the phase of installing it, most of the latest editions offer live run CDs. Live run CD prevents the user from the time consuming process of installation and runs the operating system directly from CD and user does not have to wait. It is useful for those who want to test it. One can install it too. Once installed its user friendly GUI makes it very simple to learn and use. It is ready to use without installing any additional components. 4.2.2 User Friendly Softwares: Its office productivity application i.e., Open Office is one of the best office productivity softwares. Its files are fully compatible with Microsoft Office and users who had their work saved in Microsoft Office do not have to worry because Open Office can open and edit all files of Microsoft Office. So this compatibility feature of Ubuntu makes it easy for users to shift from Windows to Linux. Its integrated applications such as evolution and Tomboy make it easy for users to send and receive emails and schedule their tasks. These features are simple to use as compared to their Windows counterparts. F-pot and Rhythmbox are also very handy tools as multimedia applications. There arethousands of application softwares made specifically for Ubuntu users for free. So, users can download their desired software from the trusted websites for free. This is a feature which makes it far better than Windows in which user has to pay separately for application software unless it is freeware. A list of softwares that are available for Linux distributions can be found at [10]. 4.2.3 Browser: One of the core features which distinguishes Linux operating systems from other operating systems is their web browser Mozilla Firefox. This critically acclaimed software has made browsing very much easier and safer. It provides many features which aid in browsing such as spelling check, Opening several pages in a single window by making tabs etc. 4.2.4 Updating: There is a feature in Ubuntu which notifies the user when there is an update available. So, user can just click and download it without any difficulty this process is way quicker than that of windows and other operating systems. 4.2.5 Help and Support: As the number of Ubuntu users is increasing so is the number of its developers because it is open source so one does not find any difficulty in finding any kind of support or solution to problems regarding using and operating Ubuntu.



4.3 Virtual Box: It is virtualization free software that allows users to create several operating systems (virtual machines) or applications on a single computer. It assigns them their virtual memory and storage. It has two components one is host operating system i.e., the physical system on which Virtual Box is installed and other one is guest operating system, the virtual machines on the virtual box or the operating system inside the virtual box. It is available free to download from [1] and also from its community website [2]. When we go to its download site[1] then there are two types of setups available, one for 32 bit platforms i.e., those CPU architecture that are based on registers, address buses, or data buses each of 32 bit. And other for 64 bit platforms i.e., Those CPU architectures in which registers and buses are of 64 bit. As there are many virtualization softwares in the market one question arises why virtual box? It has many distinguishing features which enhance its usefulness as virtualization software:

4.3.1 Compatibility: It is very compatible software as compared to its competitors in the market. It can be run on nearly on every machine with nearly any noteable operating system. It can even run on Dos or OS/2. Another compatibility feature that it has is that it can run one application that is made for one operating system on the other and we can reboot guest operating system without rebooting the host operating systems. 4.3.2 Networking: As we know that networking is very important today. So virtual box has a feature that it can support networking too. Instead of using many computers and giving physical memory to clients one can use fewer powerful hosts and provide their clients the share of memory through virtualization i.e., by assigning them virtual memory. If it is used in a network then the virtual machine is accessible from anywhere due built in RDP server in virtual box.


TECHNICAL REPORT Virtual Box has a snapshot tool which can save the state of the guest operating system and then user can resume from that state whenever he pleases. So, when there is a problem in the host operating system like a virus infection of corruption then the work on the guest operating system will be saved and can be retrieved after fixing the host machine. 4.3.4 Guest additions: There are certain softwares which are not a part of virtual box but can be installed in it to enhance the performance of guest operating systems. 4.3.5 Sharing: It provides user with a tool to share files and folders between guest and host operating systems and there is no data leakage or interference between guest operating systems. When an operating system is installed using virtual box then there is no need to install the device drivers for the hardware in the new operating system something that is very tedious when setting up a network of computers. Virtual box makes use of virtual memory and clarifies the concept of virtual machine which are explained as under

4.3.6 Virtual Memory: A virtual machine is an environment, usually a program or operating system, which does not physically exist but is created within another environment. In this context, a Virtual Machine is called a "guest" while the environment it runs within is called a "host." Virtual machines are often created to execute an instruction set different than that of the host environment. One host environment can often run multiple Virtual Machines at once. Because Virtual Machines are separated from the physical resources they use, the host environment is often able to dynamically assign those resources among them. [9]


TECHNICAL REPORT The virtualization phenomenon is very important because it provides each process its own virtual environment and isolates it from other processes. It is also very difficult to change a part of an operating system, as it increases the risk of file corruption. As this process is frequently observed in improving an operating system and is known as system development. So virtual machine erases such problems by providing each programmer with its own virtual machine. So system development can be done without any problem. So once you one has decided to use Linux (Ubuntu), then comes the question How to get it: The answer is quite simple we can either order or download the free CD from [8]. 5. Problem: Once you have the CD then the question is how to install it. Now this is where the problem arises because installing Linux (Ubuntu) is not as easy as getting it. When we use the Linux (Ubuntu) CD then setup is not a simple process. One will need to enter hefty mounting commands which are difficult to remember and are updated regularly and are available from internet to download. So a person who does not have internet facility has a lot of difficulty in getting these mounting commands as they are not available with CD. As during the setup the operating system (Ubuntu) will have to make its own virtual memory then we do not know how much disk space and RAM it is assigning to its virtual image. One can use the live run feature but it will need more CPU speed and RAM i.e., Ubuntu 8.04 will need 384 MB of RAM while for installation one needs only 256 MB. Thus the live run is not a solution of this problem. So the solution to this problem is “Virtual Box” which uses the phenomenon of virtualization. This is illustrated in our experiment. 6. Experiment: Our experiment is to install Linux distribution Ubuntu using virtual box. It is performed on a computer on which windows is already installed. This will comprise of two steps: 1. Getting and installing virtual box 2. Installing Linux(Ubuntu) using virtual box 6.1 Apparatus: A 32 bit Intel Pentium 4 PC with a 2.8 GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 40GB of Hard disk and with Microsoft Windows XP version 2002 and service pack 2, Virtual Box 2.1.2, Ubuntu 8.04 CD.

6.2 Procedure: We turned On the power of PC and checked the compatibility of PC. Then we installed Microsoft Windows XP 2002 and Service pack 2. It took approximately 40 minutes. Then we opened the website [1] and went to virtual box download link [4] there we found many links one of which was of the virtual box open source edition and other was of sun virtual box. We went to the sun virtual box download link [5]. There two kinds of setups were available for windows operating systems one was for 32 bit platforms and other was for 64 bit platforms. We were using 32 bit PC so we downloaded that setup. After downloading we installed Virtual box 2.1.2 through following steps: 1. We opened the setup file by double clicking the setup icon. Following window opened: FUNDAMENTALS OF ICT TERM PROJECT


2. We Clicked on the “Next >” button. On the following screen we were given “End user License agreement”. We Selected the option “I accept the terms in the License Agreement” and pressed the “Next >” button. Following screen appeared and by default the sub components were checked. We selected the location F:/Virtual BOX/ by clicking the “Browse” button. We got:

3. When we clicked the “Next >” button, we received a window on which option of where to create shortcuts of the program was given. We created shortcut of virtual box on desktop and quick launch. We Clicked “Next >” and on the following screen we pressed “install” and installation began. Then we received two consecutive “Software installation” and “one “Hardware installation” warnings and clicked “Continue Anyway” Button:


TECHNICAL REPORT 4. Then we received the installation completion window and clicked the “Finish” button and virtual box 2.1.2 was launched automatically:

5. Now the second part of our experiment starts i.e., installing Linux (Ubuntu) using Virtual Box. 6. We clicked the “New” button and received following window:


TECHNICAL REPORT 7. We clicked on ”Next >” Button and received following window on which we specified name and type of our Virtual Machine:

8. Then we clicked “Next >” and On this screen we specified the virtual memory for the virtual machine:


TECHNICAL REPORT 9. Then we clicked “Next >” On this screen we were asked to make a Virtual Hard disk:

10.. We clicked “New” and a “New Virtual Disk Wizard” window opened and we clicked “Next”. On the next screen we were asked to choose the storage type from two options i.e., “dynamically expanding storage” and “fixed size storage”. We chose “dynamically expanding storage” 11.Then clicked “Next >”. On next screen we were asked to specify virtual disk location and size. We specified it to be 6 GB.

12.Then we clicked “Next >” and on next screen we were given the summary of the type of virtual hard disk which was going to be created and clicked “Finish”. Then we received a window on which our virtual hard disk that we created during steps 13&14 was listed and clicked next: 13. Then we received the summary of creation of virtual machine and clicked “Finish”:



14.We received the displayed window and some resources were not assigned to the virtual machine. So, we assigned them to the virtual machine. We Mounted CD-ROM by checking the “Mount CD/DVD drive” box and click “OK”. The rest of the resources such as Floppy, Audio, Serial Ports, USB, Shared Folders and Remote display can also be mounted by similar procedure. After Mounting all of them we receive the following window:


TECHNICAL REPORT 15.Now we inserted the “Ubuntu 8.04” CD and pressed the “Start” button and received ”Windows Security Alert” and Clicked the “Unblock” button to continue:

16.After that we received the language selection screen and selected “English” language option. 17.Then we got a window and selected the option “install Ubuntu” and an auto mated installation started.

18.After the sometime we recieved the Ubuntu setup and were asked to to select the language I selected “English” and pressed “Forward” Then we received a time zone selecting screen I selected Karachi by moving cursor on the map and pressed “Forward”. 19. Then asked for keyboard layout. I selected USA and pressed forward.


TECHNICAL REPORT 20.Then screen appeared for preparing disk space. I selected Guided-use entire disk option.

21. Then asked about personal information i.e., Name, ID, Password and name of computer. 22.Then it displayed the summary and I clicked “Install” button: 23. Installation began:

24.At completion we were asked to restart computer but the computer did not restart only the virtual machine (Ubuntu) rebooted. At start we were asked for username and password that we created during installation step 26. After this we got a desktop and Ubuntu was ready to use:



So Linux was installed virtually on our operating system i.e. Windows XP 2002 Service Pack 7. Applications of our project: We have learned to install Linux (Ubuntu) on a windows machine using virtual box. The major components of our project i.e. Linux and virtual box both have very important applications in real life and in all fields. Linux as explained in our project is a very useful operating system. It can be used at home, Office, Organizations and in Institutions due to large number of benefits and comforts it gives to its users. The stability of Linux makes it an ideal choice for programmers. The networking benefits of Linux make it great choice for organizations in which computers are to be networked. These and many other features of Linux that are explained in [4.1] and [4.2] make Linux very useful operating system in any field of life. So, its importance cannot be ignored so it makes it very much the first choice operating system for many but users find it a bit difficult to install Linux as it requires many mounting commands. So to remove this kind of difficulty hurdle, which prevents users from using Linux, our project has introduced an easy way to install it using “virtualization”. We can install Linux virtually by using the virtualization software “Virtual Box”. This magical application helps user to create a virtual image of application manually. So, this method can be used by any individual at any organization to install Linux and enjoy the fruits of its benefits without any difficulty of mounting commands. This is a step towards making Linux a household name in the world of IT because the only hurdle that was standing between Linux and users was its installation through mounting commands. Another benefit that this project has brought is that users can install any other operating system to test it by following a similar procedure.


TECHNICAL REPORT Organizations will require lesser hardware and operational costs while increasing their server‘s power and its availability to users. It is so because instead of using many servers for many clients. They can install virtualization software in a single server and that virtualization software will assign resources to the clients as specified by the administrator. This can save space too. One can check its programs and applications by system development technique [as explained in 4.3.6] If there are applications that run on a computer than one will be able to assign greater resources to the more important applications and the need for extra hardware for more important applications is prevented. It is portable so if one has to move its important data from one place to other then moving the virtual machine will be just like moving a software package. Multiple operating systems can be installed without occupying much disk space. So, Linux has many benefits that is why we chose it as our project goal to install it 8. Conclusion: Hence Linux can be installed on a windows machine using virtual box. It is actually the Virtualization phenomenon. Virtual box acts as a virtual machine and allows users to assign virtual memory, storage and other resources to the virtual operating system (Guest). This was not possible without virtual box and without virtual box such operating systems create their own virtual image and take their share of memory, storage and resources all by themselves without involving the user. ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ We learnt a lot about the tool of virtualization i.e. Virtual Box. We installed Linux (Ubuntu) without using tedious mounting commands. We found out the benefits of Linux (Ubuntu). We learnt how to create a virtual operating system manually by using some tool (Virtual Box). We learnt a lot about virtualization and its benefits. We learnt how virtual memory works. We learnt what happens inside the CPU when a process is loaded by studying the concept of virtual memory. We learnt other uses, features and applications of virtualization and virtual box. Like its use in networking and programming. We learnt a lot of benefits of Linux (Ubuntu) operating system. We learnt different ways by which Linux (Ubuntu) can be installed. We learnt how Linux (Ubuntu) can be installed using virtualization phenomenon. We used the Linux (Ubuntu) operating system and found it very useful especially for students.

We learnt a lot during this project and we would like to thank our teacher Dr. Junaid Qadir from bottom of our hearts for giving us this wonderful opportunity to learn and explore vast the world of computing.


TECHNICAL REPORT [2] Virtual box [3] Operating System Concepts Seventh Edition Silberschatz, Galvin, Gagne [4] [5] [6]Ubuntu install screenshots [7]Memory hierarchy in [4.3.6] [8] [9] [10] [11] Syed Awais Haider [12] [13] [14] [15]Windows logo in [4] [16]Virtual box logo in [1.4] [18]Linux logo 1in [4.1] [17]Linux logo3 in [1] [18] [19] Dr. Junaid Qadir


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