The Oracle VirtualBox software is free and runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux hosts. See how to download and install the software.
- [Instructor] The VirtualBox installer is available from virtualbox.org. Websites sometimes change, and software versions get updated, so what you see on your system, might not match what I see in my browser here. But on this page, I can either click this big, blue button or navigate over to the downloads link on the left side of the page. Here under VirtualBox platform packages, there are links to download the installer for VirtualBox for various platforms. Window, OS10, which is what MacOS used to be called, Linux, and Solaris. If you're installing VirtualBox on a Linux host, you'll want to click through and choose the right package for your system.
I'm working on a Windows here, so I'll choose the Windows installer from the list, and download that to my system. I'll switch to the file browser for my system, and go to the downloads folder. Here's the installer, and I'll double-click it to install. You'll need to be an administrator to install the software. I'll continue through the installer without changing any of the settings. Feel free to change the settings to your liking. If you're installing on a Mac or on Linux, your installer will look different, but you should be able to just click through to install the software.
When VirtualBox sets up its networking features, you'll be disconnected from the network briefly, so keep that in mind. And now the software is installed. To open up VirtualBox, you can use the desktop shortcut if you created one, or use the Start menu on Windows, or Spotlight on the Mac. The window that we see is called VirtualBox manager and it's the interface where we can create, modify, and manage virtual machines. When we start up virtual machines, we'll see a different window. And we'll explore that once we have a virtual machine installed. Here on the left side of VirtualBox manager is an area where you'll see a list of virtual machines as you create them.
On the right, is an area that will show details about the selected virtual machine. Across the top of this area is a toolbar where we have buttons to create a new virtual machine, one to change the settings for a machine that's already been created, an option to discard or get rid of a virtual machine, and a button to start up a virtual machine. On the right side of this bar, there's two options, details and snapshots. This toggle controls what we see in the right pane down here. Normally, we'll see details but once we have a machine, we can take snapshots of its current state and those are managed with the snapshots view.
We'll see that in detail later on. If you look closely at the start button, you'll see a little disclosure triangle. Once we have a virtual machine selected, we'll have three different options to start it up. The normal mode starts a machine with a graphical display window, and if you close that window, the guest goes with it. Headless start brings the machine up without a display, which isn't what we want right now, but there are some use cases for it. And to connect to the machine, you'd need to use a remote console or a screen-sharing program. And detachable start starts up a machine with a display, but with the option of keeping the machine running without one later on.
Up at the very top of the window, there's a menu bar with a few options. Here on Windows, it's at the top of the application window. And on a Mac, it's going to be at the very top of the screen. Depending on your platform, the options up here will be in different places, but they're all the same. So, you might need to look around a little bit on your own. Here on Windows under file, I have preferences which sets the configuration for the VirtualBox software. I'll click into there. Once again, the way these options are laid out on Windows and on other operating systems is different, but the options are the same.
The general option here gives us the choice of where to store the VirtualMachine data. These virtual machines can get pretty big, so you'll want to make sure you have enough space wherever you choose to accommodate that. Also, keep in mind that virtual machines will run faster from an SSD or flash storage, than from a traditional hard drive. But SSD's tend to be smaller than traditional drives, so it's up to you where you want to keep the machines. I'll leave this alone for now. Under input, we can change what keys do what, both in VirtualBox manager itself, and in virtual machines.
I tend not to use hotkeys in VirtualBox manager, but if you want to, you can find out what the keyboard shortcuts are and change them from here. I want to draw your attention to the virtual machine tab here, and within here, the host key combination. When we're working with a virtual machine, the input from the mouse and keyboard go into it, instead of the host computer. So, we need a way of telling the virtual machine when we want to change that. To do that, we have the host key, which here on Windows is set to the right Ctrl key, and on a Mac, it's set to the left Command key.
If we press this, or press it in combination with other keys, we're sending that information to the host, to virtual machine manager, instead of to the operating system inside the virtual machine. This is important for relinquishing control of the input devices, and for other management tasks. I'll leave the setting as-is for now, but you can change it if you want. If you do, make sure that the key you choose doesn't conflict with something you want to be able to use inside the guest. It won't work inside if you tell VirtualBox manager to use it as the host key. Under update, you can choose whether to let the VirtualBox software update automatically, and what kind of updates you want.
Sometimes bug fixes are released, and those can be nice to have. But if you're in a lab or testing setting, you might want to disable this to make sure that the version you're using is the one you expect. Under language, we can choose what language the VirtualBox software is presented in. And under display, we can choose whether to set a maximum size for the screen of the guest machines. I don't use this feature, but you might. The network section gives us the chance to configure virtual networks, and while we won't do that now, we'll revisit this later on in the course.
Extensions is where we can manage the extension software, like the extension pack. And proxy gives you the option of configuring a proxy if you need one, to connect to the internet. I'll click out of the preferences window with cancel here. Back in the file menu, there's options to import and export appliances. An appliance is a self-contained virtual machine, and you can import one that you've downloaded from somewhere else. You can export a virtual machine as an appliance, to distribute it to others. Virtual media manager here, lets you keep track of disc images that the software uses.
And network operations manager, gives you some visibility into what's happening with virtual networks. We can also check for updates to VirtualBox here manually, and reset any warnings that might have popped up. And of course, we can exit. Over in the machine menu, there are some detailed options for working with a virtual machine. They're mostly disabled now because we don't have a machine selected. And over in help, there's some help topics if you need assistance or want to look something up.
- Installing the software
- Allocating resources for guest systems
- Installing Windows 10 and Linux in VirtualBox
- Forwarding ports for services
- Exploring the virtual machine window
- Command-line options
- Networking with VirtualBox
- Modifying disks and memory