How to Install Ubuntu 16.04 | 17.10 | 18.04 Guest Machines on VirtualBox

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This brief tutorial is going to show students and new users how to install Ubuntu 16.04 / 17.10 and 18.04 LTS desktops on a VirtualBox guest machines. If you own a Windows or Linux computer and would like to experience Ubuntu, then installing it on a VirtualBox software as guest machine is the fastest and cost effective way to go.

When you’re ready to run VirtualBox guest machine with Ubuntu, the below steps should be a great place to start.

This should also be a great way to test the upcoming Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, as it might be the best Ubuntu distribution yet. Ubuntu 18.04 LTS returns to GNOME Desktop environment, defaults to Xorg as graphics server, brings new themes and many more enhanced features.

Ubuntu 18.04 appears to be a giant step forward. You will probably want to upgrade or install it the moment it’s available.

Step 1: Create Ubuntu Desktop Guest Machine

To run Ubuntu Desktop on VirtualBox software, you’ll have to first create a guest machine. follow the guide below to create a Ubuntu desktop guest machine.

Open VirtualBox software and click New to create a new virtual machine… then type the machine name and select the type and the version as shown in the image below… and click Next

Ubuntu desktop on virtualbox

On the next screen, select the Memory size. the default and recommended value is Okay. however, for optimal performance, you may want to increase it a bit. click Next to continue…

windows 10 virtualbox

On the next screen, create a new virtual hard drive… The default and recommended value is also Okay… however, if the host computer has large free storage space available, increasing the value here should also be Okay. click Next to continue…

windows 10 virtualbox

Then select the hard disk type… again, the default VDI is recommended and selected by default… continue on the next page.

windows 10 virtualbox machine

On the next page, choose Dynamically allocated storage disk and click Next to continue.

virtualbox windows 10

On the final screen, click Create complete the guest machine creation…

ubuntu virtualbox desktop

At this stage, you should have a blank guest machine without any operating system.

STEP 2: Install Ubuntu Desktop

You may likely get Ubuntu Desktop ISO image file.… Ubuntu comes in either 32-bit or 64-bit arch, however, for newer editions. only 64-bit are available… Whichever version you have, make sure to copy the ISO image on the host computer running VirtualBox software…

Next, click the guest machine settings and go to Storage ==> Controller: SATA – Empty ==> Select the drive with the DVD or browse for the ISO image….

virtualbox guest machine

Save the settings and start the virtual machine…

When the virtual machine boots up, you should see Ubuntu installation screen as shown below….

ubuntu 18.04 install

Click the Install Ubuntu button to begin the installation. You could Try Ubuntu without making changes to your computer. but your goal is to install Ubuntu. so click Install Ubuntu to continue.

ubuntu 18.04 inmstallation

Next, select your Keyboard layout. Ubuntu installation picks US Keyboard layout by default. this is a good place to change it if it’s not your default. Click Continue to move on.

ubuntu 18.04 install

The installation should be preparing to install Ubuntu packages. on this screen you’re given an option to Download updates while installing Ubuntu which saves time after the installation. and to install third-party software for graphics Wi-Fi devices and media codes.

You do not have to select these boxes. I personally believe installing the software packages is the best way to install Ubuntu. Ignore these choices and continue.

Ubuntu 18.04 lts installation

On this screen is where you select the installation type. the first option to Erase disk and install Ubuntu is the easiest of them. This options deletes everything on the hard drive and install Ubuntu on it.

Option #2 Something else — is to perform a custom installation. for advanced users.

You can choose to encrypt Ubuntu and use other advanced settings. but for new users and students, select the first option and continue.

ubuntu 18.04 lts install

Accept that the installation will erase the hard drive and install Ubuntu on it. click Continue to move on.

ubuntu 18.04 lts setup

On this screen is where you choose your timezone. type a city name you live in and click Continue.

ubuntu 18.04 lts install

The next screen is where you type the first user account. Type your name, your username and password and choose whether you want to type a password to sign in always. when you’re done, click Continue.

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS installation

Wait for the installation to complete. this should take about 7 mins depending on the speed of the computer. when the installation is done, you’ll be prompted to restart.

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS installation

This is the last screen and the installation is complete. all you have to do is restart your computer, remove the disc from the drive and log back in.

After logging back into Ubuntu, your first task should be to update Ubuntu. press Ctrl — Alt — T on your keyboard open the terminal. then run the commands below to update Ubuntu.

sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade && sudo apt autoremove

Restart once more and you should be set.

Step 3: Install VirtualBox Guest Additions Software

When you log back on to Ubuntu, you should first install VirtualBox guest additions software. Go to Devices ==> Insert Guest Additions CD Image.

windows 10 guest additions

Doing this should insert a virtual CD/DVD drive onto the guest machine… you should get an installation launcher… Click Run to begin the installation. you may have to enter your password to continue…  Reboot after that.

This is it. a new Ubuntu guest machine should be ready to use


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1 Comment

  1. You’ll get an error when installing the guest additions, because some packets are missing, like gcc, perl.
    Have a look into the error message of the install dialogue of the guest additions.

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