Running a virtual machine on Ubuntu 9.04

Ever wanted to test something on another platform than the current one you’re on?
Needed to take screenshots of a windows environment  while having a *nix-only network?
Then you might consider running the extra OS as a guest in a virtual machine.

There are lots of different ways to do this on Ubuntu.
You might want to use VMware, Xen, KVM, Iguest, rhyp, UML, qemu, OpenVZ, … catch my drift? 😉Before making a rash decision, you should consider each of them carefully.
Then start by asking yourself the question “What do I need?”.
This is the single most important question when you want to install some software, as lots of them have cool features, you only use the first week.

I had quite some people suggesting VMware server, as it is free and gets the job done like it should plus it has cool features.
But nevertheless I chose Sun’s VirtualBox because:

  • it’s free
  • it’s Foss
  • it’s in the repository’s
  • it shows the world that a big company can easily produce Foss and gain on it.
  • it does whatever I need it to do.

To install VirtaulBox fire up a terminal and hit:

sudo apt-get install virtualbox

This will give you some output that might look like this (will differ depending the packages already on your system):

Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
Note, selecting virtualbox-ose instead of virtualbox
The following extra packages will be installed:
libaudio2 libqt4-dbus libqt4-designer libqt4-network libqt4-qt3support libqt4-script libqt4-sql libqt4-sql-mysql libqt4-xml libqtcore4 libqtgui4 qt4-qtconfig virtualbox-ose virtualbox-ose-source
Suggested packages:
nas libqt4-dev bridge-utils
The following NEW packages will be installed:
libaudio2 libqt4-dbus libqt4-designer libqt4-network libqt4-qt3support libqt4-script libqt4-sql libqt4-sql-mysql libqt4-xml libqtcore4 libqtgui4 qt4-qtconfig virtualbox-ose virtualbox-ose-source
0 upgraded, 14 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 9413kB/18.7MB of archives.
After this operation, 68.0MB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]?

Answer the question with “Y” and apt wil work it’s magic!
Note that the last lines in your terminal will look like:

Adding modules to DKMS build system
Doing initial module builds
Installing initial modules
Done.
* Stopping VirtualBox kernel module…                                 [ OK ]
* Starting VirtualBox kernel module…                                  [ OK ]

Processing triggers for libc6 …
ldconfig deferred processing now taking place

There is no real need to restart you computer or start the service, as it is done for you.
So now you’ve mastered installing a visualization app. in no-time 🙂

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