How to create a Linux virtual machine with VirtualBox

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Linux is everywhere -- in phones, smart appliances, cloud storage services, cars, thermostats, and just about everything with an embedded system or a major third-party service.

It can also be on your desktop. Linux is a fantastic choice as a desktop operating system because it's incredibly reliable, secure, and more flexible than any other OS on the market. But for those who might be hesitant to install Linux over macOS or Windows, what can you do? One route that makes it very easy to test and use Linux, without doing anything to your primary operating system, is the virtual machine route. 

With that said, let's get our virtual machine up and running.

Creating the virtual machine

1. Open VirtualBox

The first thing you'll do is open VirtualBox[1] from your computer's desktop menu. Once the application is open, click Tools and then click New (Figure 1).

The VirtualBox main window.

The VirtualBox main window shows I've already created quite a few virtual machines.

Image: Jack Wallen

2. Name your new guest operating system

I'm going to spin up a virtual machine for FerenOS, which is a Linux distribution. In the first window of the wizard (Figure 2), give the virtual machine a name, select the folder to house the files, select the type of operating system for the new virtual machine and the version, and then click Next.

The VirtualBox virtual machine naming window.

Naming our new virtual machine.

Image: Jack Wallen

3. Configure RAM

In the next window, slide the Memory size slider to the right to increase the amount of RAM you want to allot to the machine (Figure 3).

The VirtualBox virtual machine memory resizer.

Configuring the RAM for our new virtual machine.

Image: Jack Wallen

4. Create a virtual

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