How to Set up a Virtual Machine in Ubuntu

Virtualization is a great invention that helped us utilize hardware resources much better. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to set up a virtual machine in Ubuntu using the free and open-source software VirtualBox.

Introduction to Virtual Machine

A virtual machine is a simulated computer system that runs inside another computer. It’s like having two computers in one!

A virtual machine can run a different operating system on your computer. For example, you install Ubuntu Linux on a virtual machine inside Windows.

Virtual machines are handy for testing new software or trying out different configurations. They’re also used to segregate programs and operating systems for security purposes.

For example, you could install a virtual machine with its separate copy of Windows and use it to run insecure programs or browse the web with a less-secure browser.

If something goes wrong, your primary operating system will be safe.

How to Set up a Virtual Machine in Ubuntu

What is a virtual machine?

A virtual machine is a guest operating system (OS) that runs on top of a host OS. It has virtual hardware, including CPU, memory, storage, and networking.

Virtual machines are used for several reasons, including testing software, running multiple applications on a single computer, and consolidating servers.

There are two types of virtual machines: system virtual machines and process virtual machines.

System virtual machines provide a complete system emulation and can run multiple Operating systems simultaneously.

Process virtual machines only provide an abstraction of the underlying hardware and can only run a single Operating system.

Why use a virtual machine?

There are many reasons why you would prefer to use a virtual machine. Maybe you want to try out a new operating system or run software incompatible with your primary operating system.

Virtual machines are also great for security; if you run a virtual machine with sensitive data that gets hacked, the rest of your system will remain safe.

Creating a virtual machine is easy, and there are many excellent options for doing so.

How to set up a virtual machine in Ubuntu

A virtual machine is a software emulation of a real computer system. It allows you to run multiple operating systems on one physical device. It is useful when testing or developing software for various platforms.

Ubuntu’s built-in virtualization tool, KVM, is an excellent way to set up a virtual machine.

To complete this guide, you will need the following:

  • A server is running Ubuntu 16.04 or later.
  • A user with sudo privileges.

What are the benefits of using a virtual machine?

Using a virtual machine has many benefits, especially when running multiple operating systems or working with sensitive data. Some of the benefits include:

  • Isolation: By running a virtual machine, you can isolate your primary operating system from any potential risks associated with the software or data you are working with. It is beneficial when working with sensitive data or beta software.
  • Ease of use: Setting up and using a virtual machine is straightforward, and many user-friendly tools are available to help you get started.
  • Flexibility: You can easily change the configuration of your virtual machine to suit your needs and run multiple virtual machines simultaneously if required.

How to make the most of your virtual machine?

Now that you have installed Ubuntu, you may want to know how to make the most of your virtual machine (VM). Here are some suggestions on how to get started:

  • Choose the right VM for your needs. There are many different types of VMs available, so make sure to select the one that best meets your needs.

For example, if you need a more powerful VM for gaming or video editing, you should choose a higher-end VM.

  • Familiarize yourself with the Ubuntu desktop. You will be presented with a Welcome screen the first time you launch your Ubuntu VM.

From here, you can explore the various options and settings available. Be sure to take some time to familiarize yourself with the layout and functions of the desktop so that you can maximize its potential.

  • Install applications on your Ubuntu VM. One of the great things about using a VM is that you can install any software without affecting your host operating system (OS).

You can test new programs or try different software versions without worrying about corrupting your main OS installation.

To install an application, open the Ubuntu Software Center and search for it by name or keywords.

  • Customize your Ubuntu VM to meet your specific needs. Suppose you want to change the look and feel of your VM. In that case, several themes and wallpaper options are available in the Appearance section of System Settings.

You can also add custom applications to the launcher, so they are always within easy reach.

If you need help customizing your VM, plenty of resources are available online, such as forums and FAQs.

  • Get involved in the Ubuntu community. One of the best ways to learn more about using Ubuntu is to join the online community and participate in discussions or ask questions when you need help.

There are numerous resources available, such as IRC channels, forums, mailing lists, and websites dedicated to providing support for users of all levels of experience


If you’re having trouble setting up a virtual machine in Ubuntu, you can try a few troubleshooting steps.

  • First, ensure your computer’s BIOS is set to boot from the CD/DVD drive. If not, you won’t be able to install Ubuntu from the live CD.
  • If you’re still having trouble, try burning the Ubuntu ISO file to a DVD instead of a CD. Sometimes CDs can be unreliable, especially if they’re old or have been used frequently.
  • Finally, if everything fails, you can install Ubuntu directly onto your hard drive. This will erase anything already on your hard drive, so make sure you have backups of all your important files before proceeding.


We have now looked at how to set up a virtual machine in Ubuntu, using both the command line and the graphical interface. We have also looked at installing and launching programs on a virtual machine.

Let us know which approach you liked the most to install Virtual Machine in Ubuntu OS.