How to Virtualize a Physical Ubuntu Machine

Using Kernel-based Virtual Machine technology, we can convert a physical ubuntu machine; here are the steps on how to Virtualize a physical Ubuntu machine.

KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is a virtualization solution built into the Linux kernel. It turns Linux into a hypervisor that allows multiple virtual machines (VMs) to run on a single physical server.

How to Virtualize a Physical Ubuntu Machine

Prerequisites on How to Virtualize a Physical Ubuntu Machine

You will require the following before starting:

  • An Ubuntu machine that you want to virtualize. This can be a physical server, Desktop, or laptop. We advise utilizing a physical server with at least 20 GB of free disc space and 2 GB of RAM.
  • A second machine on which you will install Ubuntu Server. This can be a physical server, Desktop, or laptop. We advise utilizing a physical server with at least 20 GB of free disc space and 2 GB of RAM.
  • A USB flash disc with a minimum of 2 GB of storage space is needed.

Creating a VM in VMWare Workstation

  • Open VMWare Workstation and click “Create a New Virtual Machine.”
  • Select the option “I will install the operating system later” and click Next.
  • Select “Ubuntu 64-bit” for the OS Type and Version and click Next.
  • Please enter a name for your new VM and choose a location for it. I like to keep all my VMs in subfolders off my Desktop so I can find them easily. Click Next when you’re done.
  • Allocate as much RAM to your VM as you can spare. I recommend a minimum of 1024MB for Ubuntu, but 2048MB or more would be even better. Especially if you plan on running multiple VMs simultaneously or doing any serious development work inside the VM. Click Next when you’re done.
  • You can leave the hard disk size at the default (8GB) unless you know you’ll need more space, in which case you can increase it now or later through the Settings dialog. Click Next when you’re ready to continue.
  • Verify your settings on the Ready to Create screen and click Finish to create the VM.

Installing Ubuntu in the VM

  • Before you can start using Ubuntu in your VM, you must install it. You can either install Ubuntu from a DVD or a .iso file.
  • To install Ubuntu from a DVD, insert the DVD into your computer’s optical drive and power on the VM.
  • The Ubuntu installer should start automatically. If it doesn’t, press the key that launches the boot menu for your particular VM software (usually F2, F12, ESC, or tab) and select the option to boot from the DVD.
  • Once the installer loads, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation. Be sure to select “Install Ubuntu” rather than “Try Ubuntu” — unless you want to try Ubuntu without installing it, of course!
  • Installing Ubuntu from a .iso file is a bit more complicated since you’ll need to create a bootable USB drive first. A USB flash drive with at least 2 GB of free space and a .iso file of Ubuntu — both of which you can get from the Ubuntu website.

Configuring the Network

To virtualize a physical machine running Ubuntu, you must perform a few additional steps to configure the network. This is necessary because the way that networking is configured on a physical device is incompatible with virtualization.

  • To begin, you need to open the /etc/network/interfaces file in a text editor. This file controls the network configuration for the system.
  • At the top of the file, you will need to add a new entry for each network adapter. Each entry should look like this:
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
dns-nameservers 8.8.4

Mounting the Physical Disk in the VM

To virtualize a physical ubuntu machine, you must first mount the physical disk in the VM.

  • Start by booting up the VM and opening up a terminal.
  • Next, you need to find out where the physical disk is located. You can do this by running the following command: sudo fdisk -l
  • Once you know where the disk is located, you can mount it by running the following command: sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
  • Finally, you need to create a file called /etc/fstab and add the following line to it: /dev/sda1 /mnt ext4 defaults 0 0
  • Now that the VM is running, you ought to be able to access the physical drive.


We have now looked at how to virtualize a physical Ubuntu machine. We have also looked at some of the benefits and drawbacks of this approach.

Overall, virtualizing a physical Ubuntu machine is an excellent way to move to a new server or test environment without worrying about hardware compatibility.

It can also run multiple instances of Ubuntu on the same hardware, which can be helpful for testing or development purposes.

There could be some drawbacks to this strategy, though. In particular, managing and maintaining a virtual machine can be more challenging than a physical one.

Additionally, if you are not careful, you can overuse your resources and cause your system to slow down or become unstable.