Virtual Machines

By | March 4, 2013

Virtual box software installation and set-up

A VM is a software emulation of a computer that executes a a different operating systems and programs on a host computer.

All resource request come from a virtualization layer and not the hosts computers hardware.

To use a VM the VM must be installed on a physical drive, for our purposes it was suggested to install the VM software on a portable 250g usb hard drive.

This example will use “Oracles VM VirtualBox 4.2.4” (VB).

After installing the VM software on the drive the “VirtualBox-4.2.4-81684-Win.exe” executable file is run from the drive.

This brings up Oracle’s VB installation wizard. This particular VB requires 126mb of space on the drive.

The VB can be installed using various sub-features of the VB application such as;

  1. USB Support
  2. Networking
    • Bridged Networking
    • Network Adapter for Host-Only Networking
  3. Python Support

After choosing which shortcuts to install and acknowledging that the installation may disconnect from the existing network our installation begins.

The following prompts are displayed during installation.

  • Do you trust Oracle software?
  • Do you allow Oracle VB to make changes to your system?

Once the VB installation is complete the VB welcome screen appears.

The options from the welcome screen include the following primary and secondary drop-down menu options; (the items that can be selected are bold and italicize at this stage)


  • Virtual Media Manager
  • Import Appliance
  • Export Appliance
  • Preferences

2. Machine

  • New
  • + Add
  • Settings
  • Clone
  • Remove
  • Group
  • Start
  • Pause
  • Reset
  • Close
  • Discard Saved State
  • Close
  • Show Log
  • Refresh
  • Show in Explorer
  • Create Shortcut on Desktop
  • Sort

3. Help

  • Contents
  • VirtualBox Web Site
  • Reset All Warnings
  • Network Operations Manager
  • Check for Updates
  • About VirtualBox

4. The following visual options are displayed directly below the dropdown menus;

  • New
  • Settings
  • Start
  • Discard

Finally there are two more selections to the far left;

  • Details
  • Snapshots

Again the only two options available at this time are “New” and “Details“.

From the visual options select “New” to begin setting up the “Virtual Operating System” (VOS).

We will now be prompted to name your new VM, select an OS and version from the dropdown menus;

  • Name: (Enter a name for your VM)
  • Type: Microsoft Windows
  • Version: Windows XP

The following options are available also select any of the following OS platforms;

  • Linux
  • Solaris
  • BSD
  • IBM O/S2
  • Mac OSX
  • Other

Once an OS is selected the Version drop offers you all of the various version releases for each manufacturer.

I have chosen Windows XP for my operating system and version.

After clicking next you are prompted to choose the amount of RAM to use from a slider bar. I am choosing 1G or 1024MB.

Again I click next and I am the prompt ask if I want to create a virtual Hard Drive.

I can choose to; not add a virtual hard drive, add a virtual hard drive or to use an existing virtual hard drive.

If we were to choose not to add a virtual hard drive, more complex storage set-up can be changed in the machine settings after it is created.

We are choosing to set-up a virtual hard drive on my USB drive.

click next and we are prompted to select my hard drive type. The following setups can be selected from their individual tick box’s;
  • VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image)
  • VMDK (Virtual Machine Disk)
  • VHD (Virtual Hard Disk)
  • HDD (Parallels Hard Disk)
  • QED ( QEMU enhanced disk)
  • QCOW (QEMU Copy-On-Write)

To set up our Database We’ll select the VMDK (Virtual Machine Disk).

We click next and choose whether my new virtual hard drive is dynamically allocated or a fixed size. I am selecting the dynamic allocation so my database can grow as needed.

We can now click next one last time and I am prompted to name my new database hard drive and set the maximum size in MB that my database can grow to.

We are going to use the default (10MB) on the slider bar and click “Create”.

Now that my VM is set-up I am going to start my VMDK by selecting the visual option “Start”.

AN information box appears warning me that the “Auto capture keyboard option is on and that I can press the host key at any time to turn it off.

You can download Virtual Box for free at

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