VirtualBox is a great program I’ve been exploring these past few weeks. The folks at Download Squad wrote a good article about VirtualBox. With it you can run your own virtual machines inside your operating system of choice. Do you want to run Windows inside Linux (or vice-versa)? Or, do you want to learn how to setup a small network inside your own computer? The possibilities are great with Virtualbox.
The program is open source, a great alternative to the free (but closed) VMWare. You can run it on Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux (for Ubuntu it is already inside Synaptic).
How does it work? With VirtualBox you create a virtual computer with all the specifications you want to set: the amount of HD space, RAM, video memory, internet connection, if it’ll have a floppy disk, CDROM, and much more. Tweak it however you want. Once this virtual machine has been created, you can install an operating system and run it like you normally would on a desktop. You’re safe to try out whatever you want, if you do something wrong don’t worry your actual computer is safe.
At the moment I’m using it inside my Ubuntu Linux to test other Linux distros, without the need to reboot. My goal is to later install Windows and be able to work with both simultaneously.
Want to learn how to set it up? It is very easy to do.
1) Create your new virtual machine: press the button “New” (note: if you’re on Linux, run Virtualbox on root)
2) Follow the simple, holding-by-the-hand wizard: choose the base OS.
3) Choose how much RAM