Saturday, August 29, 2009

Installing and using VirtualBox in Fedora

Often we have to work in more than one platform simultaneously while developing something (or for any other work as well). And it is very disturbing to switch to different operating systems from time to time.

We have a very good solution to that. We can use VirtualBox to install multiple guest operating systems in one host operating system. For example, lets say we want to install Windows Vista in Fedora. So our host system is Fedora and guest system is Window Vista.

1. First we'll have to download and install the latest VirtualBox in Fedora. After installing, open VirtualBox.

2. Click on 'New'. Then press next. It will ask you to give a name of the new operating system, you can give any name for this. Below VirtualBox will ask for the operating system type and version (in this case, type is Microsoft Windows and version is Windows Vista).

3. Then you'll be asked to specify the amount of memory (RAM) to be used for this guest OS. Give it as you like (better to give atleast 512mb for Vista). Note that, your total RAM will be divided for the host and guest OS when you run guest OS.

4. Then it will ask to specify the hard disk space for the guest OS. When creating a new partition, there are two options. Fixed-size storage (the drive size will be fixed) and Dynamically expanding storage (the drive will start with a small size, but it will expand as needed to the maximum size specified by you).

5. Click finish button. Then start the new created operating system by pressing 'start'. It will ask for the Windows Vista cd for the first time to install. It will continue the install process normally.

6. After installation, you are ready to use your new guest OS.

Sharing files between Fedora and Windows Vista:

1. We have to download the VirtualBox guest addition. It is a cd image file, if you double click on it, it will be shown as a cd drive.

2. From the windows Vista window, click devices->Mount Cd/Dvd-rom->cd/dvd-rom image. Then select the cd image you just created by double clicking on guest addition. Now this drive will be shown in 'my computer' as a drive. Go inside it and install guest addition.

3. Shut down your guest OS. From VirtualBox settings->shared folders, select the folder you want to share between the two operating systems.

4. Now restart Windows Vista. You will find an icon of VirtualBox guest addition in the taskbar.

5. Now go to command prompt and type: net use x: \\vboxsvr\shared -p

6. If successfully completed, you will find that shared folder in 'my computer' as a drive.

Hope it will help you using multiple operating systems in your machine.