If you would like to try Ubuntu without affecting your main machine or if you want to test something on Ubuntu in a safe environment you can create a virtual installation. To do this you can use VirtualBox, a general-purpose full virtualizer, extremely feature rich, high performance and free.
If you would like to try Ubuntu without affecting your main machine or if you want to test something on Ubuntu in a safe environment instead of on your native install you can create a virtual installation. To do this you can use virtualization software. VirtualBox is a general-purpose full virtualizer; extremely feature rich, high performance and is freely available as Open Source Software.
Download a copy of Ubuntu.
Download a copy of VirtualBox. This link takes you to the downloads page where you can get hold of a copy for your OS whether you are running Windows, Mac OS X or a Linux Distro.
If you are using Ubuntu just open a terminal (Crtl+Alt+t) and run the following command, then skip to step 4.
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install virtualbox
Install VirtualBox on your machine. If you need help with this see the installation guide on the VirtualBox website here.
Open VirtualBox and you should see a screen similar to this:
(Note: My main OS is Ubuntu, on a different OS it may look a little different - This goes for all screen shots here in)
Next click on the 'New' button, a window will appear, click 'Next'. Then you will see a window like below, Enter in a name for your OS, Select Linux For the Operating System and click next.
Enter Virtual Machine Base Memory (RAM) - I usually use half of the Ram available, Click 'Next'.
Create Virtual Hard Disk - Just click 'Next' here and on the next 2 screens.
Select the size of the Virtual Disk, click 'Next', and then click 'Create' on the following screen.
You should now see this screen with your new entry in it. Click on the 'Settings' button to continue.
Now Click Storage --> Empty --> CD Icon --> 'Choose a Virtual CD/DVD disk file...'
Locate the Ubuntu ISO you downloaded, select 'Open' then 'OK'. You will be returned to the main menu.
Click the 'Start' button to begin the installation process of Ubuntu on your virtual machine.
If a 'VirtualBox - Information' message appears just check 'Do not show this message again' then 'OK'.
Click 'Install Ubuntu'.
On the next screen I would recommend you select both options here (internet connection required). The first option will make sure you have all the latest updates while the second is needed to use Flash, MP3 files, DVDs among others.Click 'Continue'.
Click 'Install Now'.
Select a location and click 'Continue'.
Choose your keyboard layout and click 'Continue'.
Choose a username, a password you will remember and click 'Continue'.
Wait for the install to complete and restart the virtual machine when you see the prompt.
To start Ubuntu highlight the installation then click 'Start' in the main VirtualBox screen