How to Install VirtualBox in Linux

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Have you ever wanted to run multiple operating systems simultaneously without worrying about hardware upgrades or software compatibility? Oracle's VirtualBox is a virtualization application that allows your computer to run several operating systems at once, inside separate virtual machines. As a cross-platform application, VirtualBox can be installed on Windows, Mac, Linux and Solaris operating systems. Although installing VirtualBox on Windows and Mac is relatively straightforward, installation on Linux may be more complicated, depending on the Linux distribution you are using.

Installing VirtualBox Using a .DEB Package

  • Download the latest version of VirtualBox for your Debian/Ubuntu distribution.

  • Open a terminal window and type the following command: "sudo dpkg -i VirtualBox-4.0_4.0.6_Ubuntu_natty_i386.deb."

    Note that the above command should reflect the name of the file you downloaded earlier.

  • Accept the user agreement to proceed with the installation. At this time, the program will attempt to install a kernel module based on your system's configuration. If the kernel fails to install, a warning will appear and the installation will stop.

  • Start the VirtualBox application after it has been installed and configured. Click on the Start menu, select "System Tools" and click on the VirtualBox title.

Installing VirtualBox Using an Alternative Installer (.run)

  • Download the latest VirtualBox.run package. This alternative installer is designed to work with all Linux distributions.

  • Execute the installer as root by entering the following command: "sudo ./VirtualBox.run install." If "sudo" cannot be used, you can use this command instead: "./VirtualBox.run install."

  • Specify each user who will have access to USB devices in the "vboxusers" group. This can be done using the GUI management tools, or by typing the following command: "sudo usermod -a -G vboxusers username."

  • Open the VirtualBox application by navigating to "System Tools" in the Start menu.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure to download the correct package for your system; 32-bit users should download the i386 package, while 64-bit users should download the AMD64 package.

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