Install Ubuntu inside Windows with VMware or Virtual Box

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This is probably the easiest and best way to get your hands dirty with linux without having to disturb your windows installation, and this has been made possible by the multi-core cpus that are now so ubiquitous. First, ahead download and install either VMware Player 3 or Sun VirtualBox, both of which are free (for VMwareplayer you would need to register with VMware which is free). For a linux noob (newbie) I would recommend downloading VMware Player because I think it is marginally more user friendly than VirtualBox (which gives you a tiny bit more freedom in configuring your virtual machines).

Next, download the live CD/DVD (iso file) of the linux distro (distribution) you want to use. If you are not sure then I would recommend trying Ubuntu 10.04 or Fedora 13.0. Now we would need to create a virtual machine (virtual computer inside your computer).

With VMware Player 3.0, creating an Ubuntu Virtual Machine is a breeze (though the screenshots below are for ubuntu 9.10, procedure for 10.04 Lucid Lynx is identical). Here is how you do it. Start the VMware Player.

VMware PlayerClick on Create a New Virtual Machine and select the Installer Disk image (.iso file) that you downloaded for Ubuntu 9.10 and click Next.

Creating a Virtual Machine

You can see that VMware Player detected the version of Linux and suggested that it would use Easy Install for it. Next you will be asked to enter your full name, user name and password for the linux installation. So go ahead and enter them. Select Username and Password for UbuntuNow enter the name and location of the virtual machine that you want to create. Make sure that you select a partition (disk) with at least 10 GB free space.

Select Virtual Machine LocationNow select the size of your virtual linux disk. Unless you are using Windows 98 or XP with FAT32 parition, you can safely select Store virtual disk as a single file.

Specify Disk CapacityNow you are ready to start the installation, you can customize the hardware setting later also, so for the time being we would just continue with the default setup.Ready to Create Virtual MachineNow the installer would probably ask if you want to download VMware Tools for Linux, you can click Do Not Download button for the time being, we would download it later.

UpdatesWith this Ubuntu Virtual Machine would start to boot and the installation process would start, it is completely automated so you would just have to wait till it gets over.

Ubuntu Installation

Installation CompleteOn the reboot you would have Ubuntu ready for use. Click on your username and enter your password and you would be ready to experience Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala.

Karmic Koala

Now we would install the VMware Tools. Select it from the VM menu as shown below, it would ask you if you want to download the Tools, select Download.

Install VMware ToolsLet the download to finish. Now Vmware would mount the downloaded software update for you, copy and paste it on the desktop. Right click on it and select extract here and it would be extracted on the desktop. Now launch a terminal window from the Applications Menu.

Vmware Tools

Launch Terminal

Now in the terminal menu change directory to navigate to vmware-tools-distrib directory using command

$ cd Desktop/vmware-tools-distrib/

Now we need to launch the Vmware Tools installer by doing this:

$ sudo ./ 

Keep pressing enter to accept the default values shown within square brackets [].

Tools InstallationIt would take a while to install, it might need to build some modules to install the tools. So keep pressing enter to accept the default values.

Building Vmware ModulesOnce it is finished you are ready to Rock N’ Roll with Ubuntu 9.10. Now you can use it in Full screen mode or in Unity modes, as well as you can share files between Windows and your Ubuntu installation. ENJOY!!!

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Meditating towards his "nerdvana", lifehacker is a teacher by the day and a nerdy blogger by the night. He lives to learn and yearns to learn living.

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