Run Multiple Operating Systems in Ubuntu 9.10 Using VirtualBox

VirtualBox is a virtualization software from Sun Microsystems which allows you to run multiple operating systems using virtual machines. In this article I will show you how you can use VirtualBox to run Fedora 12 operating system inside a Ubuntu 9.10 installation. VirtualBox is a cool tool if you want to experiment with a lot of operating systems without installing them in a partition. Best of all, it is free!

How to install VirtualBox in Ubuntu 9.10


  • Click on Install Package to complete the installation of VirtualBox. Ubuntu package manager will download additional packages required(if any). After installation, VirtualBox configuration will ask for vboxdrv kernel module compilation. Select the option and click on Forward.


If all goes well, you will find VirtualBox program under Applications –> System Tools –> Sun VirtualBox. Click on the icon to run VirtualBox.

How to install Fedora 12 in a VirtualBox running on Ubuntu 9.10

Now that we have got VirtualBox up and running in Ubuntu, let us try installing Fedora 12 inside VirtualBox.

  • Run VirtualBox (Applications –> System Tools – > Sun VirtualBox)
  • Click on “New” option
  • Select Virtual Machine name and operating system type as shown below,


  • In the next screen configure the RAM for the Fedora virtual machine. Ensure that this is less than half of the total RAM you have in your machine. I usually keep this between 512MB and 1024MB for Fedora (I have a 2GB Toshiba laptop)


  • Now in the next step create a virtual disk. This disk will appear as a normal file in your Ubuntu installation and will appear as a hard disk to the Fedora installed inside VirtualBox.


  • To effectively utilize your disk space I recommend selecting dynamically expanding storage with a default size of 8GB. This ensures that your virtual disk file will grow depending on the space required by Fedora and the maximum size is limited by 8GB.



  • After clicking on Next and Finish, you will see your new virtual machine in the VirtualBox (in this case the first option “Fedora”). After selecting your virtual machine, click on “Settings”.


  • Select CD/DVD-ROM options from settings. Then click on Mount CD/DVD Drive option and then select ISO Image File. This assumes that you have downloaded Fedora 12 Live CD somewhere in your Ubuntu folders. If you have Fedora in a CD, select the “Host CD/DVD Drive” option.


  • Click on OK and then select “Fedora” from the VM list in VirtualBox. Click on the “Start” option to boot the Fedora Live CD inside the Fedora virtual machine. If everything goes well, you will have Fedora 12 up and running in a VirtualBox under Ubuntu (see below).


  • You can now click on “Install to Hard Drive” to install Fedora 12 on to the virtual disk. You no longer need the live cd image once you have installed Fedora to the virtual disk.
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