Create a Virtual Machine in Windows 10: The ultimate step-by-step guide

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Do you want to create a virtual machine in Windows 10 for development or other purposes? Then you are at the right address because this post will show you how to do it with two popular solutions, VirtualBox and VMware.

Virtual Machines are useful for creating development environments, exchanging predefined systems between colleagues, or trying out a new operating system.

We will first look at the requirements to create a virtual machine; this includes downloading the required tools, an example operating system (Ubuntu), and the hardware requirements set by the OS. Then we will follow a step-by-step instruction manual to complete the virtual machine creation.

Perquisites

The perquisites for the virtual machine are:

  1. Virtualization Software (VirtualBox, download here or VMWare, download here)
  2. Ubuntu ISO, download here
  3. Recommended Hardware Requirements set by Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS:
    • 2 GHz dual core processor
    • 4 GB RAM
    • 25 GB hard drive

Create a Virtual Machine with VirtualBox

VirtualBox is a free and open-source virtualization software created by Oracle. You can download it here.

1. Install VirtualBox

  1. Run the installer
  2. Select installation location
  3. Select linking locations to VirtualBox
  4. Accept Network Interfaces (it is needed to connect to the VM via SSH or for the VM to connect to the internet)
  5. Click Install
  6. Start VirtualBox after the installation

2. Create a new Virtual Machine

  1. Click on ‘New’ to create a new Virtual Machine
    create a new virtual machine in virtualbox
  2. Give the Virtual Machine a Name and select Type: Linux and Version: Ubuntu (64-bit)
    create a virtual machine virtualbox: select name and type
  3. Select 4GB of RAM
    define ram virtualbox
  4. Create a new virtual disk
    virtualbox create a new disk
    1. Choose any type, I will go with VDI
      virtualbox select disk type
    2. Select storage type: dynamically allocated
      virtualbox select storage type
    3. Select a storage capacity of 25GB
      virtualbox select storage capacity

3. Install the Operating System

  1. Open the VM Settings
    virtualbox open virtual machine settings
  2. Select the Storage tab and select the disk in the storage devices
    virtualbox disk settings
  3. Insert the Ubunut ISO into the Virtual Machine
    1. Select ‘choose a disk file’
    2. Select the Ubuntu ISO
    3. Click OK
  4. Close the VM Settings and Start the Virtual Machine
    virtualbox start new vm
  5. After launching, complete the installation wizard
  6. Click the restart button and finish the installation
  7. During restart Ubuntu will ask you to remove the ISO
    1. Either it is already removed, then just press enter
    2. Other open the VM Settings and remove the ISO
      virtualbox remove iso
  8. After the restart finished Ubuntu is fully installed and ready to use… Hurray!

Additional Tips for the Virtual Machine in Virtual Box

  1. Suspend will save the current state on the machine and will load it on a new boot
  2. Install the Guest Additions for Linux → After installation restart the machine
    install guest additions on a new virtual machine
    1. Shared properties
      virtualbox possible shared properties
      1. Folders
      2. Copy and paste
      3. Drag and drop
    2. Setting the screen resolution
      virtualbox set screen-resolution

Create a Virtual Machine with VMWare

VMWare Player is free for personal and non-commercial use. You can download it here.

1. Install VMWare

In case nothing is said, click next.

  1. Run the installer
  2. Select installation location and add the console tools to PATH
  3. Select linking locations to VMWare
  4. Click Install
  5. Start VMware after the installation

2. Create a new Virtual Machine

  1. Click on ‘Create a New Virtual Machine’
    create a virtual machine vmware
  2. Select the Ubuntu ISO
    vmware select ubuntu iso
  3. Enter the credentials you want for your installation
  4. Define a name for your VM
    create a name for the new vm vmware
  5. Set the maximum disk size of 25GB and choose whether to split the disk into multiple files
    vmware set disk
  6. Customize Hardware if they do not fit the required settings
    vmware customize hardware of new virtual machine
    • Set the before defined settings, for me they are filling all requirements
      vmware set hardware requirements
  7. Finish installation on select ‘Power on this virtual machine after creation’

3. Install the Operating System

  1. After the launch finished, VMWare already starts with the installation (you do not have to complete the installation wizard)
  2. VMWare automatically restarts your system and removes the ISO
  3. After the restart finished Ubuntu is fully installed and ready to use… Hurray!

Additional Tips for the Virtual Machine in VMWare

Conclusion

In this post, we learned how to create a virtual machine step-by-step in two popular virtualization software. One way is always free to use (VirtualBox), whereas the other is easier and perfectly fine if you just need it for personal use (VMWare).

I hope the post helped you create a virtual machine for your use case. If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments or email me at mail@programonaut.com. In case you are interested in software development related content, consider subscribing to my newsletter!

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