Running Elementary OS on Windows in a virtual machine

So you want to try out a new OS for your computer. Like most of us you only have one computer in the house and there’s no way you want to do anything funny with that. What you want is to run your new OS on your Windows or OSX machine like any old application you have installed. To do this we need a virtual machine. Download and install one here. We will install Elementary OS in our virtual machine, you can get it here or direct link here.

Create a new virtual machine in VirtualBox

After installing Virtualbox, run it.


Choose New in the toolbar.

Create a new virtual machine

Give your new virtual machine a name, type and version like you see above. A memory size of 1024MB will be enough. Now press Create.

Set the virtual hard disk size

Around 10GB of disk space is more than enough for your virtual machine. Press Create. That concludes the basic setup.

The virtual machine is created

Prepare the new virtual machine

Now you need to adjust some settings for your new virtual machine. Make sure the new virtual machine you added is selected and press the Settings button in the toolbar.

Virtual machine settings

Select Display.

Display settings

Give your virtual machine 128MB of Video Memory. Enable 3D acceleration.

Select Storage.

Storage settings

Select the Empty entry under Controller: IDE and remove it with the button. Use the + button to add a new optical drive to the virtual machine. Browser to the Elementary OS installation disc you downloaded earlier and attach it.

Elementary OS disc attached to the virtual machine

The Elementary OS installation disc should be attached to Controller: IDE like you see above. Now select Network.

Network settings

Here you set the Attached to to Bridged Adapter and press OK. You are done with the settings.



Installing Elementary OS in the new virtual machine

Now it’s time to start your virtual machine and install Elementary OS on it. Make sure it’s selected and press Start in the toolbar.

After a short while you will see this screen, it is the Elementary OS installer that will install itself on your new virtual machine.

Pick your language

Pick your language and press Install elementary.

Elementary OS installation settings

Select both settings here and press Continue.

More Elementary OS installation settings

Choose only the first option and press Install now then Continue.

More Elementary OS installation settings, Location

Select your time zone.

More Elementary OS installation settings, Language

Pick your language.

More Elementary OS installation settings, your user

Finally give yourself a username and a password and press Continue. Now wait while Elementary OS installs on your new virtual machine.

Elementary OS is installed on your virtual machine

Elementary OS is now installed and it’s time to restart the virtual machine. Press Restart Now.

Virtual machine restarting

Just press Enter.


Logging in to Elementary OS

Elementary OS running in its virtual machine

After restarting it’s time to log in to your new virtual machine and meet Elementary OS.

Logged on to Elementary OS

Looks kinda pretty, doesn’t it?  Now click the rightmost application on the bottom toolbar (the blue down-arrow). That’s the Appcenter where you can manage updates and find new applications for Elementary OS.

The AppCenter

See if there are any updates available, if so install them all. Now press the second application from the left on the bottom toolbar (the yin/yang one). That’s the browser.

The Midori browser

Finally to shut your virtual machine down press the rightmost button in the top toolbar and select Shutdown.

Shutting down Elementary OS


Removing the virtual machine

If you didn’t much like Elementary OS, you can delete it.

Removing the virtual machine

Select the virtual machine in the list, right click and Remove. Select Delete all files.

You are now ready to tell Orca, next time she pesters you about Linux “Pff, been there, done that!”.


    • LOL, please forgive my childish boasting YT style and let’s get back to business. But honestly, please let me be the first to congratulate you on that super manual on how to run stuffz in a Virtual Machine. Is very much appreciated. And my later post wasn’t meant in any way as a defraction, it must have been a coincidence I finished my article after you.

      Anyhoo, about virtual machines: As nifty as they are, it just isn’t the same as a real install … and it influences your main computer by adding additional software. That’s just one more option to unwantingly fuck up your system. And it defeats my “Keep It Simple Sexy” attempt to introduce Linux to the unwashed masses. Jeeze, getting a spare PC for fuking around with is cheaper than ever before and it’d make a nifty addendum to your hardware pool anyways. I don’t use mine as nearly as often as I originally planned but when I really need it I’m just sooo glad I have it available. My main machine was in repair for over two weeks once, and guess how happy I was to have MiniMe, the brave Lenovo office warrior, available to take over the editrix’s desk.

      But much worse … why o why Elementary, my dear Trapson? That’s a crappy, showy, shiny, polished distro with lots of restrictions where we’re in the pursuit of freedom.


      • Oh, I just see you have Voyager in the list of your VMs. I guess I had it installed once and found it stupid. But that’s years ago. What does the Trap think about Voyager?


  1. Elementary OS is perfect for the beginner – it’s simple, pretty and works very well out of the box. Voyager is much more complicated – too many buttons and options. It’s more of a geeky OS which will appeal to many, no doubt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The more buttons and options the better. If I wanted it brutally dumbed down I could’ve stuck with Winblows. But that’s why I recommend Point Linux for the new users, it’s a very very simple but still nicely modable MATE desktop + it’s running on the legendary indestructible Debian basecode. Purrfect! =^.^=


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