How to install Ubuntu 20.04 on VirtualBox

by Pete Wan

This blog post will guide you through the installation for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on Oracle VirtualBox.

Step 1. Download Ubuntu 20.04 LTS ISO

  1. Go to the official Ubuntu download page.
  2. Click Download button for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS version.
  3. A window will pop.
    1. Select Save File
    2. Click OK to download the Ubuntu ISO. The ISO filename will be ubuntu-20.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso or something similar for later versions.

Step 2. Create Guest Ubuntu Virtual Machine

  1. Open VirtualBox.
  2. Click New icon to begin the creation wizard.
  3. Name and Operating system
    1. Enter/select desired information:
      • Name: Ubuntu
      • Machine Folder: C:\Users\yourusername\VirtualBox VMs
      • Type: Linux
      • Version: Ubuntu (64-bit)
    2. click Next
  4. Memory
    1. Select the amount of memory (RAM) in megabytes to be allocated to the virtual machine eg. 6144MB. In the slider, do not exceed memory marked in red zone as some memory will be required for the host system to operate in a stable condition.
    2. Click Next.
  5. Hard disk
    1. Select Create a virtual hard disk now option.
    2. Click Create.
  6. Hard disk file type
    1. Select VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image).
    2. Click Next.
  7. Storage on physical hard disk
    1. Select Dynamically allocated.
    2. Click Next.
  8. File location and size
    1. Enter/select desired information.
      • If required change default location of virtual hard drive.
      • Select virtual hard disk size in GB
    2. Click Create.

After completing the above steps, you will be returned to Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager.

Step 3. Configure settings for Guest Ubuntu Virtual Machine

  1. In Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager select the virtual machine created in step 1 then click Settings icon.
  2. In the left window, click System then Processor tab. Select processor(s). e.g. 4. Do not exceed value marked in red zone.
  3. In the left window, click Display then select:
    • Video Memory: e.g. 128MB
    • Graphics Controller: VMSVGA
  4. In the left window, click Storage then select:
    1. Select Controller IDE > Empty
    2. Click disk icon next to Optical Drive selection and select Choose/Create Virtual Optical Disk File.
    3. Navigate to location of ISO downloaded in step 1. Select it and click Open.
    4. Click choose.
  5. In the left window, click Shared folders then
    1. Click Add Share icon
    2. Navigate to desired Shared folder. Create folder if necessary. This is the shared folder between the guest and host machines. Click Select Folder.
    3. Click OK.
  6. Click OK in the main settings window.

Step 4. Install Ubuntu

  1. With the new machine selected In Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager click Start icon.
  2. A VM window will open. After a short while, you will be presented with the installation wizard.
  3. Welcome
    1. Select your language e.g. English
    2. Click Install Ubuntu.
  4. Keyboard layout
    1. Select your keyboard and layout e.g. English (UK)/English (UK) or use the detect keyboard option
    2. Click Continue.
  5. Update and other software
    1. Select/tick the following.
      1. Select normal installation
      2. Tick Download updates while installing Ubuntu
      3. Tick Install third-party software for graphics and Wi-Fi hardware and additional media formats
    2. Click Continue.
  6. Installation type
    1. Select Erase disk and install Ubuntu. Note this refers to the virtual disk that you created in step 2.5.
    2. Click Install Now.
  7. Write the changes to disks? Click Continue.
  8. Where are you?
    1. Select your location e.g. London.
    2. Click Continue.
  9. Who are you?
    1. Enter desired information.
      • Your name: Tux
      • Your computer’s name: ubuntu-blog
      • Pick a username: tux
      • Choose a password: ********
      • Confirm your password: ********
    2. Select Require my password to login in.
    3. Click Continue.
  10. The installation process begins. This make take a few minutes to complete. Once completed click Restart Now.
  11. Press the enter key when you see the message: Please remove the installation medium, then press ENTER:
  12. After a brief moment you will be presented with the login screen. n.b. during the installation I used special characters for the password. Although I selected the correct keyboard and layout, it was not the correct keyboard layout. After login, the keyboard layout was correct. If you experience this problem then use alpha numeric characters only when creating your password during the installation process. When you have logged in, the layout wll be correct so you can now change your password with special characters.

Step 5. Install Guest Additions

  1. Go to VirtualBox download archives.
  2. Navigate to the folder version for your VirtualBox version e.g. 6.1.16
  3. Click the VirtualBox guest additions ISO to download it e.g. VBoxGuestAdditions_6.1.16.iso
  4. In VirtualBox Manager select your VM then click Settings.
  5. Add the guest ISO.
    1. In the left menu click Storage
    2. In Controller IDE click Adds optical drive icon.
    3. Navigate to the location where you downloaded the guest iso. Select it and click Choose.
    4. Click OK in the settings main window.
  6. Start your Ubuntu VM.
  7. After login, set your screen display size.
    1. In the desktop top right, select the network icon.
    2. Clicking Settings. The Settings window will open.
    3. Set the window to resize as your window will be small and you will need to click Apply button in step 6.
    4. In the left menu select Screen Display
    5. Select your desired resolution e.g. 1920 x 1200
    6. Click Apply.
    7. Click Keep Changes.
    8. If you want a full screen display click right CTRL and f keys. Click the same key sequence to toggle between full screen and window modes.

After completing the above steps, your Ubuntu VM is ready to use.

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