Run Another Operating System Simultaneously with Windows 7 using VirtualBox

Edited by Michael J., Alma

Planning to migrate to a new operating system but too sentimental to let go of your dear Windows 7 just yet? Virtualization is exactly what could quench your dilemma. And VirtualBox is one of the best in this department.

VirtualBox allows you to experience the best of both worlds without the need to reformat your PC or even buy an extra set. This article brings to you in full detail the steps of running another operating system side-by-side with Windows 7 through a virtual machine.


Download the Latest VirtualBox version. VirtualBox is licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2. It is available for free download at
After Downloading, Run the VirtualBox installer. The setup wizard will present you with several options for customizing your VirtualBox installation, just click on "Next" in each stage. This will install VirtualBox with its default settings which is the ideal way in most cases.

When a Network Interface warning displays, just click "Yes" and proceed.
Start the VirtualBox software. One quick way of doing this is by clicking the "Finish" button when the final setup dialog box which signifies successful installation appears.
Virtual box installation finished.png
Create a New Virtual Machine. You can do this by clicking the "New" button located at the top left portion of the application or by hitting Ctrl + N on your keyboard.
Virtual box new vm.png
Enter the Virtual Machine's Name and Select the Type of Operating System to Install.
Virtual box creating virtual machine.png
Allocate RAM to Virtual Machine. VirtualBox intelligently recommends the amount of RAM needed on the occasion. You can stick with that recommendation. But if you have more RAM to spare, you can go higher than that value. The rule of thumb is to stay within the green portion of the scale.
Virtual box memory allocation.png
Create a Virtual Hard Drive. In the hard drive creation stage, it is recommended to just go with the default values and proceed to the next steps.
Set the Hard Drive Size. 8 Gigabyte is the recommended value. You can go a little over it for good measure.

After successfully creating a hard drive, you should now be seeing your virtual machine details. You are all set and ready to run your new operating system.
Virtual box vm details.png
Click on the Start icon to start your virtual machine. The machine obviously doesn't have an operating system installed yet so it doesn't do anything apart from asking you which drive to boot from.
Specify the location of your operating system installer. Go to Devices > CD/DVD Devices and choose the appropriate option
If you have a DVD of the installer, then select the letter of your DVD drive.
But if you only have an ISO copy stored in your PC, you must select "Choose a Virtual CD/DVD disk file.." and browse to the location of the ISO file.
Virtual box installing iso os.png
Virtual box opening iso.png
Wait for the Ubuntu setup to show and select appropriate setup as desired. You can try out Ubuntu without installing it to the virtual machine's virtual hard drive or straightforwardly install it just the same as on a real physical machine.
Ubuntu startup.png
Virtual box installing ubuntu.png
Marvel at your operating system within an operating system!
Virtual box ubuntu running.png

Tips Tricks & Warnings

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


Article Info

Categories : Windows

Recent edits by: Michael J.

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