A virtual machine is basically a way to create a computer within a computer.
Nothing that runs on the virtual machine can impact the host computer.
For instance, if you are using a Windows computer you can run Linux programs inside a Linux virtual machine on the Windows computer.
A hypervisor or virtual machine monitor (VMM) is a computer software, firmware or hardware that creates and runs virtual machines. A computer on which a hypervisor runs one or more virtual machines is called a host machine, and each virtual machine is called a guest machine.
Few drawbacks with virtual machines :
Since hardware resources are indirect, they are not as efficient as a physical computer. Also, when many virtual machines are running at the same time on a single computer, performance can become unstable.
To setup a virtual machine you will need a virtual machine program. There are many different virtual machine programs you can use like : VirtualBox (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X), VMware Player (Windows, Linux), VMware Fusion (Mac OS X) and Parallels Desktop (Mac OS X).
Setting up a Virtual Machine :
To setup a Virtual machine we will use Virtual Box (virtual machine program). It is an open source program from Oracle. It allows users to virtually install many operating systems like Windows, BSD, Linux, Solaris, etc.
Start with downloading and installing VirtualBox. You can download it at this link : https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads
You will also need to download an .iso file for the operating system that you want to run in your virtual machine. For instance, you can download a Ubuntu .iso file here:
Once you have VirtualBox running, click the “New” button
Next you will have to choose which OS you plan on installing. In the “Name” box, type the name of the OS you want to install. VirtualBox will guess the type and version based on the name you type in, but you can change these settings if you need to.
The wizard will automatically select default settings based on the OS type and version you selected. You can always change the settings as you go through the wizard. Just keep clicking “Continue” and “Create” until you get through the wizard. It’s usually fine to use the defaults.
Next, start the virtual machine you just created by clicking “Start“.
Once the virtual machine starts up, select the .iso image file you want to use.
Your virtual machine will now load your selected operating system. The operating system may require some setup.
Congratulations! You’ve run your first Virtual Machine in VirtualBox.
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