Install Linux on a Virtual Machine on a Windows PC

There are several ways to install Linux. You can install Linux via USB by creating a bootable Linux USB stick. However, to get acquainted with Linux, it is recommended to install Linux in a virtual machine.

The Linux operating system is used in almost all sectors. Most people know it from the server environment. In IT, Linux is mainly used as a server platform, but also certainly as an operating system on workstations.

The best known and most user-friendly Linux operating system for workstations is Ubuntu. Ubuntu is currently used daily by some 20 million active users. As a result, it is developed by and very user-friendly.

In this article, I will explain step by step how to install Ubuntu Linux in a virtual machine on a Windows PC. Both Windows 10 and Windows 11 support the creation of an Ubuntu virtual machine through VirtualBox. Ubuntu and VirtualBox are free software.

Install Linux on a Virtual Machine on a Windows PC

To get started, you need to download both Ubuntu and VirtualBox. The recommended system requirements for Ubuntu Linux are:

  • 2 GHz dual-core processor or better 4 GB system memory.
  • 25 GB free hard disk space.
  • Internet access or a DVD drive or USB port for the installation media.

We will also minimally apply these Ubuntu system requirements to our virtual machine. After downloading Ubuntu and installing VirtualBox, open VirtualBox.

Click on “New” at the top and then enter “Ubuntu” as the name. You will immediately see that the type is changed to Linux and version is changed to “Ubuntu_64”.

Click Next.

Create new Linux virtual machine with VirtualBox

The memory size is now set. I recommend allocating 2048MB or more of RAM to the Ubuntu Linux virtual machine.

Click Next.

Apply memory size

You now need to create a virtual hard disk. I would leave the option as in this example “Create New Virtual Hard Disk”.

Click Create.

Create virtual hard disk

Choose the file type you want to use for this new virtual disk. If you do not plan to use this virtual hard disk with any other type of virtualization software, you can leave this setting unchanged.

Click Next.

Hard disk file type

If you want to grow the virtual hard drive, leave this setting at “Dynamically Allocated”. If you want a fixed size settings then choose “fixed size”.

In this example, I continue with “Dynamically Allocated”.

Click Next.

Physical hard disk storage

Enter a size to start with. It is set to 10GB by default. I would leave it at that.

Click Create.

Location and size of virtual disk

Once you have created the Ubuntu virtual machine, click “Launch” in the menu.

Launch Ubuntu Virtual Machine

You will now be prompted to select a boot disk for installation. This boot disk must contain the operating system. Click the folder icon in the “Select boot disk” window and select the Ubuntu Linux ISO file just downloaded.

After selecting the Ubuntu Linux ISO file, click the “Start” button to start the installation.

Select Ubuntu boot disk

You will now see the “GNU GRUB”. Select “Try or install ubuntu”.

Install Ubuntu in VirtualBox

Installing Ubuntu can now begin. Select the desired language and click “Try Ubuntu” or “Install Ubuntu”. If you are going to give it a try, you do not need to install anything. The installation speaks for itself.

Click Install Ubuntu.

Install Ubuntu Linux

Now complete the Ubuntu installation. I hope you have helped with this. Thanks for reading!