Thursday, July 31, 2008

How to install Virtualbox & Windows XP / Office 2007 in Ubuntu

Virtualbox is a virtualisation package for Linux originally developed by Sun Microsystems. It’s an incredibly powerful and easy way of being able to run Windows XP or Vista from Ubuntu. This guide will talk you through the process of installing Virtualbox, after which we’ll look at installing Windows XP. Running XP inside Ubuntu has so many benefits, like file compatibility, using active-x in internet explorer and lots more.

Here’s a few shots of my PC running Ubuntu and Windows XP, BBC Iplayer and Microsoft Office 2007. Click the images for a full size view:

Ubuntu running Windows XP

virtualbox running Windows XP and BBC iplayer

Run Office 2007 from Ubuntu using Virtualbox

I took the screenshots while Compiz cube was in mid-rotate. Looks good doesn’t it? Performance wise, Windows XP starts up just as quickly if not slightly quicker than a standard installation if you have a powerful machine. Just goes to show what a great operating system Linux can be. :-)

How is it done?

Installing Virtualbox is quite straightforward. There’s a simple process to follow to get up and running with your XP virtual machine. That process looks like this:

1) Install Virtualbox using Synaptic package manager

2) Add your user profile to the vboxusrs group so Virtualbox will work

3) Create a virtual machine in Virtualbox

4) Install Windows XP (from CD in this post) on your new virtual machine

5) Booting your virtual machine from the Windows XP installation CD

How to install Virtualbox & Windows XP / Office 2007 in Ubuntu

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