In this article, we’ll learn to install Linux mint on Virtualbox. Linux Mint is one of the most lightweight distros which you can run in VirtualBox. Whether you just want to try out Linux or want it for some testing, this might be the distro for you!
Downloading The Mint ISO Image
First things first, we need to download the correct ISO image from the official website. Linux Mint comes in 3 official flavours :
Once you decide on a flavour to go with proceed to download your ISO image for the same.
Creating Our Virtual Machine
First step of creating our virtual machine is to declare the name and type of our virtual machine. You can name it whatever you want. Here I have named it as “Linux Mint” to easily identify it. Next up, under “Type” select “Linux” and under version select Ubuntu 32/64 as per your ISO and CPU architecture.
Next, we need to specify the amount of RAM which our Virtual Machine would use. Linux Mint is a lightweight distro and can run on very low RAM as well. However, we will give it a minimum of 1 GB of RAM.
Next up, we need to create a virtual hard disk. Select the default option which is “Create a virtual disk now” and press create.
Next you’ll be asked to select a Hard Disk File type. Keep the default settings and select Next.
Next we need to choose how to store our data on physical hard disk. For this choose the option “Dynamically Allocated” and select next.
Now we need to specify our disk. Linux Mint works fine with as low as 10 GB of disk space but it is recommended to have at least 20 GB of space. We, however, would set it to 50 GB.
After this, we should have a virtual machine created as follows:
Now, we need to load our ISO image. Double click on the virtual machine we created earlier to get the following:
Click on the folder icon beside the dropdown menu to get the following prompt:
Select Add and chose your ISO file
Once you have chosen your ISO file, you can start booting from it now.
Install Linux Mint on VirtualBox
At this point, you should be booted into a live environment as such:
Notice the desktop icon which says “Install Linux Mint”? Double-click that.
1. Choose the setup language of Linux Mint
First, you’ll be asked for the language to be used during the installation process. Select English and move onto the next step.
2. Choose to install third-party software and drivers
Next up, we will be asked if we want to install some third-party software and drivers to assist us in our tasks. It is completely optional and depends on your discretion. Selecting it would do no harm whatsoever, and when you have decided, move onto the next step.
3. Partition the Hard Drive
Now, we have to choose how we partition our “Hard drive”. You can go for custom partitioning or encrypt your hard drive as well. However, we just stick to the first option and erase the entire disk and install Linux Mint
You might be asked to confirm your choices before writing your changes to disk. Just press Continue once you have verified the partitions and write the changes to disk.
4. Select your region and keyboard layout
Next, you need to select our region as it will be used to set your system clock, local time, and a few other things. Just point the marker to your location and make sure you have the correct time zone selected.
We are almost there. After selecting your Region, the next thing you will be asked is to select your keyboard layout. Mostly, it’s the default one, but if not, you can either detect it or select it from a list of different keyboard layouts
5. Create user accounts for your Linux mint virtual machine
Finally, create an user for our Linux Mint VM and set a password for it.
6. Wait for the installation to complete
Once you hit continue, the installation should start. Give it some time to copy the files. Make sure that your internet connection is fast enough for speedy completion. Once it is complete, you’ll be asked to restart your computer after which you can use your Linux Mint VM!
Enabling Bridged Adapter And Guest Additions
At this point, we have a working Linux Mint VM. However :
- It is still not discoverable over the network
- The display doesn’t occupy the entire screen which is inconvenient
1. Enabling Bridged Adapter
First, with your VM shutdown, go to settings and select Network
Under the first adapter, change NAT to Bridged Adapter and select the interface to bind it with. In this case, we have bound it with the interface wlp6s0.
Now, on reboot, our VM will have an IP on the same network as our Host.
2. Enabling Guest Additions
Guest additions enable us to have a lot of extra functionality like a Shared Clipboard, Shared Folder and a lot more.
Boot your VM and from the top select Devices >> Insert Guest Additions CD Image. Once you have inserted the guest addition ISO, start your open and open your file manager. On the left bar, notice the Disk Symbol? Click on it and it should open the folder containing our Guest Additions. Note the full path of the folder and then switch over to our terminal.
On your terminal, cd into the directory which you previously noted and to install the Guest Additions, execute the following :
$ sudo ./VBoxLinuxAdditions.run
On completion, you need to reboot your system, after which you will not only have the extra features available to you, but also you can now enjoy a full screen display!
Thus we successfully installed Linux Mint in VirtualBox. Now you can perform tasks normally on it as if it were your daily driver. You can even enable Drag and Drop, Shared Clipboards, and Folders to have a smoother workflow between your Host and your Virtual Machine.