Installing Ubuntu Desktop on VirtualBox

Ubuntu is one of the most popular GNU/Linux distributions. The Desktop version, when coupled with an AMP stack, makes a very useful software development platform. In this article I’ll describe the step-by-step process of downloading and installing Ubuntu Desktop in a VirtualBox VM.

Installing Oracle VirtualBox on Windows

There are many good reasons to use virtual machines in both development and production environments. I often use Oracle VirtualBox to develop Linux applications on my Windows laptop and iMac desktop. By storing the VM’s files on an external drive, I’m able to easily transport my entire development environment— operating system, application server, database management system, integrated development environment, development tools, libraries, etc.—from one machine to another.

In this article we’ll install the open source desktop virtual machine manager, Oracle VirtualBox, on Windows 7. In future articles we’ll install Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP to build out a full LAMP development environment on the VM.