Due to the wide range of systems introduced and each system requiring different hardware resources, it became tedious to keep up with these changes as the new systems were different from previous ones. Virtualization was introduced to solve the problem of underutilized hardware resources by creating a virtualization layer between the hardware components and the user.

Virtualization is a technique, which allows the sharing of a single physical instance of a resource or an application among multiple customers and organizations. This creates virtual machines which are generally virtual computers that can run in multiples on a single set of hardware. Operating systems installed on the virtual machines are known as Guest Operating Systems.

Virtualization is used to share resources, backup and transfer files or a whole operating system, Enables fast deployment of new machines and allows collecting of data and files from different sources, and creates an integrated data set for users.

What makes virtualization possible is the hypervisor. A hypervisor is a software emulator that creates and runs virtual machines by allocating resources. There are 2 types of hypervisors;

  • Type 1 – Acts like an operating system and runs directly on the hosts’ hardware. It controls the host resources and the virtual machines running on it. These types of hypervisors are fast as they do to have to go through an operating system to ask for resources.
  • Type 2 – runs as a software layer on an Operating system like Linux, or Windows and shares hardware resources with the host. This type is easier to set up and compatible with a broad range of hardware.

What is VirtualBox?

VirtualBox is open-source, cross-platform virtualization software that enables developers to run multiple operating systems on a single device. It is a hypervisor that basically creates a virtual machine in which you can install an operating system. Supported Operating systems include Windows, many Linux distributions, Mac OS X, Solaris, and OpenSolaris.

Features

  • Guest Additions tools are software packages installed inside the Guest Operating systems to improve its performance like mouse integration and seamless windows.
  • Portable in that it can be installed on most Operating systems.
  • Great hardware support including multiscreen resolutions, USB device support, Full ACPI, and Built-in iSCSI support
  • VirtualBox Remote Desktop Extension (VRDE), is a remote machine display that allows access to any running virtual machine.
  • Modular design with well-designed internal programming interfaces and clean architecture with separation of client and server code.
  • VM groups allow users to organize virtual machines in a group and work on them collectively.
  • Multigenerational branched snapshots of the virtual machine enable you to revert to a previous state.

This guide will show you how to install Virtualbox 6.1 on KDE Neon|Kubuntu.

Install VirtualBox 61 on KDE Neon / Kubuntu

Upgrade your system packages using the following command.

### Kubuntu ###
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

### KDE Neon ###
sudo apt update && sudo pkcon update -y

Install the following dependencies

sudo apt-get install -y software-properties-common

Import the official GPG key

curl -fsSL https://www.virtualbox.org/download/oracle_vbox_2016.asc | sudo gpg --dearmor -o /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/oracle_vbox_2016.gpg
curl -fsSL https://www.virtualbox.org/download/oracle_vbox.asc      | sudo gpg --dearmor -o /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/oracle_vbox.gpg

Add the official VirtualBox repository. check between the 2

# Manually
echo "deb [arch=amd64] https://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian focal contrib" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/virtualbox.list

# Using add-apt-repository
sudo add-apt-repository "deb [arch=amd64] http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian $(lsb_release -cs) contrib"

Update your system and install VirtualBox 6.1.

sudo apt update
sudo apt-get install virtualbox–6.1

Install VirtualBox Extension pack

Extension packs are components of the VirtualBox that are downloaded and installed to extend its functionality.

The functionalities include;

  • USB settings to configure USB support for USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 that help determine which devices can automatically be attached to the guest operating system
  • VirtualBox Remote Desktop Protocol (VRDP) support, where a virtual machine can be executed on one computer and displayed on another computer.
  • Host webcam passthrough enables a guest to use the host webcam.
  • Disk image encryption with AES algorithm.
  • Cloud integration features allow the import and export of virtual machines in different formats.
  • Intel PXE boot ROM.

The single extension pack with the functionalities is available on the VirtualBox Download Site. Alternatively, you can download it using the following command

wget https://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/6.1.36/Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-6.1.36a-152435.vbox-extpack

Import the extension. Agree to the license terms and conditions to continue the installation.

$ sudo VBoxManage extpack install Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-6.1.36a-152435.vbox-extpack

Do you agree to these license terms and conditions (y/n)? y

License accepted. For batch installation add
--accept-license=33d7284dc4a0ece381196fda3cfe2ed0e1e8e7ed7f27b9a9ebc4ee22e24bd23c
to the VBoxManage command line.

0%...10%...20%...30%...40%...50%...60%...70%...80%...90%...100%
Successfully installed "Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack".

To view the extension packs that are currently installed, From the File menu, select Preferences. In the window that displays, go to the Extensions category. This shows you the extensions which are currently installed and enables you to remove a package or add a new package.

Launch VirtualBox on KDE Neon / Kubuntu

Start your Virtualbox from the terminal by typing the following command.

$ virtualbox

Alternatively, you start your VirtualBox from the application launcher as shown below.

Create a Virtual Machine on VirtualBox

Click New on the VirtualBox Window to show the following window.

Enter the name of the virtual machine and type of the operating system you want to install. I will use an example of Ubuntu.

Select the Memory size of the machine.

Create a Virtual Hard Disk to add it to your virtual machine by clicking Create.

Choose the type of hard disk file to be used by the virtual machine.

Choose the type of hard disk allocation and click Next.

Give the disk file a name and select the size of the disk to be allocated to the virtual machine. Click on Create.

The new Virtual machine appears on the list highlighted as shown below.

Go to Settings > General > Advanced as shown below to enable Shared Clipboard and the Drag’n’Drop feature.

To create a shared folder, click on the add icon as shown below. Enter the folder you wish to share, and give it a name. You can choose for it to be read-only and Auto-mount. You can input a count point or leave it as the machine can choose it by default. Click OK.

The shared folder will appear on the list as shown below.

And that is how you create a new Virtual machine and add a shared folder.

Conclusion

From this guide, we have gone through Virtualization and types of hypervisors which depends on the one you want. We have learned about VirtualBox and the operating systems supported. We have installed VirtualBox 6.1 on KDE Neon|Kubuntu system and its Extensions Pack. We have also created a Virtual Machine which is an easy process to do.

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