VirtualBox is an x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for installing a virtual machine onto your system. I use VirtualBox to run Windows 7 inside of Linux. This allows me to maintain a single filesystem, avoid dual booting, and to seamlessly integrate the two systems together. It is one of the most useful software tools I have ever used.
To install VirtualBox, be sure that the Oracle repository is setup. Then install VirtualBox (but not the OSE version, which lacks USB support), and dkms, which allows for dynamic kernel module support:
~> sudo yum install virtualboxPress 'y' to install VirtualBox and any dependencies. Then launch it from the command prompt:
~> VirtualBox &
Creating a Virtual Machine
Before VirtualBox can be used, a new virtual machine must first be created. First click on New, followed by the Next button, and type in the Name of your virtual machine. Then choose your operating system and version and click Next.
On my laptop, I allocate 1024 MB for memory, so move the slider to the appropriate location and click Next.
Next select Create new hard disk and click Next. Click Next again, and click on Fixed-size storage, since it seems to provide a more stable operating environment. Then click Next.
Type in the location where the virtual hard disk (a .vdi files) will be stored (I use /windows), and its size (I recommend 50 GB). Click Next, and Finish.
Settings Configuration and OS Installation
Once the Virtual Machine has been setup, click on Settings. Adjust things such as the Base Memory (under System), Video Memory (under Display), etc. In my case, I must use PIIX4 for the IDE Controller (under Storage) since that was the controller selected when I first created my .vdi file. I am also using the ICH AC97 Audio Controller, since there is not a SoundBlaster 16 driver available for a 64-bit machine (the ICH AC97 driver must also be installed from scratch after booting into Windows). Ensure that the CD/DVD-ROM device is bootable (under System), and click OK when finished. Then stick in the Operating System installation into the CD/DVD-ROM and click Start.
Guest Additions allow for experimental 3D support and file sharing between the two operating systems. To install Guest Additions, follow the directions in the user manual:
Basically, it amounts to running Windows in Safe Mode (F8), clicking on Devices -> Install Guest Additions... to mount the guest additions ISO file, running the executable file of the mounted ISO file under Windows, and rebooting the virtual machine.
USB 2.0 Support
USB 2.0 support can be provided by installing the Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack. First download the file at:
Then under the main VirtualBox window, click on File -> Preferences... -> Extensions -> Add Package (icon), and click on the Extension Pack file you just downloaded. Then click Open -> Install -> I Agree. Click on OK twice, and restart the virtual machine.