Installing VirtualBox on Fedora 7 with a Windows Guest

July 5, 2007 at 8:43 pm 8 comments

Fedora 7 comes with Xen. However, I got rid of it because I had great difficulty getting it to work with the wireless drivers. One of the selling point with Xen is that it uses Paravirtualization. Paravirtualization is suppose to have higher performance than vmware. However, unless you have a processor that have hardware assisted virtualization (Intel VT-x or AMD-V), you need to run a modified version of the OS. Since windows can’t be modified and since my laptop has a Celeron M with no VT-x support, I cannot run windows under Xen.

I was going to install Vmware, the old standby, but various people mentioned VirtualBox. Supposedly, performance is a bit faster than VMware, so I decided to give it a try.

Versions of VirtualBox

There are actually 2 versions of Virtual Box.

  • Standard version – Not open source but free for use for personal and educational purpose.
  • OSE version – Open source version with some features missing and no installer.

Unless you are hardcore open source advocate, you should download the standard version. The OSE version doesn’t even have an installer. To download VirtualBox. See http://www.virtualbox.org.

Installing VirtualBox

You can download VirtualBox from the download page http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads. There is actually a link for a Fedora 7. When you download the software, you’ll notice that the file is .run. What in the world is that? It is a shell script. Type in the following command to convert it back to a RPM.

sh ./VirtualBox-1.4.0_21864_fedora7-1.i586.rpm.run

Now, you can install it using Yum.

yum -Uvh VirtualBox-1.4.0_21864_fedora7-1.i586.rpm.run

Allowing your user to use VirtualBox

The installer installs a group “vboxusers”. Any user who wish to use VirtualBox must be in this group. You can easily do this by selecting the menu item System->Administration->User and Groups.

Creating a Windows Guest

Now that we have a drive device, we can create a Windows Guest.

  1. Launch VirtualBox by selecting  F->System Tools->innoTek VirtualBox.
  2. Click on the New button and follow the wizard. In my case, I specified a Windows 2000 setup with a RAM size of 256 Mb, and a virtual disk of 4 Gb.
  3. Next, we configure the new virtual machine by selecting it and clicking on Settings. You can play around with each settings. At the very least, enable the CD-ROM so you can install the Windows OS.
  4. Now, we have to install the Windows OS. Insert the disc into the CDROM and double-clicking on the machine. It will launch and boot from the CD-ROM. Follow the instruction and install the windows OS.

Installing the Windows Guest Addon for a better display

When you launch windows, you’ll notice that you are limited to 640×480 and only 16 colors. In fact, a lot of software will bomb on it because of the video settings. To get a better video,you need to run the guest add-on.

  1. Boot into your virtual machine.
  2. In your virtual machine window, select Devices->Install Guest Additions. This will mount the special Guest ISO and launch the setup program.
  3. Follow the wizard and install the addon.

After the addon is install, you’ll notice that you have a much better options for video size and depth.

Jumping in and out of the virtual machine

If you move your mouse to inside the virtual machine, it will be capture and then your mouse will remain inside the virtual machine window. To get out, press the right ctrl key. Note that this key can be change.

Performance

I haven’t ran any benchmark, but the virtual machine runs reasonably fast, even with only 256 Mb of memory and in virtual disk mode. I am generally happy with the product. It is much easier to config than Xen and its interface is as nice as VMware.

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Entry filed under: linux.

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. viktor lyaskov  |  July 18, 2007 at 6:30 am

    Thanks dude, this manual was very helpful, thanks again keep up the good work!

    Reply
  • 2. knudsen  |  September 7, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    Yes, thanks for the howto! I was becoming frustrated trying to get a VM going on a P4 CPU. You gotta love an RPM that actually installs too!–knudsen

    Reply
  • 3. Bandi  |  September 22, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    Cheers bruv for this this. A few corrections though… “yum -Uvh *” is flawed. (U doesnt exist, h = help ) so i would recommend installing using the GUI rpm installer. Its better than signing your own keys with . But, otherwise, a great write…and definately a (bookmark) for most Virtualiz(s)ation Users.

    Cheers once again for the post,
    And keep up the gr8 work.
    OpenSourceNeedsPeepsLikeYourselves.

    Reply
  • 4. GRS  |  September 30, 2007 at 6:36 pm

    I do not understand what “sh ./….. “actually does.
    How is “sh” used. what application , and what is the purpose of this command

    if it is t\make the file excutable then would not one use chmod a+x …?

    grs

    Reply
  • 5. paulsiu  |  October 1, 2007 at 7:16 am

    sh is the shell command. You can use sh program to run a program. You can also use chmod a+x and then run the program, but then I have to execute 2 command instead of one. If it’s something I am going to execute often, I’ll change the execute permission on the program. If I am going to run it only once, I’ll use sh.

    Reply
  • 6. GRS  |  October 11, 2007 at 4:59 am

    Thanks.

    Got Vitrualbox in and running. I have installed two guest OSs and they seem to be ok.

    What I am trying to do now is get both guest OS to talk to the host via bridging. I also need the XP OS to see the local LAN and the internet. The host need to see the internet and the two OS guests. The second Guest OS needs to be able to see the local LAN and host only.
    The Host OS id Fedora 7.
    I use a static IP address for the host OS 192.168.1.xxx.

    I have set the XP host up as given in the Vistualbox manual. This is not that detailed and There was a learning curve. Any way I thought I had it going but it is not and noe VirtualBox will not start.

    What I was wondering someone can point me in the direction of a very explicit HOW To that covers how to set Fedora 7 host up with bridging and or NAT so that the networking can be done as indicated above.

    The How to should include what directories to set up and what permissions they need, What scripts need to be added and where, what packages are required such a bridge-utils , how the IP tables are to be set up etc.

    I haver looked on the web and there is a lot for Ubuntu which required packages not listed in Fedora 7. It also has directors which fedora does not have so this has not been al that helpful. So I am looking for a fedora specific HOW too given what I am trying to do as indicated above.

    I would use Xen but the Lan port on the mother board I an using is not supported on the Xen kernal in Fedora DVD 64 bit as originally released. As a result whenm I load the XEn kernal of fedora the internet does not work.

    Any way can anyone point me in the right direction as to where there is a full HOW to Fedorea Host , XP guest and Win2K guest to get the bridge networking going and NAT for internet access.

    May Thanks
    GRS

    Reply
  • 7. nick  |  July 29, 2008 at 1:45 am

    x4aIhV hi! hice site!

    Reply
  • 8. doez  |  August 13, 2008 at 9:39 am

    thank’s

    Reply

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