Installing a Virtual Machine

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Installing Linux on a Virtual Machine


A virtual machine (VM) is a software-based emulation of a computer’s operating system. One important use of a VM is to run another operating system that is not native on your hardware. In this lab we will create a virtual machine that can run the Fedora Linux Operating System. Fedora is a Linux open source operating system that is sponsored by Red Hat.



After successfully completing this activity, the learner should be able to:
  • Install an operating system into a virtual machine.
  • Understand the benefits of using a virtual machine.
  • Understand the limitations of a virtual machine.
Process Skills


To run a project in a Virtual Machine, you need to be able to install it. We will install Fedora 20 so we can later install Gnome Music.


1) Create a lab1 folder on your desktop to store all your lab 1 files. You will be asked to take screenshots along the way to show you are completing the lab correctly.

2) For this lab we will be using the VirtualBox virtual machine. To begin your installation process, go to Here you will find all the links to the VirtualBox binaries. You will also find a user manual on this page that you should download for future use or if you run into any trouble. The term host OS refers to the operating system running in your VM. The term native OS refers to the operating system running on your computer’s hardware. Click on the VirtualBox platform package link for your native operating system and begin the download process. Since it is a large file, it may take a couple of hours (depending on your Internet speed) to complete the download. Once you have the VM downloaded, open the file and follow the instructions to install it.

  • For Mac OS X hosts, double-click on the file and follow instructions. You will need your computer’s password. This will create a VirtualBox icon in your Applications folder.
  • For Window hosts, double-click on the file and follow instructions. A VirtualBox group will be created on the Start menu.

Take a screenshot of the Virtual Box Icon on your computer (10 points).

3) Now that we have the VM installed, we will need to get the Fedora OS so you can add it as a host OS in the VM. First you need to visit and download the ISO Image of the 64-bit version of the Fedora 20 Desktop Edition. An ISO file is an image of a disk. You can burn an ISO image to a DVD and boot it natively, or in this case we will be creating a host OS on our VM with it. Again, this file will take a while to download so be patient. Once you have the ISO, move the ISO to your lab1 folder on your desktop. Take a screenshot of the ISO in your lab1 folder (10 points).

4) Open your VM application if it is not already open. On the top of the window, click the “New” button. This will open a virtual machine wizard for creating a new virtual machine. Once you complete steps 5-12, they do not need to be completed again. Your Fedora OS will be available for you to power on anytime you need it.

5) Here is the information you need to answer all the questions from the wizard.

  • Name of Virtual Machine: Fedora20
  • Type: Linux
  • Version: Fedora (64-bit)

Hit Continue and enter:

  • Memory Size: 2048

Hit Continue:

6) You will be asked if you wish to create a virtual hard drive. Choose “Create a virtual hard drive now” and hit Create.

  • Hard Drive File Type: VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image)

Hit Continue and then enter:

  • Storage: Fixed Size
  • File Location and Size: Fedoro20 30.00 GB

You will now have to click create and wait a few minutes for the virtual hard drive to be created. Once it is complete, take a screen shot of VirtualBox Manager (10 points). Take the time to look at what you see.

7) It is now time to launch the newly-created VM. You can see that your Fedora20 is still powered off. From the VirtualBox Manager, click “Start”.

8) You will be asked to select the start-up disk. Here is where you provide the Fedora disk image information. You stored the ISO in your lab 1 folder. Browse to the lab 1 folder by using the little folder symbol and select your ISO and wait. You will see a black terminal window with Fedora writing across the middle. There will be various text that flies by. Wait a few minutes until you get a window that says Welcome to Fedora. Take a screenshot of the Welcome Window (10 points).

9) After the VM is booted and you see the Welcome window, click on “Install to Hard Drive”.

10) You will be asked a series of questions about your installation. Here are the answers to your questions:

  • Language: English (United States) hit continue
  • Under System – Click the Installation Destination Automatic Partitioning Selected Warning. Be sure that your 30 GB disk is there and checked. Then Click done in the right top corner. (You may have to close some warnings about the mouse and keyboard to see the done button.)

Accept the Installation options as is and hit continue.

11) Click the “Begin Installation” button in the right hand bottom corner.

12) Almost done! Now it is time to create a root password and a user. It is important that you remember this information. Write it down immediately somewhere. When you are ready, click the Done button in the left top corner. You should see a message that says “Performing post-installation setup tasks”. Once you get a successful message, you will be able to explore the interface. Take a screenshot of the Fedora Desktop (10 points). If you have time left, start exploring the graphical user interface and the tools that are available to you. Take note that all the tools are open source and free.

13) The lab is now complete. Create a file in your favorite editor. Add all your screenshots and then answer the following questions in your file:

  • What is a virtual machine? (10 points)
  • Name three benefits of using a virtual machine. (10 points)
  • Name three disadvantages of using a virtual machine. (10 points)
  • What is an ISO file? (10 points)
  • What is your root password and your user login information? (10 points)

14) Review the below rubric and make sure you have included everything. Once you are satisfied that your lab is complete, create a pdf file and name it Lab1_yourlastnamefirstinitial.pdf. Upload to your course management system.


Lab 1 Rubric (100 points)

  • Screenshots (50 points)
    • Virtual Box Icon (10 points)
    • ISO (10 points)
    • VirtualBox Manager (10 points)
    • Welcome Window (10 points)
    • Fedora Desktop Window (10 points)
  • Lab Questions (50 points)
    • What is a virtual machine? (5 points)
    • Name three benefits of using a virtual machine. (10 points)
    • Name two disadvantages of using a virtual machine. (10 points)
    • What is an ISO file? (10 points)
    • What is your root password and your user login information? (10 points)
    • Grammar, Spelling and Neatness (5 points) – named file correctly and uploaded properly on time.


Verify the above rubric


Disclaimer: The tools used in this assessment are to be used responsibly, lawfully, and ethically.

Additional Information:

Area & Unit(s)


Estimated Time
to Complete

2 hours - Lots of waiting...

Environment /

Access to a web browser/Internet.


Suzanne Mello-Stark, Alex Mezei


This is an original activity with a little help from the installing virtual box website.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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Suggestions for the Open Source Project

This activity can be used to install the VM to be used with Gnome Music.

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