As suggested by @wildwizard, VirtualBox
may be your best bet.
Go to https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads
. You're going to be downloading two files, both for VirtualBox 4.1.18
On this page, you want VirtualBox 4.1.18 Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack
, click the link for all platforms
to download it.
Above the Extension Pack is a list of binaries, click the link VirtualBox 4.1.18 for Linux Hosts
then on the page that opens scan down the list to All Distributions
and select the link AMD64
; that file is roughly 75M.
Before you go any further, consider where you want your virtual machine installed (not the VirtualBox
software -- that gets installed in /opt
) -- the Win7
virtual machine. VirtualBox
defaults to install virtual machines in your home directory; you will need to allocate at least 30GB to Win7
to make it useable (more likely 50GB or more depending upon what you're going to do with it -- Win7
is a disk hog).
If you've got enough room for 30-50G in /home
that's OK; however, you may want to use a spare disk drive or an unused disk partition for your virtual machine(s). You don't need to do that to install VirtualBox
, but you will have to decide before you install Win7
You need to add a group, vboxusers
and you need to add that group to your user ID, that's done below.
You can install VirtualBox
Log in as root (or use su - or sudo)
usermod -a -G vboxusers your-login-name
cd wherever your download files are
log out from root if you logged in as root
That installs it.
The manual is included in the downloaded file, it's at /opt/VirtualBox/UserManual.pdf
(it's also on-line at the VirtualBox
web site). Be a Real Good Idea to crack it open and read the Installation chapter just to get familiar with what's going below here.
If you're using KDE
, click the KDE
menu, then System
and look for Oracle VM VirtualBox
, click that to start VirtualBox
That opens a window, Oracle VM VirtualBox Manage
In that window, click on File
. The first display is General
that shows the Default Machine Folder
; the first part of that will be in your home directory. If you've got enough disk space in /home
to install Win7
, don't fiddle with it; otherwise, choose the absolute path to where you've got enough disk space (you may need to create a directory named virtual
somewhere in your file system before you do this and you will need to modify permissions to it.
For example, I have my virtual machines in /var/lib/virtual
is a mounted file system). The entry in /etc/fstab
looks like this:
/dev/sda8 /var/lib/virtual ext4 defaults 1 2
That's a lot of fooling around but you may need to do it if you don't have space in /home
. In /var/lib
drwxrwxr-x 5 root vboxusers 4096 Mar 14 2011 virtual/
chmod 775 /var/lib/virtual
chgrp vboxusers /var/lib/virtual
You do not need to put your virtual machines in /var/lib
, they can be in your home directory (if you've got space in /home
that is), they can be in /usr/local
or wherever you've got space.
Next thing is to install the Extension Pack that you downloaded. If the Manage is not still open, open it again, select File
Click the diamond-shaped icon with an orange triangle on it to the top right of the Action-Name-Version window. That opens a window titled Select an extension package file
, navigate to where you downloaded the extension pack -- it's named Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-4.1.18-78361.vbox-extpack
. Double-click it (open it) and get it installed.
After you've done all that, you're ready to install your Win7
guest (and wait for almost 200 critical updates; don't you just love Windows?). You don't need to do any partitioning for Win7
, that'll get done as you go, but you will need to set some things, the name of the virtual machine (Win7 is good) and the amount of RAM allocated to the virtual machine -- if you've got 4G RAM, let Win7
have half of that but no more. If you've got 2G RAM, give it half and so on. Read the manual pages for recommendations for other settings, accepting the defaults in most cases but refer to the manual and the little hints that pop up when you slide the cursor over a selection.
After you've done all that, started Win7
, let all the critical updates download and install, register the thing, all that there is one final step: you need to install the Guest Additions
(they're included with the download).
You must install the Guest Additions in safe mode; i.e., boot Win7
, hold down f8 and select safe mofe. You can select "Install Guest Additions" from the Devices
drop down when Win7
is running (sometimes I've had that not work) or select Computer
then double click on CD Drive D:VirtualBox Guest Additions
-- I've had more luck with that, YMMV. Then reboot and you ought to be good.
Hope this helps some.