Would you like to test a new operating system on your computer without deleting, updating or modifying in any way what you currently use?
And if we tell you that it is possible to do it, moreover without the need to divide the hard disk into multiple partitions?
It’s not magic, I’m not kidding you, it’s called virtualization.
Virtualization software allows you to create virtual PCs on the real PC. In this way, you can try operating systems and programs of all kinds without affecting the original system and without risks related to viruses or crashes. Interesting, right?
So do not stand there impaled and find out how to virtualize an operating system thanks to the indications we are about to give you.
If you want to learn how to virtualize an operating system in an easy and fast way, I suggest you try VirtualBox. It is a free software which is open source and multi-platform (it is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux) that allows you to virtualize all the major operating systems in a simple way and without making the computer more burdensome.
Naturally, the speed of execution of virtual machines (so-called virtual computers created by virtualization programs) depends on the power of the PC in use and the amount of RAM made available to the software but generally there are no major slowdowns.
How to use Virtual Box:
If you want to download VirtualBox on your computer then click on this link and then click on the entry related to the version of software best suited to the operating system you are using (in the case of Windows VirtualBox 4.2.6 for Windows x86 / amd64 hosts ).
Now double clicking on it, the file you just downloaded (eg VirtualBox-4.2.6-82870-Win.exe ) and, in the window that opens, always click on Continue / Continue to complete the process of installation of the program.
Once the software installation is complete, you can virtualize an operating system with VirtualBox by following a few simple steps.
First of all, there is to create the virtual machine in which to install the operating system. Then click on the New button located at the top left and, in the window that opens, click on Next.
At this point, select the operating system you want to virtualize and its version (eg Microsoft Windows and Windows 8 ) from the drop-down menu Operating System and Version.
Type the name you want to assign to the virtual machine to be created in the appropriate text field and click on the Next button to continue creating the virtual machine.
The next step is to first set the amount of RAM that you want to assign to the virtual machine and then the size of its hard disk.
We advise you to leave the default values by always clicking on Next and setting up a dynamically allocated VDI disk.
VirtualBox will choose the optimal values based on the operating system selected at the beginning. Then click on Create twice consecutively and you will have completed the process of creating your virtual machine.
Once you get the virtual computer on which to “run” the operating system you want to try, you need to go to the process of installing the latter that should be performed as if you were using a real computer.
This means that first you have to “feed” to your virtual machine the installation disk of the system, and in this case the options available to you are two: physically insert the disk into the PC or use an ISO image file saved on the computer hard drive.
In the first case, you must select the name of the virtual machine from the main VirtualBox window and click on the Settings button.
Then go to Storage, click on the CD icon (Empty) located on the left and click on the CD icon on the right and then select the item Host Reader from the menu that appears.
In the second case you must select the item Choose a virtual CD / DVD disc file (or Choose disk ) from the menu and select the ISO image related to the operating system you want to install on the virtual machine.
After executing this step, click on the OK button to save the settings, start the virtual machine (double clicking on its name) and proceed to install the operating system to be virtualized just as if you were installing it on a real computer.