In this tutorial, we will guide you through the easiest way to try out Ubuntu Desktop on a virtual machine. VirtualBox is a universal virtualizer that can be used on Linux, Mac OS, and Windows. Regardless of the operating system you are currently using, this is a great way to experience Ubuntu.

Note: This tutorial is also applicable to other distributions, so you can also try using some Ubuntu versions!

What you will learn:

  • How to choose Ubuntu Desktop version
  • How to install & configure VirtualBox
  • How to install Ubuntu Desktop system
  • VirtualBox configuration options to improve user experience

What you need:

A computer with internet access!

1、Download Ubuntu Image File


Go to the Ubuntu website:, and click on the "Download" link. Then choose 22.04 LTS to download:

  • Product line categories: There are four series of Ubuntu product lines: desktop versions, server versions, IoT versions, and cloud versions. Only the desktop version has a window system installed by default.
  • Desktop version classification: "LTS" in "22.04 LTS" stands for Long-Term Support, which is supported until 2027, while "22.10" is an updated version, but is only supported until September 2023.
  • Future recommendations: Ubuntu cloud version is widely deployed in major ISP hosting providers. After becoming familiar with the Ubuntu system, it is recommended to install the cloud version for development & debugging work.


2、Download and Install VirtualBox


Go to the VirtualBox official website:, click on the "Downloads" link and select the version that corresponds to your operating system:

  • VirtualBox description: VirtualBox is a free, cross-platform product under Oracle that you can install and use with confidence;
  • VirtualBox installation: The process is very simple in Windows systems, so it will not be repeated here. In addition, the blogger will publish related articles and videos later to introduce how to install and use VirtualBox in Ubuntu.


3、Create a new VirtualBox virtual machine


After installing VirtualBox, import the previously downloaded Ubuntu image file:

  • Multi-language interface: VirtualBox supports multiple languages. Simply select the language in "File > Preferences > Language";
  • More settings: To make it easier for everyone to read, the content of VirtualBox's more settings is placed at the end of this article.
3.1. Start a new VMasd

Click the "New" button or "Machine > New":

3.2. Virtual machine naming

Name it according to your preferences, select "Linux" for the operating system type, and select 64-bit for the operating system version.

Note: If you cannot select 64-bit for the operating system version, it is most likely because you need to adjust the settings in your computer's BIOS to enable virtualization. The settings pages of different motherboards are different, so please Google it yourself!


3.3. Create a virtual hard disk

Choose the default recommendation and create a new virtual hard disk.


3.4. Virtual hard drive format

Choose the default recommendation and create a virtual hard drive using the VirtualBox file format.


3.5. Virtual hard disk storage method

Choose the default recommendation, and the virtual hard disk file uses dynamic growth.


3.6. Virtual hard disk space size

The virtual hard disk file can define its own location, and the upper limit of the space size can also be set by yourself. It is recommended to use more than 100G. Click the "Create" button to complete the initial creation of the virtual machine!


3.7. Load the Ubuntu image file

Click the "Setting" button, select "Storage" in the pop-up window, and choose the Ubuntu image file.


3.8. Set boot order

Similarly, select virtual CD boot in the "System" of the pop-up window, similar to the settings of "BIOS" in a computer. Click the "OK" button to save!

Now we are ready to install the Ubuntu desktop system, so let's get started!


4、Install the Ubuntu desktop system


4.1. Start Ubuntu installation

Click the "Start" button or "Machine > Start":


4.2. Confirm installation options

Select "Try or Install Ubuntu" and press Enter:


4.3. Choose installation language

The installation language is set to "English" by default and can be changed to "Simplified Chinese". After making a selection, click the "Install Ubuntu" button:


4.4. Select keyboard format

The keyboard format is set to "English" by default, and the default can be selected. Click the "Continue" button:


4.5. Choose minimal installation

The default is "Normal installation", but it is recommended that you choose "Minimal installation" because:

The default installed Libre Office has low availability and poor compatibility with Micro Office. In later articles or videos, I will introduce how to install a better Office Suits: WPS.

Click the "Continue" button:


4.6. Choose installation method

The default "Erase disk and install Ubuntu" can be selected, and it will only erase the virtual hard drive, so don't worry:


4.7. Confirm Installation Method

Click the "Continue" button to proceed:


4.8. Select Time Zone

Select your time zone by clicking on the clickable world map. Click the "Continue" button:


4.9. Set User Password

After setting up the password, click the "Continue" button to proceed:


4.10. Start Installation

The installation time may vary depending on your computer's hardware configuration and network speed. Generally, the installation can be completed within 5-10 minutes.

After the installation is completed, the system will prompt you to restart the system. Then, refer to the description in section 3.8 to adjust the hard disk as the first boot order.



五、Enhance User Experience with VirtualBox Configuration Options


5.1. Increase Graphics Card Resolution

The default resolution after installing Ubuntu in VirtualBox is only 800*600, which requires the installation of the "Guest Additions" extension package.

  • To download "Guest Additions", click on "Device > Insert Guest Additions CD Image" in the VirtualBox menu, and follow the steps;
  • To install "Guest Additions", locate the Guest Additions CD image and load it (usually located at "/media/your username/Vbox..."). Then run the following command to install it. After installation, restart the virtual machine:
cd /media/alex/VBox_GAs_6.1.38/
sudo ./
#If the system prompts to install the gcc compiler, run the following command and repeat the above steps to install
sudo apt-get install build-essential


5.2. Increase Virtual Machine CPU Usage

Assigning more CPU cores will improve the performance of the virtual machine.


5.3. Set Up Shared Folders

After setting up shared folders, file sharing between the host and the virtual machine can be easily achieved.






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