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How to Install a Virtualized Copy of Ubuntu in Windows 8

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We have previously shown you how you can easily dual-boot your Windows 8 PC with Linux, but if you don’t want to mess around with partitions and still want to try out Linux, a virtual machine is the answer.

Note: If you haven’t installed Hyper-V, now is a good time to see if your CPU supports SLAT and install Hyper-V.

Creating a Ubuntu Virtual Machine in Hyper-V

Open the Hyper-V Management console from the Start Screen.

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On the right hand side, in the actions pane, click on New and then select Virtual Machine from the context menu.

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If this is your first time using Hyper-V, a Before You Begin screen will appear, just click next to continue, then give your virtual machine a name and click next.

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You can choose how much memory you want to assign to your virtual machine, if you want decent performance I wouldn’t recommend giving your virtual machine any less than 1GB of RAM.

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If you have set up network connectivity previously, perhaps for other virtual machines, you will be able to select one of the networks now. Then click next.

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Go ahead and use the new VHDX type virtual hard disks, these allow for up to 16TB virtual hard drives, so choose a size within that range and click next to continue.

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You will likely be using an ISO to install the OS, so switch the radio button to an Image file and hit the browse button.

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Then go ahead and select your Ubuntu ISO.

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Now click the Finish button and wait a few seconds while your virtual machine is created.

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Now you will need to start the virtual machine which can be done from the right-click context menu.

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Once you see your virtual machine start, double click on it to open the console.

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That’s all there is to it. You now have a running copy of Ubuntu in Windows.

Taylor Gibb is a Microsoft MVP and all round geek, he loves everything from Windows 8 to Windows Server 2012 and even C# and PowerShell. You can also follow him on Google+

  • Published 08/9/12

Comments (6)

  1. ionelab

    What is the difference between wmvplayer and Hiper-V ???
    Bye!
    Ionelab

  2. michel

    doesn’t wubi work in win 8?

  3. Two Replies

    Hyper-V? That often requires setting cryptic virtualization settings in the BIOS (granted a one-time setup, but still a pain in the ass).

    Why not just use VirtualBox?

    Or hell, just use a bootable USB drive.
    (It won’t touch your disk unless you want it to, and will let you “try linux” till you’re blue in the face.)

  4. Anono

    @Two Replies

    Virtual Box doesn’t work well with Windows 8. I know. I’ve tried. And to anyone else, yes it does work but Windows 8 doesn’t really play well when it comes to networking. Therefore, you’d be better off booting Ubuntu as host and running Windows 8 virtually. (It might actually work better too!)

    Now as far as running any Linux from a USB drive goes, I hope you realize just how slow something like that would be. And unless we’re talking about USB3, anything booting from a USB device is likely going to be a bit sluggish. And that’s assuming you’re not actually running a live Linux version of something or not running something that totally loads into memory (something like Puppy Linux or DamSmall, for example). Dual booting or selective booting (selecting which HDD gets booted) is really the best way to go. Booting from USB may be a nice alternative but it’s likely going to annoy the heck out of you if you do it all the time.

  5. Anono

    About the only reasons I can see to use a virtual machines are if you have servers or if you want to sandbox an entire OS for some reason. Otherwise, compatibility is about the only reason most people will be looking at using a virtual machine.

    Virtualization is cool stuff but I’m just not sure I like putting all my eggs in one basket by using any more Microsoft products. I already got burned when Microsoft decided to pull Windows Media Center out of Windows 8. So I’m not likely going to even consider Hyper-V. It’s only a matter of time before Microsoft decides to take that away too.

    I hope I don’t have to go into the questionable history of Microsoft business practices and security issues. That alone has causes me hesitation. But what I really object to is Microsoft’s pricing particularly when there are better free alternatives. I’m also not sure I like reading articles about Microsoft products which read more like advertisements either.

    Hyper-V and other Microsoft products may be good products. But if I can’t use them in a Linux environment or even in a Mac environment then they pretty much have no room in my life.

  6. Myke

    Very good tutorial. I am now running 3 Ubuntu Server VM’s with a MongoDB replicated set, which allows me to simulate failures by taking one or more down. I am also running Ubuntu Desktop in another virtual machine behind a virtual switch, using Untangle as the router between the public network and the private one I set up for my Linux VMs. I’ve also installed an invoicing virtual appliance (Bamboo), and Concrete CMS virtual appliance. In all, I have 7 Linux virtual machines running under Hyper-V on my Windows 8 development machine. On Windows, I am running Visual Studio 2012, and MS Office… and there isn’t a single noticeable slowdown or hiccup. Pretty amazing tech!

    Machine Specs: Intel Core i5 2500K, 16GB skill RAM, 240 GB Intel SSD for the main drive, and 1 TB Seagate SATA as a secondary. Built-in video, built-in audio. Biostar motherboard.

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