Running Windows 7 inside VirtualBox


Windows 7 can be run on Ubuntu, inside of VirtualBox. This gives access to Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Minitab, and other software. One user may run it on a machine at a time. It only runs reasonably on machines with 4 Gig or more of memory. These machines include:

catfish   ghoshm
coral     lab
drum      rosalsky
koi       rrandles
mackerel  mdaniels
poisson2  doss
sealion   kdkhare
skate     jhobert
whale     mripol
To start it up, use the "windows" command. VirtualBox tends to put up several warning and informational messages when it starts. You may safely ignore all of these and click the "Continue" and "OK" buttons. You may run it remotely over X-Windows, and the performance hit is tolerable. After you start up a Windows application, it will be sluggish for a few seconds and not keep up with your typing, but this will improve quickly.
$ windows &
TOPDIR /depot/vb-4/win-7-one
Running against transient symlink tree in /tmp/win-7-one



Still booting...

Ready to use. The Windows equivalent of the Ubuntu "Applications" menu is the "Start" menu, at the lower left under the Windows flag.

To get to your home directory files, click on the Start menu in the lower left corner, that's the 4-colored flag in the yellow circle. Then click on Computer in the menu that appears.

Click on drive E:, also known as \\vboxsrv and ROOT.

Click on home.

Click on your username. The resulting panel will show your home directory.

To quit, save all your open files in Windows applications and exit the applications. Click on the window manager close [X] in the upper right corner. A panel will appear prompting you to discard the state of the Windows machine and restore the state back to the current snapshot. These default choices are correct. The snapshot name will change from time to time as Windows is updated.

In case of confusion, you may kill all the VirtualBox processes, all of which run as the user, and start over.

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This page was last updated Fri Nov 2 12:10:20 EDT 2012