Are you curious about different Operating Systems and how they work but you only have one laptop? No worries since you can run multiple VM’s (Virtual Machines) on your laptop without touching your main OS. How? Meet: Oracle VM VirtualBox!
In this post, I’ll walk you through the basics of Oracle VM VirtualBox, what it is, where to download it and how you can install it but also what Virtualization is all about. As a bonus, I’ll also cover how you can set-up your first VM using Kali Linux as an example.
What Is Virtualization?
Let’s take a moment and talk about Virtualization first. This is a technology that you can use to create isolated environments within the same physical hardware. The VM mimics the functions of an actual physical hardware and allows you to run multiple Virtual Machines simultaneously on your laptop. Off course there are some limitations, but the greater the amount of CPU, RAM & Storage you have available, the more VM’s you can run.
Why Run Multiple VMs on Your PC?
There are a lot of scenarios where you want to run a VM on your laptop / PC;
- Testing & Development: Often developers are running their software on various operation system without the need to switch to physical machine.
- Security Testing: Ethical hackers and security professional tent to create isolated environments for vulnerability testing and penetration testing.
- Training & Learning: In order to get hands-on experience on a specific environment.
NOTE: It speaks for itself, but for the VM’s to run, your laptop / PC needs to be turned on. If you want to run and use VM’s which are always online, then either you need to have your laptop on 24/7, or you need to get a device which can act as a server.
In my case I wanted to learn more about security, ethical hacking and that’s why I wanted to run Kali as a VM. In order to do that we need to have a virtualization software first and for that we will use: Oracle VM VirtualBox.
Oracle VM VirtualBox:
Oracle VM VirtualBox is a free and open-source virtualization software that enables you to create and manage virtual machines on your computer, thus allowing you to run multiple virtual machines on your laptop. So we need to download it first here on VirtualBox.org. Simply download the software for your OS, Run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions. The wizard will guide you through the installation process, including setting up options and configuring network settings.
How to Install Kali Linux as the First VM
Now that you have Oracle VM VirtualBox installed, let’s set up your first virtual machine with Kali:
- Download Kali: Head over to the downloads page and look for the big “Virtual Box 64” button and download the zip file.
- Extract Kali: Once the 3Gb file has been downloaded, extract it using 7Zip.
- Open VirtualBox and click on Add. Now navigate to the place where the extracted file is located at.
- Upon the selection, the file is imported and you can verify the settings that will be set here. In case you want, you can adjust them but I was happy the way it was imported.
- Now click on Start and Kali will be booted! Remember the default login is kali for the user and kali for the password!
And there you have it! You now have Oracle VM VirtualBox up and running, with Kali as your first virtual machine!
As you can see, I have also a Ubuntu & a separate Windows 10 VM as well. This shows the power of virtualization and allows us to explore different operating systems and experiment with software without compromising your laptop. So go ahead, create, and manage your virtual machines with ease using Oracle VM VirtualBox.