How to create virtual machine
A virtual machine is a fake computer on which an operating system that is different or the same as the one installed on the real computer can run. This is a solution that is particularly useful and convenient above all for two reasons: first of all because it allows you to have another operating system available without having to intervene with a multi-boot and then everything that happens inside the virtual machine does not it has repercussions outside of it.
At this point, I’m sure, you’re wondering how to create virtual machine ? Right? Yup? Well, then all you have to do is take a few minutes of free time just for you and concentrate on reading this tutorial of mine dedicated to the subject. In fact, in the following lines you will find explained how to carry out the aforementioned operation, both on Windows and on macOS.
To do this, I anticipate it, you need to contact some special software. They are not difficult to use, fear not. Anyone, even the less experienced in computer science and new technologies, can exploit them without the slightest problem. Now, however, just chat and let’s take action. I wish you a very big good luck!
- Preliminary information
- How to create virtual machine on Windows 10
- How to create virtual machine with VirtualBox
- How to create virtual machine with VMware
- How to create virtual machine on Mac
- How to create virtual machine with VirtualBox
- How to create virtual machine with Parallels
Before getting to the heart of the guide, going to explain how to create a virtual machine , there is some preliminary information about it that you need to know. To begin with, keep in mind that, as I said at the beginning, to create a virtual machine or virtual machine (VM) you need to turn to virtualization software , specially designed for this purpose.
The components of the virtual machine (CPU, RAM, disk, etc.), are files, created and destroyed according to the needs of the program that manages the VM itself, so all changes made to the virtual machine do not affect the real machine. Once the virtual machine has been created, the operating system must then be installed in it (the one installed on the “real” computer is called host , while the one installed on the VM is called guest ).
As for the license, in particular that of Windows , you have to get it just like when you decide to install the operating system to run it “natively” on a PC. But I will reveal a “trick”: by turning to sites other than the official Microsoft one , you can save considerably and buy the Windows license for a few tens of euros.
For example, the Mr Key Shop site , managed by a company with offices in Italy and England, allows you to purchase 100% original licenses for Windows at prices significantly lower than the list prices. This is possible because Mr Key Shop buys and resells the original unused licenses of companies that have switched to the cloud or subscription services (in full compliance with the relevant European regulations ).
The licenses in question are delivered directly via e-mail in a few minutes and the purchase can be made with secure payment methods , such as PayPal , card or Amazon Pay . There is also a money- back guarantee and, in case of doubts, you can take advantage of a free assistance service in Italian (a fairly rare commodity for sites of this type, which usually do not have customer care in Italian).
But how does the licensing process work? Very simple: connect to the Mr Key Shop page dedicated to Windows 11 , Windows 10 , Windows 8 or Windows 7 , choose the edition of the operating system you prefer and add it to your cart . Subsequently, choose whether to continue with the purchases (I point out that Office packages and some excellent antivirus are also available at affordable prices) or whether to go directly to the checkout . After completing your purchases, choose whether to make the transaction as a guest or by registering aaccount and that’s it.
To install an operating system on the virtual machine you obviously have to find it, just as if you were to install it on a “real” PC. You can then use the appropriate installation disk , but if you do not have one you can use the ISO image or you can create an installation media yourself using it.
You can find the installation files of the operating systems in a simple, fast and legal way. If you want to download Windows 11 , you can create the installation media using the tool officially provided by Microsoft or find the ISO file by visiting this web page , as I explained to you in my specific guide on how to download Windows 11 . Also for Windows 10 there is a similar tool that you can access by visiting this other web page , as I indicated in my specific guide on how to download Windows 10 . For directions on how to download previous versionsof the Microsoft home OS, you can follow the instructions contained in my guides on Windows 8.x , Windows 7 and Windows XP .
As for macOS , unfortunately there are no official downloads made available by Apple to install this operating system on machines other than those offered for sale by the manufacturer (installing macOS on computers other than Apple’s violates the conditions of use of the system operating).
If, on the other hand, you are interested in Linux , you can retrieve the Ubuntu ISO by visiting this website and all other distributions via this other web page .
How to create virtual machine on Windows 10
If you want to find out how to create a virtual machine on Windows 10 , Windows 11 or other versions of the Microsoft operating system, you will find below the programs to use to do so and the instructions you must follow.
How to create virtual machine with VirtualBox
To begin with, let’s find out how to create virtual machine with VirtualBox . It is a freely distributed and open source program. It is quite simple to use and allows you to virtualize both Windows and other operating systems.
To use VirtualBox , go to its website and download the program to your computer by clicking on the Windows hosts link .
When the download is complete, start the VirtualBox- [version] – Win.exe file obtained and, in the window that opens on the desktop, first click on the Next button (three consecutive times) and then on those Yes , Install and Yes . Subsequently, click on the Install button to install all the drivers necessary for the operation of the program and on the Finish button to complete the setup.
Now, wait for the program window to appear on the desktop (if this does not happen, start VirtualBox by selecting the link in the Start menu ), then start the creation of the virtual machine by clicking on the New button in the top bar.
In the further window that will open, indicate a name of your choice for the new virtual machine you are about to create and select the operating system and its version from the drop-down menus that you find in the fields below.
Then click on the Next button and configure the following screens with the hardware parameters to be assigned to the virtual machine. Then indicate the amount of RAM to allocate, avoiding going beyond the recommended threshold and click on the Next button to continue.
On the Hard Drive screen , you need to create a virtual partition that will host the operating system instead. Therefore, select the item Create a new virtual hard disk immediately , click on the Create button and keep the VDI box active , to use the disk image only with VirtualBox. If you think you might use other programs in the future, you can create a disk partition in the other two formats you see, which are compatible with other virtualization software. Then click the Next button to continue.
On the next screen, decide how much space the virtual partition should occupy: you can choose between Dynamically Allocated or Specified Size . I recommend that you select the first option and then click the Next button .
Now decide the name of the virtual hard disk and the maximum amount of virtual space it can contain and confirm all these operations by clicking on the Create button .
To proceed with the installation of the operating system on the virtual machine, then insert the physical media with the operating system files you want to install or select the relative ISO file, then press the Start button and follow the setup procedure that you is proposed, which is identical to that which must be followed when installing the operating system on a “real” computer.
At the end of the setup, you will find yourself in front of the OS desktop. When you want, you can stop using the virtual machine by simply closing the window, while to start it again just double-click on it in the list on the VirtualBox screen.
Also keep in mind that to use all the integration functions between real system and virtual machine and not to have problems viewing the desktop you must install the VirtualBox Guest Additions . To do this, call up the appropriate item from the Device menu of the program and choose to autorun the virtual disk that will be mounted in the virtual machine. For more information, read my guide on how to use VirtualBox .
How to create virtual machine with VMware
You can also decide to create virtual machine with VMware . It is another renowned software for creating and managing virtual machines. It is a bit more complex than the solution already proposed, but it is still very good. It allows you to virtualize Windows and various other operating systems. It’s free (for personal use), but it’s also available in a paid version that costs $ 199 and offers more features.
To download VMWare Workstation Player (which is the free version of the software) on your PC, go to the program’s website and click on the Free Download button , then select the Go to downloads link next to VMware Workstation [ version] Player and click on the Download now button on the next page.
When the download is complete, open the VMware-player- [version] .exe file and, in the window that appears on the desktop, click on the Next button , select the item I accept the terms in the License Agreement and click on the Next button again (for four times in a row). Finally, press on the Install and Finish buttons .
At this point, start the program by double clicking on the special link that has been added to the Start menu and, once the VMware Workstation Player window is displayed on the desktop, select the UseVMware Workstation Player for free for non-commercial use option and press on the Continue and Finish buttons .
In the further window that opens, select the Create a New Virtual Machine link located on the right to start creating a new virtual machine. Then decide whether to take the operating system you intend to install on the virtual machine from the installation disk by selecting the Installer disc item or using the ISO file by clicking on the word Installer disc image file and press the Next button , then provide the relative support.
If prompted, then provide the product key of the operating system, type the name of the user account to be created and the relative password and press the Next button .
Then indicate the name you want to assign to the virtual machine in the Virtual machine name field , the location in which to save the relative file via the Location section and click the Next button again .
After completing the above steps, specify the space that the virtual machine disk will occupy and its type and press the Finish and Yes buttons . Follow the procedure for configuring the operating system that is proposed to you, proceeding in the same way as you would on a “physical” computer.
Later, you will find yourself in front of the desktop of the OS and you can start using it without problems. When no longer needed, you can stop using the virtual machine by closing the window, while to start it at a later time double-click on the name you find in the list attached to the main software screen. For more information, read my guide on how to virtualize with VMware .
How to create virtual machine on Mac
Now let’s move on to the macOS world and let’s find out how to create virtual machine on Mac . You will find indicated which software are for the purpose and how to exploit them right below.
But be careful: at the moment, on Macs equipped with Apple Silicon chips (eg M1) there may be problems in virtualizing Windows systems. In fact, it is necessary to obtain versions of the aforementioned operating system capable of “running” on the ARM platform.
How to create virtual machine with VirtualBox
As VirtualBox is a cross-platform solution, you can use it to create virtual machines even on macOS. The operation of the software on an Apple computer is similar to that on a Windows PC, the only thing that differs is the installation procedure.
So, in order to use VirtualBox on your Mac, first connect to the program’s website , then select the OS X hosts link .
When the download is complete, open the VirtualBox- [version] – OSX.dmg package obtained and, in the window you see appear on the desktop, double-click on the VirtualBox.pkg file icon , in order to start the installation procedure.
Next, click on the Allow button (if required), then on the Continue and Install buttons , then type in the Mac administration password , click on the Install software button and wait for the process to complete.
Now, in order for VirtualBox to work properly, you need to authorize system extensions added to macOS. Therefore, click on the Open the Security Preferences button in the window that opens to access the Security and Privacy section of the macOS System Preferences , click on the locked padlock symbol located at the bottom left, enter the Mac password and press the Enter key on the keyboard.
Then, click on the Allow button that you find in correspondence with the notice relating to the unlocking of the system software of the developer “Oracle America, Inc.” and restart your computer by pressing the button that is shown to you.
Once the program setup is complete, to start the creation of a virtual machine and to manage the operation of the software, refer to the instructions I gave you in the step at the beginning of the Windows guide .
How to create virtual machine with Parallels
On Apple branded computers it is also possible to create virtual machine with Parallels . It is a commercial virtualization software specific to macOS that integrates perfectly with the operating system in question and also has full support for Windows on Apple Silicon chips . It costs 99.99 euros, but it is possible to opt for an annual subscription at a cost of 79.99 euros which allows you to always have the most up-to-date version of the software. Note that it can also be tried for free for 14 days.
To download the trial version of Parallels on your Mac, visit the program’s website , click the Download Free Trial Version button, and then click the Download Now button .
When the download is complete, open the Install Parallels Desktop.dmg package obtained and, in the window that is shown on your desktop, double-click the Parallels Desktop icon to start the setup procedure.
In the further screen that is shown to you, click on the Accept button , enter the user account password , press the OK button and wait for Parallels to be installed on your computer. If you want to avoid sending anonymous statistics regarding the use of the software, before starting the installation, remove the check from the appropriate box.
When starting Parallels, to create a virtual machine click on the Skip button and, in the new window that appears, click on the option Install Windows or another OS from a DVD or image file , then click on the Next button below on the right, drag the reference image file into the program window or select it manually by first pressing on the link select a file or, again, press the Find automatically button to start automatic detection.
Then, click on the Next button , type the operating system license key ( if any) in the appropriate field and press the Next button again . Then specify if you intend to use the virtual machine for production or to play , click again on the Next button , indicate the name you want to assign to the virtual machine and the path , choose whether or not to create a link on the desktop and press the Create button .
Proceeding as I just indicated, the default parameters will be used to adjust the virtual machine settings. If you think it is appropriate to customize them , before creating the virtual machine select the appropriate option and use the items and menus that you find in the window that is shown to you to make the necessary changes.
Once all the above steps have been completed, the operating system installation procedure will start, which is the same as when installing the OS on a physical PC.
When the process is complete, you will be shown the desktop and you can use the operating system. When necessary, you can stop using the virtual machine by closing its window above, while to start it again click on its preview that you find in Parallels Control Center .