Basic questions about VirtualBox

Two years ago, I had Windows in a Virtual Box, but I forgot a lot of how I did it.
I have watched the Joe Collins video that was posted earlier, and I am watching Frank’s instructional videos, too. So, some intial questions.

  1. I have Ubuntu 18.04 on sdb1, Windows 7 on sdb2, and choose them with grub. (sda is being cared for)
    Can I access the Windows installation that is already there using a VirtualBox? Or are all the OSs installed from ISO?

  2. Most of what I do with my computer involves video chats (online English tutoring). I get online with a wired connection.
    According to Joe, the recommended choice for Networking was “bridged adapter”. Would my Internet speeds be enough using that choice? Or, as I fear, are all VB setups going to be problematic?



So I was about to say that you can’t access an actual OS on your physical drive, because I didn’t find it feasible ( at least not from our possibilities’ perspectives ) but then I found this which explains, that it is apparently supposed to be possible to run an actual OS from your physical drive in a Virtual Box. Never tried it and I didn’t know this is possible with VirtualBox. You should read the page’s content and maybe search exactly for best practices, to not corrupt your Windows or something.

I would agree with that but sometimes, depending on your physical hardware, there might be some exceptions. If I were you, I would execute his recommendation exactly and if it wouldn’t work as expected, I would search for solutions online, focusing the specific hardware in question.

It doesn’t really change noticably when changing adapters. I don’t know if it even changes at all. It shouldn’t have anything to do with internet speeds.

Depending on what you do, it might get problematic, it might not. If you want to do something advanced, sure it might go wrong. If you want to do something basic (like online tutoring) it should be a piece of cake.
It’s basically the same with an actual operating system that is non-virtualized. If you download Ubuntu, do some Document editing and a bit of browsing, there is basically nothing that could go wrong, anyway.

You said, you’d like to use VirtualBox on your Ubuntu installation. If you ever want to use VirtualBox on Windows, I would recommend using one of the 5.1.x versions (I have version 5.1.38 r122592, to be precise) because I found the newer versions to not work on my Windows 10. If you don’t want to risk any bugginess, you should use the version mentioned, because that’s the one I tested to be working fine, if you are using VB on Windows, that is.

At last, I would recommend to rather be aware regarding the sound input/output from and to your VB when doing the tutoring, than the internet. Internet is probably going to be fine and it is easily testable. Different story with sound. Don’t have much experience regarding sound in VB, myself, because I never really needed it, but I can imagine it’s not always “plug’n’play” as it should be. So you might double check this part, before going on air. Especially double check with the software you are using on Windows for the tutoring.


@Akito, that reply was interesting. I could appreciate your eyes, to tell me if I understand it.

My situation would be the reverse of how he described, VB would be in Ubuntu and the machine would be Windows 7.
So first, I would make sure the Windows partition is unmounted.
Then, run VirtualBox and instead of searching for a disk image, I would create a physical disk and point it to my Windows partition. (/dev/sdb2)
But then, he went back into issues with GRUB and he lost me. How can I do the above and NOT boot it?

Either there is more detail I don’t yet grasp, or your original judgment (that it cannot be done) was right all along.


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About 10 years ago I read about someone doing something like this on Linux…

(with Parallels and Boot Camp on a Mac - it was pretty seamless back then)

I followed their guide (i.e. VMware workstation on Linux) and got Linux and VMware workstation to boot a “real” Windows (7) O/S installed on a partition… it wasn’t easy… and in the end didn’t seem worth it… I think I tried the reverse too (boot a Linux partition in a hypervisor running on Windows) but can’t remember how successful…

So - it’s possible… not sure about on VirtualBox though, as I only tried it in VMware workstation…

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Yeah, I am coming to the same conclusion. After reading through tons of posts on the matter, dual booting is looking better and better.

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It is better. Very specialized solutions like the one you tried to apply initially should usually only be used if there is absolute need for it. If not, the easier and better solution should be used, if you prefer stability over experimenting fun.