In this Session we will configure a virtual machine based on an image, see it in operation, and we will perform various operations on it.

  1. Virtual Machine : a quick reminder
  2. Getting started with VirtualBox
    1. Installation of VirtualBox
    2. Importing a virtual machine with VirtualBox
  3. Common operations with virtual machines
    1. Configuring the VM network
    2. Start / Restart / Suspend
    3. Configure a shared folder between an host and the VM

Virtual Machine : a quick reminder


A virtual machine is the emulation of a computer system that runs on a real computer. It is based on virtual disk image file that contains the copy of a physical disk. A virtual machine can have one or several network interfaces, that can be mapped on physical network interfaces.

Getting started with VirtualBox

For this set of sessions we have chosen to use the VirtualBox hypervisor. VirtualBox is an opensource virtual machine hypervisor currently developed by Oracle.

Warning : It is strongly advised that you enable the hardware virtualization in the BIOS of your computer.

Installation of VirtualBox

Browse to the Download virtual box page, click on the link corresponding to your Operating System and proceed with the installation.

/assets/img/session1/install1.png /assets/img/session1/install2.png /assets/img/session1/install3.png

Once installed, launch VirtualBox. You should get something similar to the screenshot below:

empty VirtualBox

Importing a virtual machine with VirtualBox

Ask the teacher for a flash drive that contains an exported version of the virtual machine that will be used for the practical session.


Double click on the ubuntu_cours_madrid.ova file, VirtualBox should display a screen as follow:


Confirm the import of the virtual machine. And wait until the virtual machine is imported.


Once the import is finished, the virtual machine should appear in VirtualBox:


Common operations with virtual machines

Configuring the VM network

Access the properties of the VM, and configure a network interface as follow:

  • Enable Network Adapter: checked
  • Attached to: Bridged adapter
  • Name: Select the main network interface of your computer (wifi)
  • Advanced properties: Reset the mac address by clicking on the Generate a new random mac address icon, as in the following screenshot: /assets/img/session1/reset_mac_address.png

And click on OK


Start / Restart / Suspend

Click on the ubuntu_cours_madrid virtual machine and then click on the Start button, as in the following screenshot:


A new window depicting the output of the virtual machine should appear: the virtual machine is booting up: /assets/img/session1/launch2.png

Once booted, you can interract with the virtual machine as it was a classic computer.


Configure a shared folder between an host and the VM

To ease the practical session, we will now configure a shared folder between the virtual machine and the physical host. The idea behind a shared folder is that any file written by a host in the shared folder, will be seen by the other host.

To create a shared folder, on the preferences of VirtualBox click on the “Shared Folders” tab and configure a new shared folder as in the following screenshot:


Use the following parameters:

  • Folder path: a folder on your computer. Here are valid examples of shared folders:
    • In Linux it may be something like /home/<username>/shared_folder.
    • In macOS it may be something like /Users/<username>/shared_folder.
    • In windows it may be C:/shared_folder.
  • Folder name: use the shared_folder value
  • Automount: select this option to ensure that the shared folder is activated when the virtual machine is run.
  • Mount Point: use /home/lowcomote/workspace.