I want to talk a little about Sun Microsystems ‘VirtualBox’. For those of you who are not familiar with virtualization technology then what something like VirtualBox allows you do to is install ‘Guest Operating Systems’ on your PC. As you know there are a few versions of Microsoft Windows (Remember Windows 3.11? or 95?) well believe it or not ;) there are alternatives to Microsoft when it comes to Operating system (OS) choice. Linux or more specifically Ubuntu is a free OS that is a popular choice.
One method of sampling these alternative OS is to use a ‘Live Disc’. This will essentially run the OS off the CD (without installing anything on to your hard drive) this is great for OS like Linux, but older versions of Windows never came with this functionality.
A second method to solving this problem would be to create a separate partition and create a boot menu (installing the secondary OS on the newly created partition), this method is actually quite technical in my opinion and I recommend you backup any data on your system before you try it. If you didn’t want to partition your hard drive you could add a secondary hard drive to your system.
The third method would be to use virtualization software (in this case VirtualBox) You can download VirtualBox from http://www.virtualbox.org/ the installation package is only 68MB big.
In another blog I’ll go through the basics of getting some Virtual Machines (VM’s) up and running and also talk about what I intend using them for.