Ubuntu 11.04 on Virtualbox easy install

With the release of Ubuntu 11.04, the downloads are going sky high and everybody wants to get a copy. The installation instructions on the Ubuntu homepage are pretty simple and you dont see the difference between each of the installation methods. If you are a newbie to Ubuntu you might even get confused which install method to try out!

Fortunately, you are lucky that you stumbled across this article, because by the time you are done reading this you will be on your Ubuntu shouting out OMG Ubuntu!

First of all, i am making some general assumptions of you such as:

  • You are on a Windows machine.
  • Have at least 512 MB of graphics memory.
  • Have a minimum of 1 GB RAM memory.
  • Have a dual core processor, single cores are OK too, but the CPU load induced might be more when running Ubuntu on a single processor.

OK, so i think you are all ready with your prerequisites. Now lets begin the installation procedure.

Download latest version of the Virtualbox here. (Virtualbox is a software which allows you run different Operating Systems inside your current working OS as an application)

Download Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal here (Its a BitTorrent file, make sure you have BitTorrent client installed to start the download)

Now set the Virtualbox settings as described below:

Press the New button to create a new Virtual Machine.

VB create machine

Type “Ubuntu” as your OS.

VB choose ubuntu

Set 512 MB as your base memory size.

VB set base memory size

Select ‘Create New Hard Disk’ and press the Next button.

VB create new hard disk

Choose ‘Fixed-sized storage’ because normally your Ubuntu personal files wont exceed 8GB so there’s no need to create a dynamic drive.

VB choose fixed storage

Set your Hard Disk size as 4GB or 8GB as recommended.

VB set hard disk size

Now press Finish. The wizard window will close. Next press the VM ‘Settings’ button. Here make sure CD/DVD-ROM is first in the boot order, atleast for the first time because you will be installing UBUNTU from the CD image file which you downloaded earlier.

VB set boot order

Choose the number of processor cores. Higher is better but it would be an idiotic thing to do if you have only one processor. Also make sure to enable IO APIC feature before increasing CPU cores as its a very important feature which is behind multi-core processing. Enable PAE/NX extended features as well.

VB set processor cores

Here enable Intel VT-x and AMD-v virtualization features. Also enable Nested Paging which is required for virtual memory.

VB set VT-x

Set your display memory size here. I had recommend to drag the slider to full 128 MB and make sure you check 3D acceleration box too.

VB set display memory

Over here, make sure you have added your Hard disk to IDE controller. Attach your downloaded UBUNTU image to the CD/DVD device.

VB choose HDD and CD drive

If you need internet enable the Network adapter.

VB set network parameters

If you had like to know how i got those sleazy looking theme and icons, please drop a comment below and i will get back to you rightaway. Please comment how you felt about this tutorial. If you have other nice views do share’em.

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  1. David Reply

    Awesome guide, how did you get that look and feel in Ubuntu?

    • Gautam Doddamani Reply

      thanx a lot for the comment, David! :) :) to get that look in Ubuntu 11.04 do the following:

      1. install Equinox GTK theme and Faenza icon theme by typing the below codes in the terminal:
      sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tiheum/equinox
      sudo apt-get update
      sudo apt-get install gtk2-engines-equinox equinox-theme faenza-icon-theme

      2. for a more nicer feel for your nautilus explorer in ubuntu type:
      sudo add-apt-repository ppa:am-monkeyd/nautilus-elementary-ppa
      sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
      nautilus -q

      Thats it. Enjoy! :)

  2. ch3d4 Reply

    veery good guide!

    i got equinox gtk theme and faenza icon theme…

    but i could not get mac os x bar down…

    sorry to bother you could you help me out (first time linux user)…


    • Gautam Doddamani Reply

      thanx for the comment. that is not the ubuntu 11.04’s unity interface, the mac os bar you are talking about is Avant Window Navigator! you can install it by the terminal or via the ubuntu software center. In UBUNTU SOFTWARE CENTER just type avant in the search box and you can install it. Via terminal:
      add AWN repositories first by typing-
      1. deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/awn-testing/ppa/ubuntu maverick main
      2. deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/awn-testing/ppa/ubuntu maverick main
      and then type this command to install AWN:

      3. sudo apt-get install avant-window-navigator-trunk

      if you encounter any errors please feel free to contact me. thanx for stopping by! :)

  3. Dave Reply


    Great guide, I found it very easy to follow.
    However, when I am adjusting the settings of my virtual machine, it will not allow me to use more than 1 core, even though my real machine is a Pentium Dual-Core T4300 2.10GHz.
    Do you know why this is?
    Also, in the Settings->System window, I do not have an Acceleration Tab.
    I am using the latest version of VirtualBox (4.0.8-7177)

    Thanks :-)


  4. rajendra Reply

    dear, i installed virtual box and trying to install ubuntu but while clicking on “wubi” file it gets start installation and terminate frequently.
    – one more concern is can i install ubuntu though my harddisk file or need to create a separate CD-bootable for it.

    • Gautam Doddamani Reply

      thanx for the comment rajendra! :) ok first things first you need to understand what virtualbox is…virtualbox is a tool which allows you to run ubuntu just like an application…it runs the ubuntu os inside the windows os so there’s no need to dual-boot your computer.

      regarding your problem with wubi…wubi installs ubuntu in a dual-boot fashion so when you boot your computer you will see two options…WINDOWS and UBUNTU. wubi and virtualbox has no connection whatsoever…they are two separate applications and work in a completely different manner. i condemn using wubi!

      SOLUTION: the image file that you downloaded to your harddisk should be attached to virtualbox as a virtual cd drive (see my tutorial above) and then you should start its installation inside virtualbox.

  5. kiran Reply

    hi gautam, your step by step visual instructions are very helpful especially for newbie like me;
    i ‘ve ubuntu 11.04 and virtual box 4.0r7177 installed, i successfully test installed ubuntu 8; everything went fine; but i ‘ve no luck with any version of windows, i get “could not read boot medium” or “no bootable medium found” and system halted errors;
    i ‘ve used only iso files for installation allthrough

    do i need to change grub settings so .vdi can read the windows iso files

    please help me
    thanks in advance

    • Gautam Doddamani Reply

      Hi Kiran. Regarding your problem, virtualbox is not recognizing the boot device that’s why your virtual machine is getting halted. Take the following steps to troubleshoot the problem:

      1. Make sure you are inserting the ubuntu 11.04 iso file in an IDE controller and the device type should be PIIX4. If you have SATA provision its better to attach the .vdi hard disk file to a SATA controller.

      2. During the first install you should always make sure that “CD/DVD-ROM” device takes the first slot in the boot order and “Hard Disk” takes the second slot.

      3. Sometimes machine may not start if you assign too much RAM. try giving 512MB in the initial time.

      If you still encounter problems, let me know! :)

  6. luz robles Reply

    tengo mi pc que era compac hp 64 bit laptop que era window 7 la borro mi tecnico me puso unbuntu 11.04 quedo de show presiosa y no puedo usarla pq mi internet es open ascess de puerto rico y dice que necesita driver y q no puedo usar ese internet quien me ayuda del foro de unbuntu linux por favor aqui en pr no hay mas internet que coja unbuntu y no deceo revertirla a wndow 7 pq el programa tenia que estar invirtiendo en mi tecnico demasiado dinero para arreglarmela semanal gracias

  7. Anish K.S Reply

    Ubuntu latest version is buggy :(.

    • Gautam Doddamani Reply

      i agree with u Anish. thats why i opted for a Virtualbox install, 11.04 runs very smoothly on virtualbox…if u install the OS as a dual boot that’s when problems start to appear. :(

  8. Daniel W Reply

    Quick question. Why is it an IDE controller you attach the VHD and the VOD to?

    • Gautam Doddamani Reply

      hi daniel. it is not mandatory for you attach the vhd to IDE only, you can also use a SATA controller…provided if u hav the SATA functionality enabled in ur BIOS! :) performance wise SATA is better.

      • Daniel W Reply

        Yeah that’s what i was thinking.

        Also, I can’t seem to get it to work, 10 works fine, but 11 on both of my computers have errors about halfway through the install maybe. It’s slightly annoying, hopefully it is an issue with the latest version of VirtualBox.

  9. Justin Reply

    “Over here, make sure you have added your Hard disk to IDE controller. Attach your downloaded UBUNTU image to the CD/DVD device.”

    Im stuck on this part I tried to add the CD/DVD device but it comes out as an error… also when i Fully downloaded it from torrent the file is like only 100 or so MB not 700MB any ideas on how to get it to work?

    • Gautam Doddamani Reply

      your image file is definitely corrupted, Justin…that’s why you are getting an error. The downloaded file should be of 685MB to be exact. Go to this official Ubuntu 11.04 download page and click on ubuntu-11.04-desktop-i386.iso.torrent link. Download it and then try again. Good Luck. :)

  10. rob Reply

    I installed ubuntu 11.04 iso in virtualbox. It did not prompt for password etc. I cannot login, what would be the default password if any?….

    • Gautam Doddamani Reply

      hi rob. ubuntu has no default password. The only suggestion i can give you is to reinstall ubuntu and specify a password when asked while installing it. That will become your root password. Its necessary for you to assign a password when installing ubuntu as linux platform always works on password mechanism! after installing enter the password you gave before…that will surely get you in :)

  11. Siva Reply


    I followed above mentioned instructions before seeing ur tutorial and after finishing installation successfully I need to clear few clarifications…..

    1. Unable to access wi–fi access

    2. Unable to get Full Screen Resolution

    3. I don’t know know how to access Shared Folder from my Windows OS 7

    I used:-

    1.Dell XPS 15 Laptop

    2.Processor i5

    3.Ram:-4 GB

    4. OS : windows 7

    5.Virtual Box Version:- 4.1.2

    6.Ubuntu Version – 11

    So I Need you to help me regarding this by providing…

    1.Step by Step by installation procedure..

    Waiting for your reply,

    Thanking You,


    • Gautam Doddamani Reply

      hi siva…sorry for the late reply. regarding ur problem, u won’t get full screen resolution unless you install the guest additions on virtualbox. here is a guide to install guest additions. follow the first method. just enter the commands in the terminal found in applications and u r good to go. gud luck. :)

  12. Siva Reply


    Thanks for the reply….

    and one more question…

    How can i access internet using Wi-fi wireless…?

    waiting for ur reply,


    • Gautam Doddamani Reply

      i m sorry siva…i don’t know how to use wi-fi on virtualbox :( i always connect it with my virtualbox host adapter…so never really tried wi-fi! maybe you can find a solution by searching in the virtualbox forums. :)

  13. Alan Reply

    Hi there,

    anybody have Virtualbox Ubuntu installation freeze on them when you hit the ‘Where are you from?’ installation screen. Seems to just stop working. I have tried it twice.

    • Gautam Doddamani Reply

      hi alan. i think u should probably increase ur video memory. set it to 128MB and see if it works!

      • Alan Reply

        Will give it a shot now thanks! One more question, should virtual box give you an internet connection for the os in the virtual machine if you check enabled in network? I have yet to get a connection with other os’s I have tried in it. Sorry im brand new to this!

        • Gautam Doddamani Reply

          precisely yes alan. if you check enable network adapter in virtualbox settings you should get an internet connection in the guest os i.e. ubuntu!

          • Alan

            Thank you, I have gotten by the bit that kept jamming up on me : ) Hopefully the rest of the install goes to plan. I will then check the network connection. Thanks a million.

  14. elian Reply

    how can i install programmes in ubuntu 11.04 version
    coz i want to use it


    • Gautam Doddamani Reply

      hi elian its very easy…just open the Ubuntu software center from the applications menu and type the program name in the search box then install it. the installed app icon will be then seen in your apps menu. hope this helped! :)

  15. Zayira Reply

    thanks alot. Very helpful. Need this program for class and you made it simple.

  16. Eddy Sulistiono Reply

    Thanks For Your Info :)

  17. william smith Reply

    no windows on my computer. How do I install [step by step instructions please]
    a program from tomtom website I downloaded it to my desk top but what do I do
    not to install it? newbee to ubuntu 11.04 any help would be greatly appreciated

    thank you

  18. Fayyaz Reply

    Hi!I just used virtualbox 4.1.8-75467 -Win on my xp by creating ubuntu 11.04 virtual machine but when I click install ubuntu it shows

    1.Erase disk and install ubuntu
    2.something else

    it does not shows “install inside windows”

    opt. 2 does not works .Can anybody help me?

  19. John D. Kennedy Reply

    very helpful!!

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