How to Install Ubuntu Desktop 21.04 in VirtualBox

In this post, we’ll show you how to install Ubuntu Desktop 21.04 in VirtualBox 6. Ubuntu Desktop is perhaps the most extensively used Linux desktop version.

Let’s get going.

How to Download Install Ubuntu Desktop 21.04 in VirtualBox in Windows 10

Step 1 – Download Ubuntu Desktop Image

We must first get the installer ISO image file to install Ubuntu Desktop. Link download Ubuntu Desktop 21.04.

The latest version of the Ubuntu operating system for desktop PCs and laptops, Ubuntu 21.04 comes with nine months, until January 2022, of security and maintenance updates.


The file name for a 64-bit installer image will be something like this: ubuntu-21.04-desktop-amd64.iso. The downloaded file is approximately 2 GB in size.

Step 2 – Locate the downloaded file

If you haven’t altered the default settings, you’ll find the downloaded image file in the Downloads folder. ubuntu-21.04-desktop-amd64.iso would be the name of the file.

Step 3 – Launch VirtualBox

To begin, download and install Oracle VM VirtualBox on your PC or laptop. Open VirtualBox. Please visit my page if you haven’t already done so.

Step 4 – Launch VirtualBox Create Virtual Machine installation wizard.

This can be started by clicking the red-hued gear sign. On Windows, the keyboard shortcut is Ctrl + N.

Enter a name for the virtual machine in the Create Virtual Machine dialog box. This might be anything you want it to be. VirtaulBox will also create a folder in your computer with this name to keep the virtual machine files, the path to which is normally something like “C:UsersUser nameVirtualBox VMs” by default. In Windows, your user name is the name of the user you are logged in as, which will be different for each of us. Set the amount of RAM that will be allotted to the virtual machine. I generally believe that 1 GB is insufficient and recommend upgrading to 2 GB (2048 MB).

Select Type: Linux
Version: Ubuntu(64 bit)

Click Create to continue.

You must now define the amount of disk space to be allocated. Around 60 GB is what I specify. To specify the disk space, drag the slider. Leave everything else alone. To continue, click Create.

The VirtualBox manager screen will now display the newly generated VM.

Step 5 – Change Virtual machine settings

We’ll need to alter the virtual machine’s settings now. Select Settings from the drop-down menu.

Make the following changes in the settings dialog box:

1. Go to General -> Advanced tab – Alter Shared clipboard and Drag’n’Drop to bidirectional.

2. Go to System -> Motherboard tab – Uncheck floppy.

3. Go to System -> Processor tab – The performance improves when the number of processors is increased to two. If you like, you can leave it alone. Leave the rest of the options alone.

4. Go to System -> Acceleration tab – Enable VT-x/AMD-V and Enable nested paging are both checked by default.

Leave them as they are. You can uncheck VT-x/AMD-V if you don’t want to use it, but if your CPU supports Intel VT-x or AMD-V, there’s no harm in utilizing it.

5. Go to Storage-> Optical Drive attribute – Select Choose Virtual optical Disk file from the disk icon and navigate to the ISO image you downloaded.

6. Click OK to exit settings and return to VirtualBox Manager screen.

Step 6 – Click on the Start Icon to start the virtual machine

This will start the installation process and turn on the virtual machine.

Step 7 – Ubuntu VM start

The Virtual Machine will now open in a new window, as you can see. It will start up and you will be presented with the installation options.

The option to install Ubuntu will appear after the VM has booted.

To continue, click Install Ubuntu. Here you can choose your preferred language. I’m going to go in English.

Step 8 – Ubuntu Installation – Choose Keyboard layout

You will be asked to select the Keyboard Layout on this screen. By clicking on it, you can select the layout you desire. I’ll stick with the default and click continue.

Step 9 – Ubuntu Installation – Update and other Software option

You will be able to choose the type of installation you want here. I’ll go with the Normal installation option, which will install all of the features. Only the essential components will be installed if you choose minimum, and you will have to install software as needed. I’m going to do a normal install.

I also pick “Install third-party software for graphics and Wi-Fi hardware and additional media formats” under other options.

When installing Ubuntu, I usually select “Download updated while installing Ubuntu.” It works for me because I have a fast internet connection. If you have a slow internet connection, you can uncheck this option.

To continue, choose Continue.

Step 10 – Ubuntu Installation – Select Installation type

You must select installation type on this screen. Leave the default setting of Erase Disk alone and install Ubuntu.

I didn’t choose encryption or LVM because I’ll be using Ubuntu for personal use and will be the administrator. When installing Ubuntu in a corporate context, these options make sense.

Now, to start the installation, tap on Install.

Step 11 – Ubuntu Installation – Write changes to disk

This is more of a cautionary message. The installation will begin after that. Click Go Back if you wish to change something in the previous steps.

Tap on Continue. The process of generating the Virtual drive and installing it will now begin.

Step 12 – Ubuntu Installation – Setup time zone

You will now be prompted to choose a timezone. You can click on the map or type in the text field. It is simpler to click on the map.

Choose Continue.

Step 13 – Ubuntu Installation – Setup username and password

You must create a username and password here. Fill in the details and then click continue.

Step 14 – Ubuntu Installation in progress

That’s all there is to it; now sit back and wait for the installation to complete.

You will be prompted to restart after the installation is complete. To continue, click on restart now.

Step 15 – Ubuntu Installation – Remove Installation media

You’ll be prompted to remove the installation media now.

To be sure, before clicking Enter make sure that the ISO image is removed from the IDE device.

Tap on Devices -> Optical media As demonstrated in the screenshot below, the option to remove a disk from a virtual drive is grayed out. You’ll also notice an IDE icon at the bottom of the VirtualBox window, as shown in the screenshot below. It signifies the installation media has been removed if it is grayed out. If you don’t click on it, you’ll be given the option to delete it.

In my case, at this stage, the disk was already removed by VirtualBox, as such this step of removing Installation media was not required.

Click Enter to continue…

Step 16 – Ubuntu Installation complete – login

After the VM has restarted, you will see the login screen with your previously configured user name. To enter your password, click on the user name.

Step 17 – That it, all done

You’re done when you see the Ubuntu desktop.

However, there is one more step to take. You will not be able to use full-screen mode.

Step 18 – Enable full screen mode – Install VirtualBox Guest Editions

You won’t be able to switch to fill screen mode by default. The procedures below must be followed in order to enable full screen mode.

1. Insert Guest Edition CD Image

Navigate to Devices -> Insert Guest Edition CD Image from the menu bar.

2. Software installation warning

A warning will appear now, click run.

3. Enter admin password

You’ll be prompted to enter your administrator password. It would be the same one you put up during the installation.

4. VirtualBox Guest Edition installation begins

Wait for the procedure to finish. When the process is finished, you’ll see the message “Press return to end this window.” To complete the process, press enter.

5. Reboot VM

To make the modifications take effect, go to Machine -> Rest to restart your VM.

Process Complete

You’re done; go to View -> Full screen mode in VirtualBox to start working on Ubuntu 2021 in full screen mode.

In this video, we are gonna show you how to download and install Ubuntu 21.04 on VirtualBox:

Thanks for coming to my blog.

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