How easy is it to install Ubuntu on your Mac - this quick visual guide will have Ubuntu running within your Mac os X in under 20mins.

If you’re really keen - maybe you want to use my guide onĀ  Virtualbox & install Windows XP on your Mac

Getting Started

Virtualbox Main Screen

  • Launch Virtualbox and click on New

Virtualbox Create New Virtual Machine for Ubuntu

  • Give your new virtual machine a name like Ubuntu
  • Select Linux and Ubuntu from the drop downs

Virtualbox Set Memory

  • Set base memory to at least 1Gb.
  • Don’t worry you can adjust this later.

Virtualbox Virtual Hard Disk

  • If this is your first time installing Ubuntu create a new hard disk

  • Always choose dynamically expanding, it kids your virtual Ubuntu that its got a bigger disk than it really has

  • You can alter where to save your virtual disk - or just accept the defaults for now

  • Just for precautions - you have to confirm again what you are doing

Virtualbox Virtual Machine is Ready

  • Finally - confirm all your settings and you’re finished setting up your Virtualbox Virtual Machine and ready to install Ubuntu (almost)

Amend Virtualbox Settings for Ubuntu Virtual Machine

  • To install Ubuntu in the Virtualbox virtual machine we have to tell Virtualbox where the installer for Ubuntu is saved on your computer

  • Start by pressing the Settings button

  • Click on Storage

  • Don’t choose the option to Add a CD/DVD device

  • Click to highlight the Empty disc in the left pane

  • Then in the right pane click on the yellow folder icon

  • Navigate to and find the Ubuntu Installer .ISO file you downloaded

  • (a .ISO file is a disc image kind of like a DMG file that is used on Mac)

  • Save your changes

Install Ubuntu in Virtualbox

  • When you press start you will see this funny screen. What it’s telling you is that the mouse pointer works only inside the Virtualbox window or only in the Mac and you switch between the 2 by pressing the Left CMD key on Mac keyboard
  • Don’t worry we’ll fix that!

Welcome to the Ubuntu Installer

  • Nearly time to go make a cuppa tea

  • Choose your language and locale settings

  • Enter some basic information about yourself

  • Now go make the cuppa tea.

  • Once the installation is done it will download the latest updates for Ubuntu.

  • Give it 5 more minutes

Ubuntu running in Virtualbox on a Mac

  • taa-dah! all done - now choose the Firefox icon in the top menu bar to browse the internet and check you can go online.
  • Congrats -

Getting your Mouse to work seamlessly

You get your mouse to work across Virtualbox and Mac OSx by choosing to Install Virtualbox Guest Additions

Start running Ubuntu if its not already then from the menubar along the top Choose Machine > Install Guest Additions

When prompted restart the virtual machine

Tags: Ubuntu, virtualisation

Read more from my blog for an introduction and quick tips on developing in Hugo or UCTD.

Meet the author

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Damien Saunders
An experienced management consultant and business leader interested in digital transformation, product centred design and scaled agile. If I'm not writing about living with UCTD (an autoimmune disease), I'm probably listening to music, reading a book or learning more about wine.