Got Windows? It’s been awhile since I’ve had the stain of Windows on my desk. We used to be a Mac family. These days we compute on Macs, iPhones, and iPads. But not Windows. This week I decided to think different. Rather than cough up the money for a new copy of Windows, and one of the Mac apps (Parallels or VMWare Fusion) I grabbed a cheaper solution.
Run Linux in a window on your Mac (works with Windows, too). The app that makes it easier than any other app is VirtualBox. What the app does is create a space on your Mac so you can install Linux or Windows (and some flavors of Unix). It runs as an app, so the app’s window features whatever you’ve installed. In my case, not wanting to waste money on a new version of Windows, I opted to play around with Ubuntu, a popular flavor of Linux.
First, install VirtualBox and walk through the setup to create a space to install Linux (or Windows, if you have a copy to use).
Here’s what the app looks like on a Mac.
After that, you have to download Ubuntu, then burn the iso image to a CD or DVD so it can be installed on your Mac.
Installation and setup is handled within VirtualBox. The settings can be a bit confusing, but less so than Parallels or VMWare Fusion (and with far fewer options).
In the end, your Mac also runs Linux (or Windows) from within a window on the Mac’s screen. This is a good way to find out what all the noise is about Linux being so cool (until you realize just how good Mac OS X is).
VirtualBox is free, but also runs under Windows and Linux. While setup isn’t difficult, it’s not as simple as Apple makes setting up a Mac.