Setting Up Linux Mint Cinnamon on Windows Virtual Box

Here’s how to setup a Linux Mint Cinnamon workstation as a virtual machine hosted in Virtual Box.

But First …

You will need a pretty powerful computer to use Virtual Box without lagging hard. I suggest an i7 and 16GB of RAM, but eight might work. The less you have the more your virtual machine will take over your computer while it is running. You can even freeze your computer if you don’t have enough power to run it.

This is why I don’t normally recommend using a virtual machine as a primary workstation, but it will work (and is quite common) if you have enough computing power.

Step by Step

Download Virtual Box.

Download Linux Mint Cinnamon.

Click on the Virtual Box package once it is downloaded to install it.

Now start up Virtual Box.

Click on the blue New a new virtual machine.

Fill in whatever name you want, maybe “Mint”.

Now we have to pick memory size. You can change this later, but it’s good to start with the right amount. If you pick too much you could cause your machine to freeze. It’s a good idea to keep it under 4GB from the maximum memory for your computer.

Another consideration is what else you will be doing from Windows while your virtual machine is running, playing music, watching videos, etc. You can do all of these things through the virtual machine if you choose as well. So if you are going to ignore Windows then you can give yourself a lot of RAM, otherwise, keep it to 4-8 GB, that’s all you really need. If you don’t know, go ahead and use 6GB (assuming you have 16GB or more).

Click on Next.

Now we’re going make a hard drive. Your virtual machine will you a big file as your hard drive. The file can be moved around and even shared with other virtual machines.

Go with the 10 GB recommendation.

Stick with VDI since it is the fastest and you won’t be sharing your disk file with others.

Click on Dynamic disk allocation.

Pick at least 30 GB (assuming you have a 1TB hard drive or more).

You should see your virtual machine in the left sidebar now.

We’ll return to do network configuration later.

Let’s start it up.

Go ahead and click the Start arrow.

When it asks “Select Startup Disk” navigate

TODO update instructions for Windows to add a Storage device pointing to the downloaded ISO.