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Installing VirtualBox

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After the first introductory video about the Drupal Development Environment series, we are going to go over the first step in getting it done.

The first thing we need to do is to install VirtualBox.

VirtualBox is an application that allows us to setup a Virtual PC. If you want to know more about it, just watch the video.

Welcome back. This is Elias Barbosa from DrupalFever.

Now, let's go back to our primary requirements.

We are concentrating, now, on the first step.

What is VirtualBox?

VirtualBox is an open source software that allows us to create a Virtual Computer. This Virtual Computer will run inside a window on your Operating System. This Virtual PC is completely isolated from your real PC.

Now, you may be asking yourself:

"What is so good about having a Virtual PC?

What can I do with it? "

We can install another operating system inside of this Virtual PC! Yes. You can have several Virtual PCs running at the same time on your computer, each in its own window. You can switch between OS just by switching between active windows.

The beauty of using a Virtual PC is in that we can still use our favorite Operating System on our real computer while, at the same time, get a taste of Linux without having to fully commit to it.

To configure a virtual PC within VirtualBox, we are going to have to pay special attention to 4 things:

1) The first thing to take care of when creating a Virtual PC is the Virtual Hard Drive.

When you create a virtual hard drive, VirtualBox will create a file that will take real space on your hard drive.

If, for example, you set up your Virtual PC with a virtual hard drive of 10GB, the file created by VirtualBox can potentially take up 10GB of free space in your physical hard drive.

VirtualBox, however, allows you to create what they call a dynamic hard drive. This dynamic virtual hard drive will generate a file that will be only as big as the actual space being used by your virtual PC! This is a very cool trick!

2) The virtual CD drive is also a very convenient thing. Your virtual CD drive will link to your physical CD drive and read any CD that you place there.

But the virtual CD drive can do more. You can, for example, download a disc image from the internet and connect that image straight into your virtual CD drive. You will no longer have to burn a CD media and sticking it into you physical CD drive!

That's what we are going to do when it comes time to install Linux into our virtual PC.

3) Memory is a concern. When you create a Virtual PC you cannot share the same memory that your Operating System is using. You will have to allocate part of your memory to your virtual PC and leave whatever is left to your Operating System.

I usually try to allocate as much memory as I can to my virtual PC but, if I leave too little memory to my Operating System, it may become unstable and crash. If my Operating System crashes, so does my virtual PC!

This is a delicate balance. The only sure answer to this problem is to buy as much memory as you can for your host computer. Money should not be a great obstacle to this since Memory is so cheap these days!

4) And now, last but not least, I'd like to talk about the network configuration. This should be very simple but, in many cases, it is the cause of much frustration when configuring a Virtual PC.

When the time comes to configure your Virtual Network Cart, pay special attention! If you do, you will save yourself a lot of aggravation in the future.

What we are going to do on this video is setup VirtualBox.


Enough of theory!

We are going to start by opening our internet browser.

Mine is Firefox (The unofficial browser for the Drupal developer).

Let's type VirtualBox here on Google.

We are going to click on the downloads link.

There are versions for most Operating Systems here but we are going to install the version for Windows.

We will save the file on the default place...

Doesn't really metter where.

So now let's skip forward. We are not going to weit through the entire download.

Now that the download is finished, let's double-click on the setup file to begin the installation.

We are not going to mess with the defaults..

The only thing I wanna get rid off here is the sortcuts.

So let's go next here and click on the Install button.

OK, the installation is finished.

So now let's close everything and go to VirtualBox.

Let's click on the New button to create a new virtual machine.

We're gonna type CentOS 6 here.

And, as you can see, VirtualBox recognizes what I am typing here and puts the RedHat icon there.

Now we are going to put 4 GB here for the RAM memory.

You may put more or less memory here depending on how much memory you have available on you host machine.

Just make sure that you don't go over the green bar here. Otherwise your host OS may become unstable.

Now let's go next and next living the defaults.

Here, remember to leave this option set as dinamically allocated hard drive.

Now is time to select how much space you want for your virtual hard drive.

Since you selected Dynamically Allocated on the previous screen, you can now type a hard drive size that could be even larger than the actual free space you have on your host computer.

Let's click on the create button.

Now is time to change a couple of settings.

Go to Network and, instead of NAT, select Breaged Adapter. This is very important!

We are setting it this way just to make sure that your Virtual PC has no trouble connecting to the network and the Internet.

Now, let's go to the Share Folder.

And click on the Plus button to create a new share folder.

I am going to create a folder on my C drive.

I am going to call this folder as "Share Folder". Very creative!

We should use only lower case for the Linux folder name, and we should avoid dashes and spaces as well.

Now we should check Auto Mount and click on the OK Button twice.

That's it!

Now, VirtualBox is ready for CentOS.

But we will do that on our next video.

See you then...

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