Creating & moving a virtual machine

We frequently use virtual machines from where we launch our security tools.

Virtual machine creation
Sometimes we need to create a virtual machine from scratch. Here we provide some initial tips about it:

In our last posting we talked about a simple way to make a physical machine virtual. This time we continue on the virtual world. We use VirtualBox as the platform where we create a virtual machine.

First hint: We recommend to use Sun VirtualBox rather than the Open Source Edition (provided that the license terms fit our needs). Using USB drives is easier in the software from Sun.

We find the instructions to build Sun VirtualBox here. The actual installation of a host operating system is easy following the wizard appearing when we run the Menu item Applications > System Tools > Sun xVM VirtualBox if e.g. we the host OS is Ubuntu.

Second hint: Create a hard disk with the possibility to grow in size i.e. VirtualBox call it a dynamically expandable storage.

Moving a virtual machine
On the source machine...
We copy to a removable media the .vdi file (normally residing on /home/.VirtualBox/HardDisks) - This can be a big file.

Third hint: If we do not see the hidden directories in the Ubuntu file browser, press CTRL + H.

On the destination machine...
We paste the .vdi file on the HardDisks folder in our VirtualBox installation and we start the New Virtual Machine wizard (just pressing New when running Sun xVM VirtualBox) and when we are asked about the hard disk to use, we simply point to the .vdi file we have just moved.

Fourth hint: Installing Guest Additions (use this link to download the software, it is not easy to find it) in the guest OS provide us with more video, audio and storage device recognitions capabilities. However...

Fifth hint: If we move virtual machines from one machine to another, we recommend to uninstall in source and re-install in destination. Guest additions is closely link to the architecture of the host system.

Happy security tool testing in your new virtual environment!

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