Here is a step-by-step tutorial showing off how to install Windows 8 in a virtualized environment using Oracle VirtualBox. Just like we did in VMware Player, we will be using the 90-day trial version of Windows 8 in this tutorial.
What you need
Get and install the latest version of VirtualBox on your computer. The version used in this tutorial is version 4.1.20. If you already have one installed, check to make sure you have the latest version installed.
You will also need a Windows 8 ISO file, either the 90-day trial copy you download or the RTM copy you have obtained. You don’t need to burn it on a bootable media, nor mounting to your virtual drive. An ISO file is all you need.
Create a new VM
The process of creating a new VM is way easier. Just fire up the VirtualBox Manager, and click New icon on the toolbar to start up the wizard.
Name the VM, and choose Windows 8 as the guest OS type and version. And go Next.
Specify the size of the RAM, and go Next.
Follow the next a few steps to create the virtual hard disk. I am using the following settings in this tutorial. As long as you assign the enough space to the drive, you can choose your own preferences. I like Fixed size storage but you can definitely use Dynamic if you want to.
Here is the summary of the virtual machine.
Installing Windows 8
Power up the VM, the first run setup wizard pops up. It’s time to set up the bootable installation device. Click Next to pass the welcome window.
Select the Windows 8 ISO file as the installation media through the little file folder icon next to the dropdown box. And go Next.
Once you are OK with the setting, click Start on the summary dialog window.
The rest of the process is the same as how you normally install a Windows 8 on your physical machine. It just may take a bit longer.
After the installation is finished, switch to the desktop, and start installing the guest additions to get a better user experience. And not like early Developer Preview days, the guest additions get installed successfully and Windows 8 runs much smoothly with it.
No more workarounds we’ve all been suffering trying to get a working Windows 8 VM since Developer Preview was introduced. Even though the overall experience isn’t as nice as with VMware Player, a Windows 8 VM in VirtualBox still works quite smoothly and very closely to a Windows 8 on a physical machine. It’s definitely a good news to those who love VirtualBox.