How to Install VirtualBox on Ubuntu 20.04

Making virtual machines is not as complex as it seems from applications like VirtualBox. However, before doing so, you must learn how to install VirtualBox on Ubuntu. This is the first step before starting to work with virtual machines on a Linux system.

If you are new to Linux, you may not know what a virtual machine is. A virtual machine is a layer of software that simulates the operation and hardware of a computer within our operating system. That is, it is as if we could have a computer inside our computer. The main advantage of this is that we can simulate an operating system such as Windows or Linux without having to install it and thus make many tests.

On the other hand, many powerful computers use virtual machines to host specific applications. An example of this is Proxmox which is a software that allows us to create virtual machines professionally.

So, what about VirtualBox?

Well, VirtualBox is an application developed by Oracle that allows us to create virtual machines. VirtualBox has a bonus in that it is very easy to use and even many novices can take advantage of it. This makes it accessible to many people.

Also, VirtualBox is cross-platform which makes it compatible with Windows, Linux, and macOS. In the case of Linux, there are packages for many different distributions which make it a marvel of software.

So, if you want to start using virtual machines to test new Linux distributions or out of curiosity, installing VirtualBox is a great way to start.

Install VirtualBox on Ubuntu 20.04

VirtualBox is available from the official Ubuntu 20.04 repositories so installation is quite simple.

Open a terminal from the main menu or press CTRL + ALT + T and run the following:

sudo apt install virtualbox virtualbox-qt

And there the whole installation process will begin.

Once the installation is complete, you should also install the VirtualBox Extension Pack to add more functionality to the virtual machines. For example, with this, you will be able to run Windows full screen.

So the command to install it is as follows:

sudo apt install virtualbox-ext-pack

Then you can run it from the main menu.

Optional: Install VirtualBox on Ubuntu using the Official DEB package

The above method is the safest and most recommended for a simple reason, you will not have problems when updates to the kernel arrive. However, the latest version available is not installed.

If you want the latest stable version of VirtualBox and to take advantage of its news, you can download the DEB package from the VirtualBox website.

Or use this command:

wget -O virtualbox.deb

Remember that this command will change according to the version of VirtualBox. For now, the last stable version is 6.0.24

And then, proceed with the installation using APT.

sudo apt install [package.deb]

Or in this case:

sudo apt install ./virtualbox.deb

This method, though easy, can get you into a little trouble if you change kernels. But it’s not that hard either.

In any case, once installed, you can run it from the main menu.

VirtualBox on Ubuntu 20.04
VirtualBox on Ubuntu 20.04

Now you can create some Virtual Machines.


VirtualBox is one of the best applications to create virtual machines in a very easy and fast way. Creating virtual machines can help you to test new operating systems or even use them in a basic way. Keep in mind that it will not have the same performance nor will it be a real experience but it can be useful for many cases.

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