How to install Oracle VirtualBox and Windows XP on Linux Mint (Gallery)

How to install Oracle VirtualBox and Windows XP on Linux Mint (Gallery)

Summary: Here's a step-by-step guide to get Windows XP running on an Oracle VirtualBox-based virtual machine on Linux Mint


 |  Image 5 of 19

  • Thumbnail 1
  • Thumbnail 2
  • Thumbnail 3
  • Thumbnail 4
  • Thumbnail 5
  • Thumbnail 6
  • Thumbnail 7
  • Thumbnail 8
  • Thumbnail 9
  • Thumbnail 10
  • Thumbnail 11
  • Thumbnail 12
  • Thumbnail 13
  • Thumbnail 14
  • Thumbnail 15
  • Thumbnail 16
  • Thumbnail 17
  • Thumbnail 18
  • Thumbnail 19
  • Installing VirtualBox guest addons

    As I said earlier, you'll also want to "install" virtualbox-guest-additions-iso. Actually, all you're really doing is downloading a file. Once you have XP, or another guest operating system installed, you'll use this file to add additional functionality to your new VM.  

  • Starting VirtualBox

    Once installed, you can find the VirtualBox program from the Linux Mint Menu by starting to type its name into its top window. Then double click on the icon and in a few seconds you'll see... 

  • The Main VirtualBox menu

    Here, you click on the New icon and you then select the operating system you want to install. In our case, that's Windows XP. Give it a name, XP for example, and then hit the next button.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Linux, Oracle, PCs, Windows

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • one issue with installing a fresh XP instance

    You have to install all your old software which you may or more likely may not have handy along with the necessary KEYS.

    converting your existing system to a VM will generally be more useful. This is possible even while using your existing XP box to run everything on... although the advantages of new hardware are substantial if you have an old machine.
  • Does this work with a set of "recovery" DVDs

    made from the "recovery" partition on a Dell, HP, or Lenovo PC? I suspect not, but would be happy to be proven incorrect.
  • Class

    This is actually what we're doing in CS125 today. I have a brand new bunch of students this quarter and VirtualBox is a godsend for the learning environment.
  • Not just XP

    I do this with my corporate laptop. I have 2x Windows XP 'test' environments and a Windows 7 corporate environment. All running on Linux -albeit Lubuntu which is stripped back as I only really need browser functionality when not booting up my Windows boxes.

    The advantages for me are being able to snapshot and revert to snapshots as and how I choose, plus when I'm at home and I want to fire up the laptop to do a quick bit of browsing I don't have to wait forever for the Windows environments to boot, search for the (not connected) corporate network, eventually time out and log in, then load up the apps etc ...etc ... etc ..... :D
  • Another vm?

    Why not use VMware player 6? Is more compatible and has more options.
  • VMs are great ways to mitigate XP risks - if you are careful with snapshots

    Running XP in a VM running under Ubuntu, Mint or Windows 7 or 8 is a great way to run XP if you are having compatibility issues. Though, I suspect most compatibility issues are solvable without running XP. Still for some using Linux as a host and XP or any other Windows allows you to have the best of both worlds but I do it in reverse. I only run Ubuntu in a VM under Windows.

    Note the host should have plenty of memory enough for both the host and guest OSes otherwise it is going to be slow. If it is a desktop machine I place my VMs on a separate HDD to reduce competition. A quad-core or better helps.

    If XP should get infected you can restore a snapshot but snapshots need to be reasonably up-to-date but not TOO up-to-date to avoid corrupting a good snapshot.
    • Here's how you can protect the data and the windows vm

      Google stealth vm for Linux Mint Or stealth vm for Ubuntu.
      Now you can be totally protected from all viruses forever in XP or 7.
      • Just VirtualBox

        I'm probably missing something obvious here, but I can't see what Robolinux/Stealth VM is other than just a Virtual Box installed OS with a Data partition being a shared folder on a Linux EXT4 partition. This is exactly what I've been doing. It doesn't make me immune to viruses, it just means that viruses are contained in the OS portion of the installation on the XP VM. No Viruses is a bit of misnomer since anyone using an XP machine (virtual or physical) on the Internet should still be concerned with Malware - again, unless of course I'm missing something obvious.

        I can foresee some non tech-savvy people who have this installed for them and are told they don't have to worry about viruses ending up with 15 toolbar in Internet Explorer and have keyloggers and the like pulling data off of the VM and/or inadvertently partaking in a botnet.

        On the flip-side, I can attest that an Ubuntu based VM with VirtualBox installed - setting Windows Folders such as 'My Documents' to a D:\ drive (which is a shared folder based on an EXT4 volume) works very well for me!
  • I Did This Very Thing Last Week

    I set up a machine for a customer and finally settled on Lubuntu and VMWare Player. (Mint LMDE Cinnamon crushed their hardware making it crawl where WinXP was pretty snappy.)

    Since that build I found Windows SteadyState and have an even better solution for those who want to stick with WinXP.

    I instructed my customer on how to keep themselves safe with their new system, but felt guilty the whole time knowing that the Heartbleed SSL security flaw affects all systems and the reason I created the build in the first place was to protect their information across SSL channels.
  • virtualbox is basically awesome...

    the downside though is one requires the original install disk(s) for whatever OS you plan on installing under the VM. thus only a fresh install works. another downside of VM is its frequent updates. forget those and simply update every other year or so. the plus side though is you don't need to reinstall anything regarding your virtual drive (where your virtual OS resides). you do need to re-install guest additions after each update though. shares are also retained. note though at each instance restart you gotta enable some stuff (like anything connected to USB, external drives, stuff like that). its tricky at first until you become accustomed to this environment. Also required is a least 8gb of RAM (4 for linux 4 for the VM) and preferably 16gb. problem there though is some old stuff only supports 8gb (if that). finally once up and running only access the internet under linux and especially so if you're planning on an XP VM (as MS no longer updates it). The best thing here is firewall port 80 under XP.
  • You've got to be joking

    I'll bet that 99.9% of people that are still running XP do not have a car that is as old as that operating system.

    They update their cars to new and better performers but stick with old technology?

    Both Windows 7, still available new, and Windows 8.X are so much better than XP and so much simpler to move to than to try and set up this cludgy system.

    Why, if you want to use Windows, would you stick it on a Linux computer as an add on that WILL compromise many of your programmes. Surely it makes sense, if you want to use Windows, to run it natively on a Windows computer without another foreign OS interfering with CPU time?.

    I think SJVN's problem is that he is starting to believe his own BS about Windows in general but especially the crud he has come up with about W8. It is far and away the best Windows OS ever and, IMHO, anyone that disagrees with that has either never used it or, like SJVN, has an agenda to destroy everything associated with Windows.

    Any XP users still out there don't put yourself through the hoops required to follow SJVN's advice and don't believe the propaganda he, and his followers, sprout about W8. Update to W7 if you don't think you can handle the new innovations or to W8 if you want the latest and greatest. It will be so much easier to do and you'll be so glad you did.
    Gary O'Connor
    • Microsoft called

      Your check is in the mail.

      Windows 8.1 is just as ugly as W8 and its mama is still dressing it funny.
      • Lame.

        Is that your best shot?

        Just because someone likes Windows 8 doesn't make them a 'paid MS schill'?

        You ABMers make me laugh, when you have no argument you just accuse anyone liking Windows as a 'Paid' lacky for Microsoft.

        Mind you your criticism had all the wit, strength and character of a spiteful line between two schoolgirls during a hair pulling fight and, I'm guessing, must have taken you some time to construct.

        Well I do not work for Microsoft but, unlike you, I have an open mind and actually tried W8 before I criticized it and found that people like yourself were either intentionally lying, are so inept around computers that they couldn't make the simple adjustments that were easily accomplished by some of my grand children, 8 to 16 years old, and my missus, a self proclaimed computer dummy, or had an agenda (like SJVN) to sabotage anything made by Microsoft. Maybe you should find some maturity and try it before you so openly criticize something that it seems like you have never looked at.

        If this article was suggesting that people should maybe try Linux as an alternative if they weren't happy with Windows I would agree. I actually play with Linux myself, PCLinuxOS is my favourite, on one of my computers and I use it when I want to run a Linux programme but, if I want to use a Windows programme I use a Windows computer, it is ludicrous to suggest running Windows on Linux?

        It makes me laugh because a very large percentage of Mac and Linux users don't seem to be able to survive without some method of running Windows programmes on their computers yet very few Windows users have any need to run Linux or Mac programmes. In reality none of them do so, like I said, if you're an XP user update to W7 if you don't think you can handle the new innovations or to W8 if you want the latest and greatest. It will be so much easier to do than to fool around with trying to run Windows on Linux and you'll be so glad you stayed with Windows.
        Gary O'Connor
        • Read your own post, mate

          "Just because someone likes Windows 8 doesn't make them a 'paid MS schill'?"

          --Why, if you want to use Windows, would you stick it on a Linux computer as an add on that WILL compromise many of your programmes
          --I think SJVN's problem is that he is starting to believe his own BS about Windows in general
          --W8. It is far and away the best Windows OS ever

          Answer your question?

          BTW, I run WinXP within Cinnamon in VBox every day with 4 gig RAM on an i5 laptop: it runs way faster than XP ever ran on bare metal on the same system.
          Why? How?
          because Linux as an OS uses less resources than the usual needed TSRs required to run XP safely on bare metal. Like: anti-virus, anti-malware,etc....
          • Interesting?

            Just exactly how does quoting four things I wrote become an argument in your favour? It seems to me that you are just strengthening my argument.

            I am happy that you enjoy running Windows on Linux and I'm happy that it works for you. A better boast would, of course, have been that you run Linux and have no need for Windows programmes but that doesn't seem to be the case.

            What I am saying is that it makes no sense to tell the masses of people on XP to first of all create a Linux based system which most will have no idea how to do and then install something that can make many Windows programmes work when it is so much easier for them just to update to W7 or W8 and just keep doing what they always have.

            It might make sense if Windows 7 wasn't still available or if W8 was as bad as you guys like to have us believe.

            The truth is that W7 is a great OS if you want to stay with Windows old style and W8 is a great OS if you want to come into the 21st century.

            There is no point to continue running XP. It is old and now unsupported although I can see why you might see it as a good chance to promote Linux but it is not the best option for XP users.
            Gary O'Connor
          • You're absolutely right about everything, Gary.

            Feel better now?
  • This wont help XP users

    I think Linux fans miss the point. Any user or business still using XP either has to or wants to. They either hate change so much that even Windows 7 is scary or they run some really old software that will never run on anything newer then XP. So now your asking these same people to not only install a totally new OS (not even Windows), plus install a virtual machine and then reinstall XP and all the software you need to run in XP. Seriously Linux users? Do you think everyone is as geeky and willing to spend time to do this? Rather then just continue to run XP?
    • Are you sane?

      This will help people move off of Windows, including XP. They might even come to find that they don't need to use XP anymore.
  • I've been running XP and 7 in Linux for years, now

    That's not "fooling around"... that's running Windows software in the best environment for it: Windows. Why? Because the developers of that software do not see fit to make a Linux version of it, and I happen to like that software.
    I use the Linux version of Lightworks because it screams and is rock stable - the Windows version is slow and faltering. Poser Pro 2014 comes only for Mac and Windows, so I run it in Windows on bare metal on a dedicated desktop that doesn't connect to the Internet at all (as that would be unsafe).

    Unlike the Gary O'Connors of the world who think Microsoft's products are the only valid usable software for real work, I use whatever software I wish in whatever OS that software runs best in. Some stuff runs best in XP, like Office 2000. No, I don't like the ribbon (in Office2007+) and no I don't like change for changes' sake and no, I definitely don't see much point to Windows 8, since all that "faster boot time" you hear so much about means you get to stare at tiles that much longer whilst waiting for the OS to finish its background tasks so that I can start doing what I need to. Yes, I have experience with this in Win8 - a behaviour no different from previous versions of Windows. In Mint, when I see the GUI, the system is ready for me to use straight away: no waiting for the hard disk light to stop flickering.

    And no: I actually don't think that Windows XP running in VirtualBox in Mint is a solution for everyone, just the more tech-savvy who enjoy using XP.

    I don't "fool around" with running Windows in Linux. I do it carefully, thoughtfully and to great effect and savings. I purchased a HP laptop with 4 gig RAM: this is my workhorse running Office 2000 (for VBA audit applications I wrote for work in Excel) and in Linux: SQLite3 Studio to quickly crunch the numbers for those audits and ask the audit data questions. It is a robust, rock stable solution for those who are willing to put a bit of effort into computing. For the others, well, there's always Win7 or Win8. For now. Then, it will be Win9 and then Win10 and who-knows-what-else, but never without cost. How much would a purely Windows setup have cost me to achieve what I'm doing with using two OSes back and forth? hate to even think about it. There's no money where I work (clinical setting) for data management software, so the tasks wouldn't get done.

    Thank goodness for Open Source solutions.
  • Installing VirtualBox guest addons does not work right

    It deletes the existing virtualbox installation. Doesn't make much sense to install both if one of them uninstalls the other.