There can be reasons when we want to run a VirtualBox virtual machine on another VirtualBox virtual machine.
I am setting up a Windows virtual machine to interview job candidates and want to run a small Ubuntu virtual machine on the Windows virtual machine. It is not recommended for performance reasons, but I want to set up a base interview machine that I can wipe and recreate any time for the next candidate.
Besides the performance hit there is one more rule: the nested guest operating system needs to be 32 bit.
Even if you have a 64 bit workstation, and run a 64 bit guest operating system on it, the VirtualBox on the guest operating system can only host 32 bit guest-guest operating systems, because for a 64 bit operating system to run, the host machine needs to have the CPU Extension feature turned on. Currently only physical CPUs have the CPU Extension feature, so even a 64 bit guest virtual machine cannot provide it.
To set up the 32 bit nested virtual machine
- Download ISO image of the 32 bit version of Ubuntu from http://releases.ubuntu.com/artful/
- Start VirtualBox
- Click the New icon to create a new virtual machine
- Select Linux (32 bit)
- Accept the default memory and hard drive settings
Start the virtual machine the first time
- Select the new virtual machine
- Click the Start button
- Browse to the downloaded 32 bit Ubuntu ISO image
- Follow the prompts to set up the operating system