How to Install Ubuntu Maverick On Your Mac Virtualbox

Ubuntu is all the rage lately in the tech world. While Linux has been largely an operating system for hobbyists and geeks, its popularity is growing with every new release of Ubuntu. From its simple installation to its touch screen friendliness and built in social networking features, Ubuntu is more viable an option today than ever before. For Mac users, there is no easy way for you to dual boot your Mac and Ubuntu, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your hands on one. Here, we will show you how you can run Ubuntu in your Mac, via Virtualbox.

What do I need?

  • First, be sure to have at least 8GB of free hard drive space on your Mac. Most Mac comes with pretty big hard drives, so this probably won’t be an issue; but if it is, clear the space before you start.
  • Additionally, you’ll need internet access – wired or wireless. 
  • You’ll also need the Ubuntu ISO (or disk image) for your Mac, which you can get here
  • VirtualBox by Sun, which you can get here!
  • Lastly, this process might take up to about an hour, so have a little free time handy to devote to the process!


First, once you’ve finished downloading VirtualBox and Ubuntu from the links above, run VirtualBox. Once it opens, you’ll want to create a new virtual machine. To do this, click “New” in the top left corner.


The first thing you’ll need to do now is name your virtual machine (VM) then select Linux as the Operating System and Ubuntu as the version. Give it a good name to remember and that distinguishes it from other operating systems, as if you ever install another VM you’ll want it to be clear which one is which.

Now, select the amount of RAM you want to dedicate to your VM. Even though Ubuntu doesn’t need a ton, I still recommend you to dedicate at least 1GB of RAM, or 1024MB.


On the next screen, make sure that “Boot Hard Disk” is checked, and “Create new hard disk” is selected.  Then click “Continue”.

Next will come the wizard you’ll use to create the virtual hard disk onto which you’ll install and run Ubuntu. Choose Continue to begin, then select “Dynamically expanding storage” and click Continue. Here you’ll need to select how much hard drive space you want to dedicate to Ubuntu. This will come from your Mac’s primary hard drive’s space, so decide how much you want to give up (I used 5GB) and input that number, then click the Continue button, then Done.

Now we just need to tell the Ubuntu virtual machine to read from the Ubuntu ISO for the installation process, and thankfully, VirtualBox will help us to do this. Run the Ubuntu VM by double clicking on it on the left side of the VirtualBox screen. Now you’ll see the First Run Wizard, which let’s us install Ubuntu on the virtual drive we just created. Click continue to begin the setup process. On the “Select Installation Media” screen, click the folder icon on the right side.

virtualbox install media

In the window that comes up, select Add in the top left corner:


Now navigate to wherever you downloaded the Ubuntu ISO image to and select the ISO file. You’ll then see Ubuntu in your Media Manager window.

virtualbox added

Select it and press the Select button.  You’ll then see Ubuntu as your selected installation media, and can click Next.


After clicking Next, click done, and you’ve finished the hardest parts!

Now comes installing Ubuntu! This will take about a half an hour. Once the installer loads, you’ll be greeted with this screen giving you the option to either install or try Ubuntu:

Install ubuntu

Pick your language, then click Install. At the next screen click “Download updates while installing” and “Install this third-party software“. This will ensure that when you’re finished your install, Ubuntu is up to date and ready to go, as well as ready to browse the internet to its fullest ability.

Install Ubuntu

While the installation begins, you’ll be greeted with some options screens, like time zones, etc.  Just select whatever is appropriate for you and click Forward, proceeding through the process.

Install ubuntu

It will also ask you, during installation for efficiency, to set up your User Account. You’ll also name your computer here, so if you plan on networking, pick something that’s easily remembered and identified.

set up user account ubuntu

Once you get to the Guide slideshow, the bulk of the installation will be happening. This will take 20-30 minutes or so depending on computer speed and available resources. Scroll through the slideshow to see some cool stuff you can do with Ubuntu and how you can work it into your computing process.

Install Ubuntu

Once installation finished and you restart the VM, which Ubuntu will prompt you to do, you’re all finished, and will be greeted with your new Ubuntu desktop after login!


Now just explore and enjoy! Mac users out there, what do you think of Ubuntu 10.10?

Colin Scattergood

Frankly, Colin is a big geek about the things in which he's interested. From tech to science to the business behind it all...When Colin get's in to something, he really get's in to it. Mac's and Android phones are his forte, but you name it and he probably uses it. He's an avid pilot and is also deeply interested in the industries that encompass his technical and well, sort of nerdy hobbies. He is open to any and all communication, so feel free to shoot him an email with comments, questions, suggestions or corrections at any time! Visit him at or

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