Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/148785/how-to-create-a-test-lab-so-that-you-can-follow-the-geek-school/
Our Geek School articles can get pretty complicated, and there’s no reason to do a ton of crazy stuff on your own desktop PC. Instead, you can just VirtualBox like we do to create virtual machines for all of your testing. Here’s how to do it.
It's worth noting that you can certainly use another virtualization package if you want.
That said, VirtualBox is a really good choice.
If I want to get rid of a VM, say Windows 7 on Virtual Box, how would I go about it? Do I have to delete partitions etc.
virtualbox is an awesome software. i'm amazed it's free. i run windows7 in virtual box in linux. i'm also able to test new linux distros and other software without destrying my operating system. more tutorials on this software would be nice. it would save a lot of people trouble
No not at all. Virtualbox (and other variants) create a "fake" hard drive. So now you'll have name.vdd (iffy on the extention). When you're done with it you just tell Virtualbox to delete it in the interface, or you can delete the file yourself just like a (giant) word document.
I see, and is that all there is to it? No extra files that shouldn't be there etc?
Nope! Well, technically, you'll have to delete a virtual machine you created. But that's just a a KB file which stores parameters like how much RAM and how many CPUs you give to your virtual machine. If you delete VM from the VirtualBox itself, you don't have to do any of this! The software takes care of everything. Just go ahead - it's safe.
In the tutorial you say to create additional workstations.
Would it be easier just to clone this workstation and then change the network settings?
thank you all for your helpful advice, I know that I am safe in using this software to make the partitions.... also, will I need to have a product Key for the Windows 7 machines, each individually?
That's a very good point. We'll update the article to mention that. Thanks!
Edit: Actually, after thinking about this for a second, I realized that in Windows with the internal GUIDs per install, that probably won't work. So for Linux it definitely works, I'll edit to say that)
If you delete it using Virtualbox's function then no it'll get rid of everything for you. If you do it by hand there's the vdd file and a couple random files that store some basic information, but if you just delete it's directory that'll get everything.
Actually, AFAIK if you delete the VM through the interface, you have the option of keeping the virtual disks
Can you connect to the internet from within the VMs?
You do not need a product key to try out Windows 7. You can try it for 30 days and it can also be extended to 180 days. As a note, to eliminate any confusion, when you make a VM it does not create a partition on your hard drive, only a file.
Are the referenced Win7 ISO files legit, virus-free Windows products? Why doesn't it come from Microsoft?
Downloading 4GB iso files is not an option for me. Why can't I use the Windows installation disk which came with my computer?
How's VMWare for Virtualing
Yes. In the settings for each VM, you can set the Network adapter to NAT, and it will route through the host computer's network adapter.
There are other settings such as bridged, etc etc for more advanced setups, but NAT works just fine for getting out onto the internet from within a VM.
Oh, thanks..I meant, how does it perform compared to virtualBox, any extra features... any reason to get one over the other?
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