Update Oct 5: These steps no longer work for windows 11 official builds, as Microsoft officially does not support VirtualBox, You will get the below error message that says, This PC can’t run windows 11, There is some workaround to get this working, however, I did not personally test this. Will update the thread when I am able to get windows 11 working on the VirtualBox.
I have been using windows 11 on my machine for some time now, and it works great. I followed this guide to upgrade from windows 10 to windows 11, haven’t had any issues sofar with the new operating system.
In my previous blog articles, I have covered how you can install windows 11 on KVM and VMware workstations.
In this blog, we are going to install windows 11 on an open-source hypervisor known as VirtualBox.
One of the reasons people prefer to use VirtualBox over other hypervisors is that it is free for anyone to use it. It doesn’t matter what host operating system you use, whether Windows, MAC, or Linux. The VirtualBox can be installed on it and run your favorite operating system in it. Moreover, it is open source too.
So let’s go ahead and install windows 11 on VirtualBox hypervisor.
- Before you begin, you need to have VirtualBox downloaded and installed on your operating system.
- Windows 11 ISO image. Follow the article here on how to download the windows 11 iso image officially from Microsoft.
Steps to install Windows 11 on Oracle Virtualbox.
- Create the Windows11 Virtualbox VM.
- Configure the required memory.
- Create virtual hard disk.
- Change the CPU.
- Begin the Windows 11 installation in VirtualBox.
- Windows 11 initial setup wizard.
- Connect your Windows 11 VM to the internet.
- Install VirtualBox guest additions on windows11.
1. Create the Windows11 Virtualbox VM.
- Enter the name of the VM.
- Machine folder, if you would like to change the VM location based on your Storage, you may click on the down arrow key.
- Choose the type as Microsoft windows and type as Windows 10.
You might be wondering why we are not choosing Windows 11 from the drop-down because at the time of this writing the windows 11 is not in the VirtualBox supported operating system yet. However, you can get around by choosing windows 10.
2. Configure the required memory.
You may provide memory for the VM based on your requirements, It is recommended to have at least 4GB of RAM for Windows 11 to work fine. Since I have plenty of memory on my machine. I am giving 8GB of RAM.
3. Create virtual hard disk.
We will create the virtual hard disk for the VM, so choose create a virtual hard disk now and click on Create.
Though I am creating this VM on VirtualBox, I need the flexibility to move this VM from VirtualBox to other hypervisors such as VMware workstations, or KVM, and so on in the future. So instead of choosing the VirtualBox default virtual hard disk format VDI, I am selecting the VMDK format and click on Next.
Choose dynamically allocated and click on Next.
You may enter the virtual hard disk capacity here. By default, VirtualBox picked up the 50GB of Storage, and I am okay to leave the default and click on Next.
In case if you would like to increase or decrease the Storage, you may do so here.
4. Change the CPU.
By default Windows 11 picked up 1 CPU during the VM creation. Though you can run the VM with just a single CPU, the VM’s performance will be painstakingly slow.
So it is recommended to provide more than a single CPU.
Right-click on the VM that we just created and click on settings.
And the settings, click on system and click on Processor.
Based on your requirement, you may increase the CPU, and I am giving 4 CPUs cos I have about 12 cores in my machine.
Attach the Windows 11 ISO image to the VirtualBox storage as CDROM.
In the same settings window, click on Storage, and under storage devices, click on the empty CD DRIVE, Under attributes, on the extreme right, click on the down arrow key under the CDROM and click on Choose a disk file.
And attach the windows11 iso image to the VirtualBox, and click on okay.
5. Begin the Windows 11 installation in VirtualBox.
We have now completed the windows 11 VM creation step in VirtualBox. We are now going to start the VM and proceed with the VM installation.
Select Windows 11 VM, click on start.
If you have configured everything as above, you will get the windows installation wizard after few seconds.
Choose the Language, Time, and Keyboard layout based on your location and click on Next.
Click on Install now to start the windows 11 installation.
Since I am not using any product key now, I am choosing I don’t have a product key to proceed to the next step.
Choose the desired windows 11 version, and click on Next.
Accept the license agreement, and click on Next.
In the which type of installation, click on Custom.
You should see the Virtual hard disk that we have set up during the VM creation. Choose the hard disk and click on Next.
The windows 11 installation will now begin. This process will take some time to complete.
6. Windows 11 initial setup wizard.
The Windows installation wizard will restart once the installation is completed.
After few minutes, you will be taken to the Windows 11 initial setup wizard.
Choose the location and click on Next.
Next you will be asked to choose the keyboard layout of your operating system, you may choose that and click on Next.
Disconnect the Windows 11 VM from the network.
Before you proceed with anything, let’s disconnect your VM from the network.
We are not connecting to the network because, during the installation, Windows will start checking for updates that will cause delays for the windows installation to complete. Also, you won’t get an option to create a local account either. We can later link the Microsoft account post the installation.
Click on I don’t have internet.
Click on Continue with limited setup.
Setup your windows 11 local account and set the security questions.
You will be asked to set up a local account on your Windows 11 machine. Enter your username and password, and you will need to set up your three security questions as well.
Choose Privacy settings for your device.
You may choose the settings you like since I will not use any of them, let me disable all, and I click on Accept.
After few minutes, the installation will be completed, and you will be taken to the windows 11 desktop page.
7. Connect your Windows 11 VM to the internet.
Now the installation is completed, you may go ahead and connect the network adapter back.
Right-click on the network adapter icon on the bottom right of the Virtualbox windows and click on connect network adapter.
After few seconds, you should see the machine connected to the network.
8. Install VirtualBox guest additions on windows11.
We have now completed the installation of windows 11 on VirtualBox. To get better performance out from any VM running on VirtualBox, you need to install something called VirtualBox guest additions.
Click on Devices, and click on Insert Guest Additions CD image…
This step will mount the VirtualBox guest additions CD image to the Windows 11 machine.
To access the image, click on the folder icon at the bottom of the screen.
In the ‘This PC’ window, click on CD Drive on the left.
Doubleclick on Vboxwindows additions amd64 to install the VirtualBox guest additions.
After the installation, you will be asked to reboot the machine, choose Reboot Now, and click on Finish.
That’s it. You have now successfully installed windows 11 on a Virtualbox hypervisor.xxx.x/.xx