This document provides information on using the VirtualBox system emulator in Ubuntu. VirtualBox can run a "guest" operating system in a window of the host operating system without giving it direct access to your computer's hardware. (Instead, Virtualbox passes hardware-related instructions through the "host" operating system's drivers.) VirtualBox can run all versions of Windows, Linux, and many other x86- and AMD/Intel-based 32- and 64-bit operating systems as either a host OS or as a guest OS. Although some versions of Linux (including Ubuntu) exist that are optimized to run as a guest OS in a virtual environment, any Linux operating system usually will function equally well. Some typical reasons to use a Virtual Machine include
•providing a self-contained environment in which to experiment with new software without risking damaging changes to the host operating system •to run legacy operating systems and software that may no longer be supported by newer operating systems No special hardware is required to run a virtual machine, although recent processors have virtualization "hooks" which interact specifically with virtual machines to improve performance.