RT Cunningham

Blogging For As Long As I'm Able

VirtualBox on Linux Mint

Tagged with cinnamon, computers, linux, virtualbox, windows on December 14, 2023

VirtualBox I’m running the latest version of VirtualBox obtained from the website. The repository for my Linux distribution has an outdated version. The distribution on my laptop computer is the Linux Mint Cinnamon (Edge) Edition, by the way.

VirtualBox and Windows 11

When I bought this laptop computer, while I was in the United States earlier this year, it came with Windows 11. While I would prefer to buy a new laptop computer with a Linux distribution preinstalled, they’re always more expensive than those with Windows. Even back then, I knew I would be replacing Windows 11 with one Linux distribution or another.

I set it up as a dual-boot system for a couple of months, with bare-metal access to both Windows and Linux. Eventually, I started over with just Linux. Since Windows 11 is already paid for, and I have an OEM license key for it, I installed it as a virtual machine in VirtualBox. The license key was obtained by entering “sudo cat /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/MSDM” at a terminal command prompt. Activating it was a pain, but it didn’t take long.

I have yet to use Windows 11 to accomplish anything I’ve needed to do. So far, the only thing I’ve allowed it to do is update itself, but not automatically. The virtual machine is taking up less than 30 of my 500 gigabytes, so it doesn’t bother me to leave it installed.


Regardless of which operating system I’m updating in VirtualBox, I always export it before I update it (or let it update itself). It doesn’t take long enough to irritate me, even with Windows 11. Besides, I can do other things while it continues the export process. In the past, on other computers, I’ve never had to actually restore a backup by importing it. I probably won’t have to do it on this one, but I like to play it safe.

Some operating systems have session backup and restore features. I know Windows uses the hibernation feature, which I’ve never used, and I know the Linux Mint Cinnamon Edition doesn’t have anything. I’ve never used backup and restore on anything, but it would be nice to use it, especially when using multiple workspaces.

Almost the same thing can be accomplished by running Linux Mint Cinnamon Edition in VirtualBox, saving the machine state instead of shutting down. Yes, I know, why would anyone want to do that? I would, if I was a developer concerned about saving time. Setting up applications on multiple workspaces would take time that could be better spent on something else, especially if I had to do it more than once a day.

Image by Oracle Corporation, GPLv2, via Wikimedia Commons

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