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Creating Virtual Machines 101

Virtual machines can be used for a wide range of purposes. By learning how to create and use virtual machines, you’ll be able to harness their power and boost your digital capabilities. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about creating and using virtual machines.

What is a Virtual Machine?

A virtual machine (VM) is a type of software that allows you to simulate a physical computer. You can install an operating system of your choice. This process is called virtualization.

A huge range of people use virtual machines for different purposes. Different types of VMs have a wide range of capabilities and specs to suit different people and purposes.

Benefits of Using Virtual Machines

Virtual machines allow multiple operating systems to be used on the same computer. Imagine a computer in a work setting at a software development company. Different developers may need to access different operating systems. You could have separate virtual machines running Windows, Linux, or Mac, all using the same physical hardware.

They can save on costs for you or your business too. Virtual machines use less processing power than physical computers. This is a key reason why many large businesses choose VMs.

Virtual machine technology can allow you to run older operating systems. This can allow you to run legacy applications that may not run well on more modern systems. Although your computer may be equipped with the latest OS, you may need to troubleshoot problems that only exist on older operating systems.

Software developers use virtualization for testing purposes. This allows developers to protect their hardware when experimenting with new software. Using virtual machines also allows for testing on different operating systems.

Many people who need to put their computers into dangerous situations use. Many cybersecurity professionals use virtual machines to protect themselves while dealing with dangerous situations online. This tactic is used by popular anti-scam YouTubers like Kitboga and Jim Browning, who can allow scammers to take control of their virtual machines without putting their physical computers at risk.

Getting Started: Setting Up Virtualization Software

Setting up virtualization software is simple when you know what you’re doing. Let’s take a look at the best ways to get this software running and create virtual machines. There are different virtualization options available for all major operating systems.

Installing VirtualBox on Windows

Oracle VM Virtual Box is one of the most popular virtual machines used on Windows. It’s straightforward to install too. Simply download and run the installer, and it’ll be ready for you to set up a virtual machine.

Setting Up VMware on macOS

Installing VMware Fusion Player on macOS is very straightforward. You’ll need to make a VMWare account. Then you’ll need to get a personal licence key. Then you can download and run the installer, and you’ll be ready to run a virtual machine on macOS.

Using KVM on Linux

Linux users should download KVM. KVM means Kernel-based Virtual Machine and is supported by most versions of Linux that have been released since 2007. Setting up KVM requires some familiarity with the terminal and a user account with sudo permissions.

The following steps outline how to set up KVM in Ubuntu 22.04.

How to Tell if Your Hardware Supports KVM

The first thing you should do is check that your hardware supports virtualisation. To do this, open the terminal, and input

$ egrep -c ‘(vmx|svm)’ /proc/cpuinfo

If this returns 0, then you will not be able to use KVM.

Installing KVM

To install KVM, you need to input the commands below into the terminal, replacing USER with the actual name of your user account

$ sudo apt install -y qemu-kvm virt-manager libvirt-daemon-system virtinst libvirt-clients bridge-utils
$sudo systemctl enable –now libvirtd
$sudo systemctl start libvirtd
$sudo usermod – aG kvm $USER
$sudo usermod -aG libvirt $USER

You will now be able to open KVM using the Virtual Machine Manager.

Creating Your First Virtual Machine

Creating a virtual machine using any of these platforms is really easy. The first step is to find an ISO for the operating system that you want to emulate. Linux distributions are usually free. However, you need a licence to install a Windows or a MacOS operating system.

Once you have access to the operating system that you want to install, the process is very straightforward. Simply open your virtual machine software, find the option to create a new virtual machine – it’s labelled as “New” in VirtualBox, “Create a New Virtual Machine” in VMWare, and on Virtual Machine Manager, you’ll find it in the “file” menu. Then each of the three provides a very clear step-by-step process for creating your new virtual machine. Just make sure to allocate enough hard drive space to install your operating system.

Troubleshooting and Tips for Creating Virtual Machines

Inexperienced users are likely to come up against a few problems when setting up virtual machines. Don’t be alarmed, there are plenty of ways to get around these issues. Let’s take a look at some common troubleshooting tips.

Common Issues and Solutions

Virtual machines have so many advantages. So it might be easy to get carried away and create lots of VMs for different purposes. This practice is known as VM sprawl. Be careful; running too many VMs can result in a lack of resources for each machine, causing performance issues and reduced functioning. Be sure to run the minimum number of VMs required.

Virtual machines rely very heavily on physical hardware. Let’s say you’re running five different VMs on a single physical machine. If your host machine faces a malfunction, all your VMs will go down along with it. Try to host VMs on different machines and create hard backups for work completed on VMs.

Security is often a problem for virtual machines. If you or your employees are using virtual machines, be sure to follow best practices for strong passwords.

Performance Optimization Techniques

Many common problems with VMs are simply caused by slow running speeds. By spending some time optimizing your setup, you’ll find that many of these issues vanish and the system will work better overall.

Be sure your virtual machine has enough recourses to run quickly and efficiently. You will need to ensure your VM has a sufficient number of cores and processors dedicated to its running. You also need to ensure the virtual machine is running on a powerful computer that has adequate resources to run the machine.

Consider using a tool like VMmark for performance monitoring. This will allow you to keep a keen eye on your VM performances and take action if speed starts to drop.


Creating virtual machines can keep you safe online and allow you to boost your capabilities. Need help setting up or hosting VMs? MoonQube has got you covered with a wide range of VM packages. We offer a variety of virtual machine applications with fast visualization and quality support. Click here to find out more.