Running Windows inside Arch Linux with VirtualBox

Even though I have moved over to Linux completely for quite sometime, every now and then I’ll encounter situations in which I really have to use windows. Last time I had to do it is because of a form which was a Word document set up in a way that I had to use ms word to fill it in. Initially I planned to never go back to windows and in such situations I’ll just borrow a windows computer just for that purpose. Then I realised it is better to have a windows installation loaded with commonly used software ready to go whenever I needed it rather than depending on someone else. So I installed windows on my desktop using VirtualBox. The only thing which needs to be sourced is the windows installation disk (.iso) which either someone can loan you a copy or buy one. I used my university’s license on this one.

The steps are straightforward with Arch. Install virtualbox, virtualbox-host-modules-arch, virtualbox-ext-oracle (this one is from AUR). Open virtual box and create your Virtual machine following the step by step GUI and start the machine. Thats it. We have a working windows installation. First thing we need to do in the guest system is install “guest additions” which can be inserted as a disc from Devices>Insert Guest Additions CD Image. The way to make the virtual machine look seamless with host OS is by setting the same wallpaper , set the guest to auto-resize to host window, hide the menu bar and status bar.

My configuration for i3 is available at https://github.com/sbmkvp/config

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