How to install Manjaro 18.04 on Oracle VirtualBox 6.0

Manjaro an Arch-based Linux OS using the XFCE desktop environment for its flagship variant, so it is abnormally lightweight for a Linux OS, an excellent characteristic for any VM.

Some of you may recall our earlier article on Installing VirtualBox on MX Linux. This article is an add-on to that one, but not quite a “Part II.”

By following along with the article, we’ll perform several tasks (hopefully learning a great deal). Among these tasks:

  • Download Manjaro
  • Create A New VirtualBox VM
  • Perform Prudent and Useful Pre-Installation Housekeeping Tasks
  • Install Manjaro in VirtualBox
  • Perform Essential Post-Installation Housekeeping Tasks

However, before we begin, let me first explain why I chose Manjaro as our host VM.

Why Manjaro?

I chose Manjaro as the OS for our VirtualBox VM for a slue of reasons, but mainly because:

  • It’s an Arch-based Linux OS using the XFCE desktop environment for its flagship variant, so it is abnormally lightweight for a Linux OS, an excellent characteristic for any VM. It is also available in GNOME and KDE versions.
  • It is one of the few Arch-based installs that work out of the box, scanning your system for necessary drivers
  • The Pacman package manager is one of my favorites
  • Kernel management is excellent, always up to date with the latest kernel
  • Many Linux newbies users feel Arch Linux (fairly or unfairly) is just too difficult for new users. I wanted to prove that it’s not. Manjaro is the perfect vehicle for that.
  • Manjaro is rolling-release (which ensures newer software faster and no need to reinstall)
  • The Manjaro Architect gives the user a great deal of control
  • Access to the Arch User Repository (AUR) ensuring easy access to a vast array of applications without the complication of PPA or compiling
  • Manjaro is gaining in popularity, actively developed, and well supported

Before we get started creating our new VM, please download the latest Manjaro 18.4.0 XFCE Stable version.

Create a New VM in VirtualBox

Launch VirtualBox. If you don’t have an icon on your desktop, your Panel, or the MX Linux Application Menu under Accessories, open a terminal window and launch the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager window. Use the command below:

# virtualbox

Newly-Installed Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager Window
Newly Installed Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager Window

Once we are at the newly installed Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager window, select the New icon (blue starburst) at the top center of the window.

Create Virtual Machine - Name and Operating System
Create a Virtual Machine – Name and Operating System

Enter a name for your new Operating System in the Name box.

To quickly and easily identify my installed virtual machines, I like uniquely identifying the names of my VM. (In this case, mtr-Manjaro – mtr for my initials, and Manjaro for the OS).

Accept the default path for Machine Folder.

Select Linux for Type.

Choose Arch Linux (64-bit) for Version.

While we could choose Expert Mode, there is no need for our purposes.

Click Next.

Create Virtual Machine - Create A Virtual Hard Disk
Create A Virtual Hard Disk

Accept the default option Create a virtual hard disk now.  (Please note the “The recommended size of the hard disk is 8.00 GB.” statement.)

Click Create.

Create Virtual Hard Disk - Hard Disk File Type
Hard Disk File Type

While VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image) is usually the default and the standard Hard Disk file type for VirtualBox VMs, I chose VMDK (Virtual Machine Disk) instead. I hope to use the VMDK option for a later article on VMWare Player.

VMDKs are easiest to use when transferring VMs between Oracle VirtualBox and VMWare Workstation Player.

VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) is the hard disk default file type used by Microsoft.

Different Virtual Machine applications use different default hard disk file types, but the major players offer support for most of the significant hard disk file types.

Create Virtual Hard Disk - Storage on Physical Hard Disk
Storage on Physical Hard Disk

Select the default, Dynamically allocated.

Click Next.

Create Virtual Hard Disk - File Location and Size
File Location and Size

The default size 8.00GB (remember a few steps earlier on the Create Virtual Machine – hard disk window, the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager made a note of this).

However, I increased the size of my hard drive to 20.00GB as I have the space available.

Click Create.

Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager with newly-created VM
Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager with newly created VM

VirtualBox Manager Pre-Installation HouseKeeping

Back at the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager window, we see our newly created VM.  However, we have not yet installed an OS.

Before doing this, let’s first do a bit of housekeeping.

Oracle VM Manager - Enable Shared Clipboard and Drag'n'Drop
Enable Shared Clipboard and Drag’n’Drop

With your newly created VM highlighted in the column on the left, select the Settings icon from the top of the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager window (gold machine gear).

Select the Advanced tab and set both the Shared Clipboard and Drag’n’Drop to Bidirectional.

This enables us to share our clipboard and drag-and-drop files between our host machine and our VM effortlessly.

Leave the Snapshot Folder with the default setting.

Oracle VM Manager - Configure Networking
Configure Networking

Select the Network from the left-hand column, and ensure that Enable Network Adapter is checked.

Change Welcome to the Manjaro Linux 18.0.4 “Illyria” Installer option to Bridged Adapter.  This ensures that both the VM and host machine are on the same subnet and networking is fluid without modifications to your router or any other changes.

Leave all other settings at their defaults.

Oracle VM Manager - Set Installation Media
Set Installation Media

Select Storage from the left-hand column.

Change the Empty (CD) icon under Controller: IDE in the Storage Devices box to the manjaro-Xfce-8.0.4-stable-x86_64.iso we downloaded earlier.

Leave all other options as the defaults.

Click OK.

Manjaro 18.0.4 Installation on VirtualBox VM

We are now ready to install our new OS on our new VirtualBox VM.

Oracle VM Manager - Newly Created Virtual Machine
Newly Created Virtual Machine

From the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager window, select the Start icon (green arrow from the upper-row).

Manjaro Live Linux Boot - Welcome to Manjaro
Welcome to Manjaro

At the Welcome to Manjaro screen, I accept the defaults and choose Boot: Manjaro.x86_64 Xfce.

Manjaro Live Linux Boot - Please Be Patient
Please Be Patient

Please be patient as Manjaro Linux (Live) boots.

Welcome to Manjaro!
Welcome to Manjaro!

After Manjaro (Live) boots, we can ‘play’ with the live distro, or we can choose Launch installer at the Welcome to Manjaro! window.

Let’s choose the latter.

Welcome to the Manjaro Linux 18.0.4 "Illyria" Installer.
Manjaro Linux 18.0.4 “Illyria” Installer.

At the Welcome to the Manjaro Linux 18.0.4 “Illyria” Installer window, enter your preferred Language.

Click Next.

Manjaro Linux 18.0.4 "Illyria" Installer - Select Region and Timezone
Select Region and Timezone

Select your desired Region and Zone.

Click Next.

Manjaro Linux 18.0.4 "Illyria" Installer - Select your desired keyboard settings
Select your desired keyboard settings

Select your desired keyboard settings.

Click Next.

Manjaro Linux 18.0.4 "Illyria" Installer - Erase Disk
Erase Disk

As this is a VirtualBox VM installation, the Erase disk option will not harm and is our best option.

I prefer Swap (with Hibernate), so that’s my choice.  The Swap/No Swap, Hibernate/No Hibernate pros and cons are too intricate to include in this article, but FOSS Linux readers wishing further information should visit the Arch Linux wiki.

Once satisfied with your settings, click Next.

Manjaro Linux 18.0.4 "Illyria" Installer - User Creation
User Creation

The Users Creation/Screen settings you choose are entirely your choice.  However, I prefer as much detail, consistency, and security as possible.

Per my preference, I use my entire name, choose the same name as the VirtualBox VM (mtr-Manjaro in this case), a secure password, and choose not to login automatically without asking for the password.

I do, however, allow for the same password for the administrator (root) account.

When satisfied with your settings, click Next.

Manjaro Linux 18.0.4 "Illyria" Installer - Summary
Summary

Review your settings on the Summary screen.

If you notice errors or changes you’d like to make, click Back to return to the relevant window.

When satisfied with your settings, click Next.

Manjaro Linux 18.0.4 "Illyria" Installer - Install Now
Install Now

Click Install now button when presented the Continue with setup? box.

If your screen locks during the installation process, use the following to unlock:

  • Username: manjaro
  • Password: manjaro

Manjaro Linux 18.0.4 "Illyria" Installer - All done.
All done.

After installation completes, check Restart now.

We must remove the Manjaro ISO from the Virtual Optical Drive before rebooting (lest we reboot into Live Manjaro again).

Accomplish this by selecting the Devices tab in the <Machine Name> [Running] – Oracle VM VirtualBox window.

Choose Optical Drives, and select Remove disk from virtual drive.  Choose Force Unmount if prompted.

Congratulations! You just installed Manjaro 18.0.4 XFCE on VirtualBox.
Congratulations! You just installed Manjaro 18.0.4 XFCE on VirtualBox.

Click Done.

When your VM reboots, you’re greeted with the Manjaro Log In screen.

Congratulations!  You have successfully installed Manjaro 18.0.4 XFCE on your VirtualBox.

Next, we need to perform some essential post-installation housekeeping tasks.

Manjaro 18.0.4 Post-Installation Housekeeping

There are many more post-installation housekeeping functions desirable after a Manjaro installation than contained below.  However, these are those I believe vital to a new Manjaro installation.

Since this is a VirtualBox installation, we first need to install Guest Additions.

Oracle’s VirtualBox Guest Additions are VM-specific and designed for installation inside the virtual machine after installation of the guest operating system.

The Guest Additions affords VirtualBox users a host of extra features, including:

  • Mouse Pointer Integration
  • Shared Folders
  • Better Video Support
  • Seamless Windows
  • Generic Host/Guest Communication Channels
  • Time Synchronization
  • Shared Clipboard
  • Automated Logins

The Oracle VM Virtual Box User’s Manual provides specific information on features of Guest Additions.

Although our Manjaro installation (on VirtualBox) already contains the Guest Additions CD image, we want the latest and greatest version available.

The installation of updates should be the first housekeeping step performed on any new OS installation.  This ensures your OS is up-to-date, but it also ensures that your OS contains the latest security updates available.

So first let’s update our Manjaro installation.

Always Update Your OS First!
Always Update Your OS First!

Launch the terminal.

Enter the following commands:

# sudo pacman -Syu

Enter the root password when prompted.

Select the default provider when prompted.

Click Y when asked if you would like to Proceed with the installation?.

After all the updates install, reboot if prompted.

Guest Additions Installation via Terminal
Guest Additions Installation via Terminal

Enter the following commands:

# cd
# sudo pacman -S virtualbox-guest-utils

Enter the root password if prompted.

Select the default provider when prompted.

Click Y when asked if you would like to Proceed with the installation?.

There are hosts of other tweaks that I like to perform after a successful installation such as favorite software installations, setting the GRUB timeout to 0, among others.  However, we covered the essentials.

Hopefully, in this article, you’ve learned not only the benefits and appeal of Manjaro Linux along with the steps required for a successful installation of an OS (specifically Manjaro) within VirtualBox but also the need for post-installation housekeeping, whether within VirtualBox or a physical machine.

We encourage you to test not only the ins and outs of your new Manjaro installation but also the various options and functionality of your VirtualBox installation. Snapshots, the Network Operations Manager, the Recording option, are few useful ones to name.

We’d love to hear of your experiences here at FOSS Linux.

Travis Rose
Hi, I'm M Travis Rose, a contributor to FOSS Linux. I have over thirty years of experience in the IT arena, at least fifteen of which has been working with Linux. I enjoy converting existing Windows users to the wonderful world of Linux. I guess you could call me a Linux-evangelist. Long live Linux!

2 COMMENTS

  1. I think there is a typo in your command to install guest additions… should be:
    sudo pacman -S virtualbox-guest-utils

    • Thanks much, Rich! You are right. It’s much appreciated and been corrected.

      Have a great day, and as always, thanks for reading FOSS Linux!

      Travis

Comments are closed.

STAY CONNECTED

24,267FansLike
192FollowersFollow

LATEST ARTICLES

manjaro complete usb drive
In this tutorial, we will show step by step how to install a Manjaro on a USB flash. For those new to this distro, it is a light-weight distro that is based on Arch Linux. Arch Linux is known for its simplistic approach and is typically made for Linux pros, but Manjaro bridges the gap between user-friendliness and rock-solid performance.
Ubuntu 19.10 beta overview
It may be early, but I've been looking forward to the release of Ubuntu 19.10 for some time now. As an impatient person, and promised readers in the FOSSLinux article announcing the release of Eoan Ermine that we would provide you a review of Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine - Beta.  So, here it goes.
best linux distros beginners
Making the shift to Linux is not as complicated as some people make it out to be. There is a variety of Linux distributions available that cater to the needs of people who are planning on making the jump to Linux from any other operating system.