Linux Operating-System

Top 5 Linux Operating Systems You Should Try in a Virtual Machine

Well! Just make a short and focus on below our pick of five Linux operating systems that you should run on a virtual machine.

1. Linux Mint

Currently up to version 18, Linux Mint has several current versions available. If you haven’t already tried it, then installing it as a VM is a good idea, as the default desktop doesn’t require 3D acceleration.

A particular benefit of this is that your virtual machine will almost certainly be running like a lower-spec version of your computer. So, with fewer resources to go around, the low-spec support of Linux Mint will prove advantageous. You’ll have even better results with a different desktop environment. Fancy swapping Cinnamon for MATE or Xfce? Performance will improve even more, while running the most popular desktop Linux operating system around!

2. Lubuntu

This lightweight version of Ubuntu has been around for several years, and its modest footprint makes it ideal for running in a virtual machine. Once set up, you’ll get an idea of how it might perform on an older PC or laptop when installed as the default operating system.

And if Lubuntu itself doesn’t prove lightweight enough for you, why not try LXLE, the Lubuntu Extra Life Extension? Even lighter than Lubuntu, LXLE is ideal for running as a virtual machine on low-spec but virtualization-capable hardware.

Naturally, that means that it is also ideal for running on old hardware. We tried it on an old Compaq netbook, with great results!

3. Slackware

Never heard of Slackware? Never mind. It’s the oldest surviving distro out there, and runs effortlessly with all virtual machine applications. Ideal for advanced Linux users — it’s very close to UNIX — Slackware is a definite step up from the standard Linux operating systems.

What this means is that a virtual machine is the ideal environment for trying out Slackware, and its straightforward command line installation. Even if you determine that this distro is not right for you, you’ll still find you’ve learned something, and got as close to “pure Linux” as it’s possible to get without being Linus Torvalds.

4. Fedora

A popular Linux operating system, Fedora is a distro with a focus on open source software. Curiously, it has a reputation of being difficult to use, but this really isn’t warranted.

linux virtual machines fedora

While poor performance can be resolved with a change to the desktop environment, the focus on open source is the real draw here. Despite its origins, Linux operating systems typically flip flop between open source software and a few proprietary apps and drivers. Fedora takes a stand against this, offering only FOSS apps and drivers, making this a distribution you should definitely try out.


5. Ubuntu Server

So far, we’ve looked at desktop apps, but if your Linux interest is more server-based, then you might consider Ubuntu Server. If you haven’t used a server OS before, or you’re familiar with Windows Server, installing Ubuntu Server (or CentOS) in your virtual machine software is a great way to get the practice you need.

With the server’s configuration complete, you can transfer this experience — or even export the settings file — to a physical server, and ready it for production.