Elementary OS is a recently developed free OS based on Ubuntu, which itself is a derivate of Debian. It offers a graphical interface similar to that of OS X. The project was launched in 2008 by the American Daniel Foré who is still the current project leader. The first known version was released in 2011, under the name of Jupiter. This operating system provides the Pantheon desktop environment. The latter is based on the GNU desktop environment.

Elementary OS was originally an icon pack for GNOME. It is the second most downloaded icon pack on GNOME-Look (the biggest theme directory for GNOME). The default icon pack from Ubuntu, Humanity (since version 9.10) has been derived from elementary. Given the success of the icon pack, the creators decided to make their own an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution, elementary OS. The 1st stable release named Jupiter has been available since April 11, 2011. The 2nd stable release of elementary OS, Luna, was released on August 10, 2013, with a complete metamorphosis. Version 0.3, named Freya, is available in stable version since April 11, 2015 and version 0.4, named Loki has been released since September 9, 2016. Loki is built on the Ubuntu LTS (Long term support) version which was released earlier in 2016. It features the kernel 4.4 with relooked OS notifications and new standard software. The next version to be released. 0.5, will be named Juno.

The elementary OS project aims to fill various gaps in GNU / Linux:

  1. Improve the overall aesthetics by imposing a coherence between the software;
  2. Limit the number of software dependencies using applications written in C or Vala
  3. Decrease the need to access the console.

In this post, we will be installing elementary OS “Loki” on VirtualBox.

elementary OS's official download page

elementary OS’s official download page

Please donate. If you want to just download the file, enter 0 in the sum field and download the OS. Again, do donate!

  • A new virtual machine needs to be created on VirtualBox. If you do not have VirtualBox installed you can get it from this link. It is a free software 🙂 !
elementary OS - Creating a new virtual machine

elementary OS – Creating a new virtual machine

 

  • Next, the amount of RAM that must be allocated to the Virtual Machine is chosen. For openSUSE I would recommend 1.5 GB even if it will run a  GUI since it is light.
elementary OS - Choosing the amount of RAM

elementary OS – Choosing the amount of RAM

 

  • We will start by creating the virtual hard disk that will be used for the elementary installation
elementary OS - Creating the virtual hard disk

elementary OS – Creating the virtual hard disk

  • The next prompt allows the hard disk file type to be chosen. For this tutorial we will use the VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image). This is VirtualBox’s own container format for hard disks. VHD format is used by Microsoft and VMDK is used by other virtualisation products namely VMware.
elementary OS - Choosing the hard disk file type

elementary OS – Choosing the hard disk file type

  • The storage we will choose is “Dynamically allocated” so that the virtual machine uses space on our physical disk only when it fills
elementary OS - Choosing the storage type

elementary OS – Choosing the storage type

 

  • For this tutorial 8 Gb has been chosen for the hard disk but you may choose more. The disk space can also be modified later in the virtual machine settings.
elementary OS - Choosing the size of the hard disk

elementary OS – Choosing the size of the hard disk

 

  • After going through these steps the preliminary setup of the virtual machine will be complete and the virtual machine’s details will be as follows:
elementary OS - Virtual machine preliminary setup

elementary OS – Virtual machine preliminary setup

  • Launch the virtual machine by clicking on start and select the .iso file you downloaded.
elementary OS - Choosing the .iso file

elementary OS – Choosing the .iso file

  • The installation process will start by displaying the boot options
elementary OS - Live CD Boot options

elementary OS – Live CD Boot options

  • The language can the be selected and the options to try or install elementary OS appear
elementary OS - Language selection and trial or installation option

elementary OS – Language selection and trial or installation option

  • The installation also allows updates to be installed while installing as well as installing third party software for graphics and Wi-Fi hardware, Flash, MP3 and other media. It is better to choose the installation with updates so as to have an already patched OS. Selecting the third party software will save the pain of having to download plugins and drivers for Wi-Fi usage and the media player.
elementary OS - Updates and additional software

elementary OS – Updates and additional software

  • There are several installation types and in this tutorial since it is being installed on a virtual machine we will opt for erasing the whole disk
elementary OS - Installation type

elementary OS – Installation type

  • A prompt will appear and confirms whether changes should be made to the disk
elementary OS - Confirming changes to be made to the disk

elementary OS – Confirming changes to be made to the disk

  • The location selection appears on the next step. This allows the time clock to be configured and helps determine the nearest mirrors for downloading packages if necessary
elementary OS - Location selection

elementary OS – Location selection

 

  • The keyboard selection is then made (Note that the keyboard layout may be detected too)
elementary OS - Keyboard selection

elementary OS – Keyboard selection

 

  • The user information needs to be added. For security reasons it is best to leave the “log in automatically” unticked. You can choose to encrypt the home folder, however the disk space usage risks to grow very quickly
elementary OS - Inserting user information

elementary OS – Inserting user information

  • The installation of packages will then begin
  • When the installation is complete, the computer needs to be rebooted
elementary OS - restart required

elementary OS – restart required

  • An error message may appear since the drive has not been removed. You need to deselect the .iso file by choosing any other option available
elementary os - Remove CD

elementary os – Remove CD

  • After pressing enter the machine will boot
elementary OS - Rebooting

elementary OS – Rebooting

  • And voila! Elementary OS is installed on the machine and all you need to do is login and start exploring the operating system.
elementary OS - Login screen

elementary OS – Login screen

 

elementary OS - Explore!

elementary OS – Explore!

 

You can leave comments right below if you have any difficulties installing the elementary OS distro. I will be very glad to help you out. You can also ask your questions or tutorials you would like to see.

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