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Steps 31-47 of this guide to install Ubuntu on a virtual machine (using VirtualBox) describe how to attach the Ubuntu instal ISO image file to the IDE Controller of the virtual machine.

This has not been mentioned or explained in any of the YouTube tutorials I watched on installing Ubuntu to a VirtualBox VM. I have no idea what it is doing or what it means. Is this a necessary step? What does attaching the Ubuntu ISO file to an IDE Controller mean?

The CD icon on my VirtualBox Manager under the IDE Controller section in the Storage setting shows a CD that reads "Empty" at the moment, which is the same as how it is in the guide before they change it to be lined with the Ubuntu ISO file.

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Actually, there is technically another way you could install. You could burn the Ubuntu install ISO image to a CD, insert the CD into the optical drive of your computer, and then attach the optical drive of your computer to your virtual machine. But using the ISO is faster. You don't waste time burning a CD and the average read speed of a mounted ISO image is much faster than a physical CD in an optical drive. Being able to mount the ISO directly is a feature. – irrational John Jun 13 '12 at 6:05
@irrational John I know, but spell check keeps changing it, and I forgot to add to dictionary. My bad :) – Mitch Jun 13 '12 at 6:07
up vote 4 down vote accepted

It means that this is needed to let Virtual Box know where to install from, so it is a necessary step. Attaching the ISO to IDE, will simulate having a physical CD in the CD Drive.

Once you get to the last screen of creating the Virtual Machine, and Click on Create, you will

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See the screen where you have the option of choosing where to boot from

enter image description here

Click on Empty, and then click on the little down arrow on CD icon to the right of the drop down box that gives you the option to choose a CD/DVD Drive or virtual drive

enter image description here

You will see a drop-down menu that will let you choose where the installation mediumenter image description here is located. Click on Choose a virtual CD/DVD disk file

Choose you file, and then click Open.

enter image description here

Once done you can start your virtual machine, wich in turn will start the installation.

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Thanks for the screen guide- I get why I need the link now (with no link, it has no place to install from). – Jay Jun 13 '12 at 5:40

It is an absolutely essential step if you want to install Ubuntu on your virtual machine!

You're attaching the ISO to the virtual CD drive which is connected to the IDE controller (not directly to the controller). To the virtual machine, this step will make it look like an actual Ubuntu CD was inserted into its optical drive. It will then attempt to boot from it, and you can run the LiveCD, install, etc. within the virtual environment.

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Thanks izx- I will make sure to follow this through then. – Jay Jun 13 '12 at 5:41

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