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How can I run Unity in a virtual machine?

11.04 comes with unity interface. I would like to test 11.04 without installing it on a hard drive. Will it be possible?


3 Answers 3


Unity 3D from 11.04 runs fine in Virtual Box >=4.0.6 as tested with NVidia proprietary graphics driver on the host. 3D support is activated by installation of Guest Additions.

  • How do you activate 3D driver in virtual box? On my usb drive is natty incredible fast! :) wow
    – vrcmr
    Dec 23, 2010 at 22:44
  • The open source ATI Radeon HD host drivers make for a good a experience
    – 8128
    Dec 24, 2010 at 10:04
  • Correct link to Guest Additions pre-release for Virtual Box 4.0.5 is that download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/4.0.4/… Apr 14, 2011 at 7:28

A useful approach to testing the next releae, 11.04 is to create a live Ubuntu system on a USB memory stick from the daily builds:


Unity is not the default desktop environment yet, but is scheduled to be so by Alpha1 on the 2nd December as far as I understand the release schedule: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/NattyReleaseSchedule

As well as testing Ubuntu a Live USB stick, you can also use that live USB stick to install Ubuntu 11.04 onto a second USB stick, selecting manual partition during the install.

You can also use TestDrive to automate testing when Ubuntu 11.04 Unity desktop does work in VirtualBox.

Thank you


  • you will need one usb disk for live system and one for installing the live system on it.
    – vrcmr
    Dec 8, 2010 at 20:40

If all you want to do is experience it,rather than a Virtual machine, use the live CD

  • 3
    (Note there is not yet a Live CD available at this early point in the development of 11.04)
    – 8128
    Nov 21, 2010 at 18:42
  • ohk.. didnt know about that. had only used the stablr LTS releases till now
    – Akash
    Nov 21, 2010 at 18:46

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