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If I install vagrant and deploy an operating system on it, it takes literally some seconds.

But is I try to install an operating system to VirtualBox itself without vagrant, it will take maybe half an hour.

Could you help me understand what is going on here: how operating systems are installed that fast over vagrant?

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Vagrant uses pre-installed images ("boxes") of a variety of operating systems that are then only just cloned to the user system:

Instead of building a virtual machine from scratch, which would be a slow and tedious process, Vagrant uses a base image to quickly clone a virtual machine. These base images are known as "boxes" in Vagrant, and specifying the box to use for your Vagrant environment is always the first step after creating a new Vagrantfile.Vagrant

One disadvantage of this approach is that these images will be somehow preconfigured. In case you need to start from scratch or have your own special requirements it may be safer to use a vanilla installation instead. On a fast disk drive this should not take longer than 10 minutes. You could then also create your own clones.

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