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[[!meta title="VirtualBox"]]

It is possible to run Tails in a virtual machine using [<span
class="application">VirtualBox</span>](https://www.virtualbox.org/) from a
Windows, Linux, or Mac OS&nbsp;X host operating system.

[[!inline pages="doc/advanced_topics/virtualization.caution" raw="yes"]]

<span class="application">VirtualBox</span> has a free software version,
called <span class="application">VirtualBox Open Source Edition</span>
and some proprietary components, for example to add support for USB
devices.

<div class="caution">

For security reasons, we recommend you to use only the <span class="application">Open Source Edition</span>,
though it does not allow to use a persistent volume.

</div>

<div class="tip">

<p>With the <a href="https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch04.html#sharedfolders">
<span class="guilabel">shared folders</span></a> feature of
<span class="application">VirtualBox</span> you can access files of your
host system from within the guest system.</p>

<p>Make sure to understand the security implications of [[accessing
internal hard disks|encryption_and_privacy/your_data_wont_be_saved_unless_explicitly_asked]]
from Tails before using this feature.</p>

</div>

Security considerations for Windows and Mac OS X
================================================

In our [[security warnings about
virtualization|virtualization#security]] we recommend to run Tails in
a virtual machine only if the host operating system is trustworthy.

<div class="caution">

Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X being proprietary software, they cannot be considered
trustworthy. Only run Tails in a virtual machine on Windows or OS X for testing
purposes and do not rely on it for security.

</div>

Installation
============

To install *VirtualBox* in Debian or Ubuntu, execute the following
command:

    sudo apt-get install virtualbox

For instructions on how to install *VirtualBox* on other operating
systems, refer to the [VirtualBox documentation](https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/End-user_documentation).

Running Tails from an ISO image
===============================

First, start *VirtualBox*.

To create a new virtual machine:

  1. Choose
     <span class="menuchoice">
     <span class="guimenu">Machine</span>&nbsp;▸
     <span class="guimenuitem">New...</span></span>.
  1. In the **Name and operating system** screen, specify:
     - A name of your choice.
     - **Type**: **Linux**.
     - **Version**: **Other Linux (32 bit)**.
     - Click **Next**.

     <div class="bug"><p><span class="application">VirtualBox</span> guest
     modules allow for additional features when using Tails in a virtual
     machine: shared folders, resizable display, shared clipboard, etc.</p>

     <p>But due to <a href="https://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/11037">a bug in
     <span class="application">VirtualBox</span></a>, the resizable display
     and shared clipboard only work in Tails if the virtual machine is configured to
     have a 32-bit processor. The shared folders work both on 32-bit and
     64-bit guests.</p></div>

  1. In the **Memory size** screen:
     - Allocate at least 1024 MB of RAM.
     - Click **Next**.
  1. In the **Hard drive** screen:
     - Choose **Do not add a virtual hard drive**.
     - Click **Create**.
     - Click **Continue** in the warning dialog about creating a virtual
       machine without a hard drive.

To configure the virtual machine to start from an ISO image:

  1. Select the new virtual machine in the left pane.
  1. Choose <span class="menuchoice">
     <span class="guimenu">Machine</span>&nbsp;▸
     <span class="guimenuitem">Settings...</span></span>.
  1. Select **System** in the left pane.
  1. In the **Extended Features** section of the **Motherboard** tab, make
     sure that **Enable I/O APIC** is enabled.
  1. Select **Storage** in the left pane.
  1. Select **Empty** below **Contoller IDE** in the **Storage Tree**
     selection list in the right pane.
  1. Click on the **CD** icon on the right of the window and select
  **Choose a virtual CD/DVD disk file...** to browse for the ISO image
  you want to start Tails from.
  1. Check the **Live CD/DVD** option.
  1. Click **OK**.

To start the new virtual machine:

  1. Select the virtual machine in the left pane.
  1. Click **Start**.