Installing Manjaro in a Virtual Machine

This guide will help you install Manjaro in a Virtual Machine. It is written under the assumption you are using Windows. The VirtualBox installation for MacOS should be pretty much the same. For Linux distributions, install VirtualBox through your package manager.

You will need:

This guide assumes you have VirtualBox installed. If you don't, it means you skipped the Virtual Machine Pre-install post! Head back there and follow those steps.

Installing Manjaro

In VirtualBox, go to Machine -> New (or just press CTRL+N). Input the name you want for your VM (good practice is to include what OS it is), select the type as Linux and the version as Arch Linux (64-bit).

../../images/manjaro/vm-create-os.png

Next, you'll be asked to select the memory size. This depends on what specs your machine has. Manjaro recommends a minimum of 1 GB RAM (1024 MB). You can allocate it more, but don't worry too much, these settings can be modified later too! We would recommend 2 or 4GB, but you can leave the default 1 GB and if you find the machine is too sluggish you can revisit the settings.

../../images/manjaro/vm-create-mem.png

We are then going to create a virtual hard disk now (default option), and the Hard disk file type should be VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image). Choose to have the disk dynamically allocated. Next, choose the size of the hard disk. Manjaro recommends 30GB.

../../images/manjaro/vm-create-hdd.png

Done! You should now see your new VM in the list:

../../images/manjaro/created.png

Selecting the new VM (called Manjaro in this example), click Settings (or press CTRL+S) and go to the Storage option. Under Controller: IDE, click the Empty disk. Click the blue disk next to the Optical Drive dropdown, and select Choose a disk file. Navigate to where you saved the Manjaro ISO and open it.

../../images/manjaro/insert-iso.png

While still in Settings, go to the Display option and change the graphics controller to be VBoxSVGA. If you miss this step, the VM will most likely be stuck in a boot loop.

../../images/manjaro/display-settings.png

Back to the list of VMs, select the Manjaro VM and press Start. Your VM should start. You may be asked to confirm the startup disk, select the Manjaro ISO and press Start.

../../images/manjaro/confirm-startup.png

Your VM is now booting! Press Enter or wait for the timer to reach 0:

../../images/manjaro/first_boot.png

Manjaro Hello will greet you on the screen: ../../images/manjaro/manjaro_hello.png

Press Launch installer. Proceed with choosing the language, time zone and keyboard layout.

Next, we will take care of partitioning. Choose Erase disk with no swap. You may also choose to tick the box to encrypt the system. Leave any other settings as they are.

../../images/manjaro/partitions.png

Now we'll create the main user. Fill in your name, the name you want to use to login (this will be your username) and a name for the machine (this will be the name the VM will be seen as over a network). Next, choose your account password. Make it a good one! You can then also choose the administrator account password (which is the root user), or choose to use the first supplied password for the admin account too.

../../images/manjaro/users.png

You can then choose to install LibreOffice or FreeOffice (the Linux alternatives to Microsoft Office).

When you're ready, press Install! You will be prompted that disk changes will be made in order to install Manjaro. Confirm by pressing Install now. Wait for the installation to finish.

Note: keep an eye on it, my screen went blank due to the default power saving settings and never recovered. You can change these by right-clicking on the desktop -> Settings -> Power and modify Blank Screen to Never and toggle off Suspend & Power Button. If you get the blank screen and have only given the VM 1GB of RAM, it might be a good idea to give it a bit more too, for the installation. You can do this from Settings -> System, once the machine has been powered off. But if the blank screen happens to you too, don't worry! Go to File -> Close and choose Power Off the Machine. Then you can restart the installation process. It's a VM, so nothing on your actual system is at risk!

The installation will finish. Do not check the restart now button. Click done.

You can now close the VM: go to File -> Close and choose Power Off the Machine. From the VMs list, having selected the Manjaro VM, click Settings and choose the Storage option. Select the Manjaro ISO under Controller: IDE and click the remove button at the bottom (blue square with a red x). Confirm you want to remove the disk. This step is very important. If you fail to remove the ISO, the VM will boot from the Live CD, not from the VM disk!

../../images/manjaro/remove-iso.png

You can now go start your VM! It's ready! Manjaro Hello should greet you again. You can disable its Launch at startup functionality (toggle the button in the right bottom corner).

Enjoy your new Manjaro VM!

../../images/manjaro/neofetch.png

Now head over to the Post Installation guide to update your system and install some useful software and the VM Post Install guide to learn of some useful features for your VM!