Virtual machine (VMs) is one the most important things to run OSINT investigation whether your using Linux or Mac. For myself I preferred Linux. There a lot of advantages about it includes is very lightweight, you can run on almost on every computer whether it’s new or has old hardware and perhaps the best part is, it cost nothing. There are many ways to run Linux for example using bootable USB, direct install on your computer with your current OS (dual boot) or using Virtual Machine. Bootable USB is very convenience because you can install any OS in your USB and plug and run on any computer. Virtual machine on the other way is OS that you run in your current host computer.
Kind of like run OS in another OS. That’s cool uh! 😊. So, probably you accidently download and run virus / malware from the internet, the good things when this kind of case happen you don’t have to worry about the host machine, because it will only affect the OS that run on the virtual machine. You can think of this as a sandbox. So, is there a possibility when malware also affect the host machine? Yes, but it’s very rare. The folks behind virtual machine manufacture working hard to prevent this case.
Virtual Machine with Ubuntu
Ubuntu is one of Linux operating system that I like. It’s very easy to maintain, configure and also have long term support (LTS) for about 4-5 years. Actually, today article is all about install Ubuntu and configure it so we can use it as a part of our OSINT investigation. Before, I already mention about run OS with bootable USB. Why we just not doing that? It’s very convenience, just plug it and you ready to go. The main the disadvantages using bootable USB because sometimes it’s to slow. You have to find a good USB. Well of course you can use this method if you need just in case, you forgot bring your laptop for example.
I already mention a lot about virtual machine. What’s is virtual machine (VMs)? For general you can say that a VM is conduct an emulation of a particular operating system. VM is an independent from the host machine. With VM you can have numerous computers in a single computer. Another feature that you can do with VM is about the cloning system. Cloning original VM is very easy and transfer it to another system like move files and run it from there. That very convenience like using the bootable USB. Talk about VM there is a lot of option out there that you can try. But in this article, I’m going to use VirtualBox.
There is couple thing’s that you need to look first. In order to run VM, you need to make sure that your computer support virtualization. This is the mandatory requirement. Mostly newest computer today already support virtualization. But if it the old computer with old hardware that you need to check with manufacture. So, how to install OS in VM and configure to run OSINT investigator? Let’s start from download the Ubuntu ISO. Where to get that? You need to go the Ubuntu official website and to the download page. In this tutorial I’m using Ubuntu desktop version 20.04 (current stable release) with LTS until April 2025. This is also applied for VirtualBox, you can download that from the official websites. Just say that, right now you’re already have VirtualBox installed and Ubuntu desktop ISO. Let’s get started:
- Select “New” and provide a name that you like
- Choose your desired folder location to save machine
- Select “Type” and choose “Linux”
- Select “Version” and choose “Ubuntu (64-bit)” or “Ubuntu (32-bit) depend on your host system
- On memory size move the slider to take 50% of your system memory
- On Hard Disk windows choose “Virtual Hard disk” and click “Create”
- Just leave the hard disk type as “VDI” choose “Continue”
- On Storage physical hard disk freely to choose “Dynamically Allocated” or “Fixed” -> I prefer using dynamically just in case that our VM in need more storage
- On “File location and size” windows choose your desired size of your virtual hard drive. I recommend to for more than 20GB.
- Click “Create”
Now your VM is done and it’s ready to use. Not yet, you need to load the Ubuntu ISO first. Select your new VM that just been create and follow the steps below.
- Click “Setting”
- Go to “Storage” and click on CD icon that display “Empty” in the left menu
- There is a small circle on the right, select “Choose a disk file”
- Select the Ubuntu ISO that you previously download before
Next step is to “Start” and install your Ubuntu and configure, but that’s going to be my next article. So, stay tune, and see you soon.