Running Sage on Windows with VirtualBox

The easiest way to run Sage on Windows is with a virtual machine.  Sage is a collection of tools that were primarily developed for UNIX-based operating systems (such as Solaris or Mac OS X)  or UNIX-like operating systems (BSD, Linux, etc).  Since a standard Windows installation lacks many of the features provided by a UNIX-like environment, Sage is packaged as a Linux virtual machine.  You need free virtualization software–VMWare Player or VirtualBox–to run the virtual machine.  I find VMWare Player easier to work with, but it’s not an open-source solution.  VirtualBox is truly free software, but it’s also harder to configure.  When you download Sage, you can choose between a .ova file (for VirtualBox) or a zipped VMware virtual machine.  The easiest thing to do is choose the appropriate format for your VM.  However, it’s also possible to run the VMware image on Virtualbox, and I’ll show you how.

If you want to learn more about Sage, check out the Sage Beginner’s Guide from Packt Publishing.

Download, install, and run VirtualBox, and then click the “New” button to get started.  Also, unzip the .zip file that contains the VMware virtual machine.

VirtualBox Manager

Choose Linux and Ubuntu under OS Type:

VirtualBox: Create New Machine

Allocate RAM (512MB is fine for simple calculations):

VirtualBox: Set RAM for New Virtual machine

The next step was hard to figure out.  Choose use existing hard disk, go into the VMware image folder, and find the .vmdk file.  This is the hard disk image.

VirtualBox: Create New Machine from Existing Drive Image

This is what you should see when you are done:

VirtualBox Manager showing Sage VM

Press “Start” to start the Sage virtual machine.

In my next post, I’ll give you step-by-step instructions for installing additions and configuring the display to improve your user experience.

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