Creating a Linux Virtual Machine

A Linux host PC is required when developing for Opal-6.  A Virtual Machine (VM) is an easy way to get setup, especially if you have Windows as your main OS.

These instructions are for creating a Ubuntu based VM using Oracle Virtualbox.  Other VM solutions such as Microsoft Hyper-V and VMWare could also be used, but the specific setup steps are not covered here.


If you chose to use Linux as your main OS, you will still need access to a Windows PC to use the NXP Manufacturing Tool. We use this to deploy Linux to Opal-6. You will need this if you are making changes to the Linux OS build for Opal-6. You do NOT need it if you are just doing application development.


We recommend you have these resources available for the VM:

  1. Intel core i5 or i7 CPU
  2. 4GB+ RAM (so at least 8GB in your host system)
  3. 100GB+ HDD space.  An SSD is highly recommended.  30GB is adequate if you are only developing applications on this VM.

To create your VM:

  1. Download and install the latest version of Virtualbox from At the time of writing this was 5.0.20.
  2. Download the xubuntu image from We recommend using the 64 bit long term support versions (LTS) of which 16.04 is the latest although 14.04 also works fine. You can use any Ubuntu distribution however xubuntu has a lighter weight desktop which works very well in a virtual machine and we believe the UI is more suited for a professional development environment.
  3. Run Virtualbox, click ‘New’ and follow the wizard to set up your VM.  We recommend configuring a fixed disk for performance reasons and make sure it is of adequate size e.g. 100GB or more if you are building Linux OS images. 60GB is OK if you are only doing application development.
  4. Now open ‘Settings’ for your new VM and assign:
    1.  the number of cpus (at least 2 is good),
    2. base memory (4GB+) and 
    3. ensure all hardware acceleration is enabled. 
  5. Go to the ‘Storage’ tab and point the CD device to your xubuntu iso file. Close ‘Settings’ when you are done.
  6. Run the VM and install Xubuntu.
  7. When the installation is complete you should start the VM and install any available updates.
  8. Finally you should install the Virtualbox Guest Additions. From the VM ‘Devices’ menu select ‘Install Guest Additions...”. This will mount a CD on the desktop.
  9. To install the guest additions, open a terminal, navigate to the mounted drive and type:
    $ sudo ./
  10. Eject the guest additions drive when done and reboot the VM.

Your VM is ready for development.