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I'm currently preparing to install VirtualBox on my Windows 7 machine and then put a Linux distro as the guest OS.

I do not intend to run any programs in Windows when running the guest Linux. How much RAM is it safe to allocate?

My PC has 1 GB total. I want to give as much as possible to the guest while not making it unstable.

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You have 1GB of RAM, running Windows 7, and you want to run a VM on top of that? – slhck Jul 31 '11 at 10:59
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The Windows 7 system requirements say that you need a minimum of 1 GB of RAM for the system to run.

So if you take something away from it, you're most probably going to run into performance issues. Just try it and see how far you can go. You can't break anything. And it depends on the Linux distribution as well.

  • If you have a resource-intensive desktop environment like GNOME or KDE, you will obviously need more virtual RAM than for Xfce.
  • If you only run Linux from the command line, pick a lightweight distribution, and you won't need that much.
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By the way: RAM isn't that expensive. – slhck Jul 31 '11 at 12:08

I do not think that would be enough RAM to run any guest OS. 1GB will be allocated for your system, so there would be none left for any guest OS. Usually, it is recommended to have, at least, 4GB of RAM available.

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The guide here: implies it should be possible. I'm not really going to do anything too intensive ont he host. – P_Q Jul 31 '11 at 11:17
True, but not enough. As slhck said, you would probably run into performance issues. – AJaM Aug 1 '11 at 10:05

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