My old tutorial for installing Windows 10 in GNOME Boxes doesn’t work with Windows 11. Here’s how to install Windows 11 as a virtual machine (VM) inside GNOME Boxes. (Some configuration file changes required.)
Windows 11 significantly raised its hardware requirements compared to Windows 10. Among the changes, it requires more RAM and storage space. It also requires a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0 and a UEFI boot environment.
GNOME Boxes doesn’t yet support TPM and UEFI environments. However, the underlying virtualization technology supports it. You just need to tweak a few configuration options along the way. Read the instructions carefully!
You’ll need to meet the following hardware requirements:
- Your processor must support hardware emulation, either AMD Virtualization (AMD-V) or Intel Virtualization Technology (VT-x). All but the cheapest processors should support virtualization. Check your BIOS to make sure it’s enabled! (It may be off by default.)
- The Windows guest system requires at least 8 GB of RAM. Your host system will also require at least 2 GB for itself and the emulation. Your system should have at least 12 GB of RAM.
- The Windows guest system requires at least 124 GB of storage space. The Windows install doesn’t need all this storage right away, but you’ll run into issues with Windows Update later.
You also need to prepare the following:
- A Windows 11 installation media file (“ISO”). It can be downloaded for free from Microsoft (about 6 GB). Make sure you download the right edition and installation language.
- A valid Windows Product Key for OEM/Retail installations (ad: available on Amazon). The Professional edition is preferred (refer to the Post-installation section below). You can skip this during the installation, but you will need to provide a product key within 30 days of the installation.
You should also be familiar with installing software packages from your Linux distribution’s package repository from the terminal. This is the
dnf tool on Fedora Linux; and the
apt tool on Debian, Ubuntu, and their derivatives.
Install GNOME Boxes and its prerequisites
- Start by installing GNOME Boxes from your Linux distribution’s package repository. You cannot use the Flatpak/Flathub version as it doesn’t currently support emulating a TPM. The package is called
gnome-boxeseverywhere. You need version 40 or newer!
- Install the TianoCore Open Virtual Machine Firmware (OVMF) from your package repository. This will let your VM boot as a modern secure boot-enabled UEFI system instead of a legacy BIOS system. The package is called
edk2-ovmfin Fedora Linux 34 and
- Install the
swtpmemulator (software TPM (SWTPM)) from your package repository. The package is called
swtpm-toolsin both Fedora Linux 34 and Ubuntu 22 (it’s found in the Universe repository).
- As yout normal user (not root), run the SWTPM set up command in a terminal:
You may need to log out and back in again if you’ve launched another VM in the current session. Unsure if this applies to you or just want to stay out of trouble? Just reboot your computer; it’s quick and easy anyway.
Installing Windows 11 in GNOME Boxes
- Start GNOME Boxes and click on the New button (top left) to create a new VM. The dialog can look a bit overwhelming, but it’s only asking you for one thing: an installation disk image file (“ISO”).
- Select the Windows 11 ISO file you’ve downloaded from Microsoft. Do not trust ISO files from sources other than the official website of the software vendor. GNOME Boxes will list it at the top of the dialog (likely misidentified as Windows 10) if it’s stored in your Downloads folder. You can also use the select disk image option at the bottom of the dialog.
- Do not accept the Express Installation option. Express installs are only available for some operating systems (OS) and don’t yet work with Windows 11. This option is shown because current versions of Boxes misidentify Windows 11 as Windows 10. Instead, click on the Next button in the top right corner.
- On the next screen, assign the Windows guest system at least 8 GB of RAM and 124 GB of disk space. The virtual hard disk image won’t consume all that space right away, but grows dynamically as it gets used.
- Click the Create button and wait. The Windows installer should boot up inside the VM and prompt you to select your preferred language and locale. Do not proceed with the installation! The VM is running in legacy BIOS mode and without a TPM. We need to correct that before proceeding.
The following steps must be followed precisely to fully shut down the VM. Unfortunately, there are a few design flaws in GNOME Boxes when you’re trying to do this in the middle of an OS installation. See GNOME Boxes issue #773. GNOME Boxes may incorrectly show the VM as shutdown while it’s still running if you don’t follow these steps.
- Abort the installation by clicking the Close button (top right) of the installer window inside the VM. You’ll get returned to Boxes main view.
- Wait 20 seconds. The VM’s preview image will spin continuously.
- Right-click on the VM and select Force Shutdown. The preview image will continue to spin.
- Quit and restart GNOME Boxes. The preview image should now have stopped spinning and turned into the power symbol (⏻).
Hopefully, you haven’t completely lost faith in GNOME Boxes after following that sequence of steps to fully shut down the VM. GNOME Boxes expect to auto-restart the VM two times as part of the normal installation. We don’t want that, so we end up in buggy and uncharted waters.
At this point, you’ll need to make a few manual changes to the VM configuration before we jump back into the Windows Installer. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully.
- Right-click on the VM and select Properties. Go to the Advanced tab and click on the Edit Config button (it may be called Edit XML in older versions).
- Scroll down to the line that says
<devices>. Scan the lines until it says
</devices>for any mentions of a TPM. Skip this step if you find any. To enable the TPM emulator, insert a blank line after
<devices>and paste the following snippet:
- Scroll down to the line that says
<os>. Verify that the
typeelement matches the below (the numbers in the
machineattribute may differ). If it doesn’t match then you probably haven’t enabled virtualization in your BIOS. Fix that first, delete the VM, and try again.
- Locate the newly installed OVMF secure boot firmware image file on your system. The file is called
OVMF_CODE.secboot.fd, but the installation path is different between Linux distributions. It’s located in
/usr/share/edk2/ovmf/in Fedora Linux 34 and in
/usr/share/OVMF/in Ubuntu 22.
- Scan the lines until it says
</os>for any mentions of a loader. Skip this step if you find any. Insert a blank line after the
typeelement, and paste the following (supply the correct full path from the previous step):
- Click the Apply button to save the changes. It may appear like your changes get reverted and you may receive a warning about failing to create a snapshot. You can ignore these problems.
- Quit and restart GNOME Boxes again.
- Right-click on the VM one last time and select Properties. Go to Devices and Shares: CD/DVD.
- Click the Select button and reselect the Windows 11 ISO file. The image was removed automatically when the system was shut down during the aborted installation.
- Close the properties dialog.
- Double-click on the VM in Boxes to start it and resume the installation. Complete the Windows 11 installation by following the prompts. Here’s a neat trick to install Windows without any bloatware.
Once you’ve installed Windows 11, you can just use it as-is in GNOME Boxes. However, you’ll be stuck with low performance, 800×600 px screen resolution, and no clipboard integration. Let’s get those sorted out in order.
You can increase the performance of most I/O operations by installing the VirtIO guest agent and driver set. Inside the VM, download and install VirtIO guest addons (look for
virtio-win-gt-x64.msi). Restart the VM afterward.
You have two options for higher screen resolutions and clipboard integration. You can either continue to use GNOME Boxes or switch to GNOME Connections. Connections is a version of Boxes that focuses on accessing remote desktops instead of VMs. The two apps look and feel very similar.
You can use Connections to connect to the VM using the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). This is the most performant and reliable option. However, it requires a license for Windows 11 Professional or Enterprise. Windows 11 Home doesn’t include the required RDP server component.
You can enable the RDP server from the Windows Settings app: System: Remote Desktop: Remote Desktop. After enabling a network service, take a moment to double-check your network firewalls and make sure that you have a strong and unique password. You may have exposed the service on the public internet. Note that networking into the VM also requires more configuration and is out of scope for this article.
Your other option is to keep using GNOME Boxes with a graphics driver optimized for use within VMs, and optionally the SPICE guest agent. To enable greater screen resolutions, you need to download and install the newest version of the QXL-WDDM-DoD driver (look for the newest date, then
QxlWddmDod_x64.msi). The download link may lead to a page that looks like gobbledygook. If this happens: Go back, right-click, and select Save As. The QXL-WDDM-DoD driver works in Windows 11 but doesn’t officially support the OS.
Optionally, you can enable auto-resizing/adaptive screen resizing and clipboard integration by downloading and installing the SPICE guest agent (look for the newest date, then
spice-vdagent-x64.msi). Restart the VM afterward.
The SPICE display server can sometimes stop working under heavy processor loads. You need to restart the VM to get it back up and running. This isn’t an issue when using RDP.
Online snapshots don’t work with UEFI-based systems. You need to power off the VM before you can create a snapshot.
- Original Equipment Manufacturer
- Operating System
- Open Virtual Machine Firmware
- Random Access Memory
- Remote Desktop Protocol
- Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environments
- Software TPM Emulator
- Trusted Platform Module
- Unified Extensible Firmware Interface
- Virtual Machine
- Windows Display Driver Model
- Extensible Markup Language
Can I run Windows 11 in a VM without TPM? ›
Essentially what we're going to do is tell Windows 11 during the installation process to skip the TPM check. Once you do this, Windows 11 will install with no issue. In your virtual machine manager of choice, set up a VM and begin the Windows 11 installation process.How to install Windows in GNOME Boxes? ›
Launch GNOME Boxes and click the “New” button in the top left corner. Select the ISO for the operating system you want to install. If you've downloaded the Windows installation media (or any other ISO file) to your Home folder's Download folder, it will be listed right there in Boxes.Is GNOME Boxes better than VirtualBox? ›
GNOME Boxes behaves better for Linux distros; VirtualBox seems more reliable for Windows. Also, when we use VirtualBox it also installs a package for us to make the software compatible with the kernel, and this package is updated every time VirtualBox is updated.How do I run a non supported CPU on Windows 11? ›
- Open Microsoft Support website.
- Under the “Download Windows 11 Disk Image (ISO)” section, select the Windows 11 option.
- Click the Download button.
- Select the installation language.
- Click the Confirm button.
VirtualBox is an open-source virtualization platform from Oracle that makes it easy to create virtual machines to run Windows 11, Windows 10, or another OS alongside the main installation on the same hardware.How do I bypass TPM 2.0 and install Windows 11? ›
- Open Regedit. ...
- Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\MoSetup. ...
- Create a DWORD (32-bit) Value called AllowUpgradesWithUnsupportedTPMOrCPU if it doesn't already exist.
- Set AllowUpgradesWithUnsupportedTPMOrCPU to 1. ...
- Close regedit and restart your PC.
One such issue is the requirement of 'Secure Boot' along with 'TPM 2.0' enabled computers. However, if you are using a UEFI BIOS Mode machine, you can pretty straightforwardly bypass TPM on Windows 11. You simply have to go to BIOS settings and enable the 'Secure Boot' and 'TPM 2.0' options.How to install Windows 11 without TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot? ›
- Step 1: Create a Windows 11 bootable USB.
- Step 2: Boot your PC from the Windows 11 USB.
- Step 3: Initialize Windows 11 Setup.
- Step 4: Bypass TPM and Secure Boot checks.
- Step 5: Install Windows 11 without TPM and Secure Boot.
Virtualized Windows runs great in GNOME boxes, but you need to tweak some settings to get good performance. Audio won't work with the default settings.Is 4GB RAM enough for GNOME? ›
Gnome is going to occupy approx. 1GB or 1.1GB RAM in default configuration. If you can manage to stay within the limits of the 4GB with all your other applications and maybe shared graphics memory and what not, it's doable. Can Linux OS run on a 4GB RAM PC?
How do I enable USB in GNOME box? ›
- Right-click on the box in the collection view and select Properties, or if the box is running, click the menu ( ) button in the header bar and select Properties.
- Click the Devices tab.
- USB devices connected to the host machine are shown in a list. Set the switch next to each desired device to ON.
Xfce is faster than KDE and GNOME. If you plan on running multiple applications at once, Xfce gives you optimal performance. After Xfce, KDE is the fastest desktop environment.Can VirtualBox be hacked? ›
Is Your VM Safe From Hackers? It's certainly possible for a virtual machine to become compromised, especially if you access it on a mobile device in a place with public Wi-Fi. Just like all devices going on a public Wi-Fi system, hackers could infiltrate your OS if not taking proper security measures.Is GNOME better than unity? ›
In terms of desktop, customization Gnome is a bit rigid than Unity and would need to install a separate app in case one needs to change the default theme. With containing a basic set of customization features, Unity has slightly a bit more options of desktop customizations.How to bypass processor requirements for Windows 11? ›
- Press Win+r and type regedit.
- Now, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\MoSetup.
- Right-click on the left side and create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value.
- Use the name AllowUpgradesWithUnsupportedTPMOrCPU.
- Switch value to 1.
When Windows 11 is installed on a device that does not meet the minimum system requirements, we'll notify you using a watermark on your Windows 11 desktop. You might also see a notification in Settings to let you know the requirements are not met.How do I install Windows 11 on an unsupported computer without TPM? ›
To install Windows 11 without TPM, head to the Windows 11 download page (opens in new tab) and click 'Download Now' under the 'Windows 11 Installation Assistant' section. This will download the Windows 11 installer. When you run it, you'll get a message that "This PC can't run Windows 11."How do I enable TPM 2.0 in VirtualBox? ›
- Press the Win key and search VirtualBox. ...
- Click on a Windows virtual machine and then click on the Settings icon.
- Navigate to the System settings option.
- Find the TPM option. ...
- Select the TPM v2.0 option from the list.
No need for third-party emulators anymore! Windows 11 launched on October 5 after spending months in beta. However, the launch version of Windows 11 came without one of the most-anticipated features — native Android emulation allowing users to run Android apps on their PCs.How do I install Windows 11 on VirtualBox on unsupported hardware? ›
- Registry Editor will open. Navigate to the following path, using the directory on the side. ...
- Right click the Setup heading. Hover your mouse over New and press Key. ...
- Double click on one of the newly created DWORD (32-bit) Values. Enter into the Value Data field 00000001.
How do I enable TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot in the BIOS Windows 11? ›
Click the “UEFI Firmware settings” option. Click the Restart button. Click the advanced, security, or boot settings page, depending on the motherboard. Select the TPM 2.0 option and choose the Enabled option.Can you enable TPM without reinstalling Windows? ›
The TPM cannot do anything without your operating system or programs doing work with it. Just "enabling" the TPM will do absolutely nothing and will not by itself make files inaccessible.How do I fix TPM malfunction in Windows 11? ›
Clear the Trusted Platform Module (TPM)
From Start, select Settings (the gear icon) > Update & Security > Windows Security > Device Security. Under Security processor, select Security processor details > Security processor troubleshooting. Select Clear TPM. Restart the device and try to activate Microsoft 365 again.
What do TPM and Secure Boot mean? As you may know, Windows 11 requires your PC to have a Trusted Module Platform or TPM 2.0. Without it, your computer is deemed unfit to run the latest version of Windows.How to bypass Windows 11 requirements using regedit? ›
- Press Windows + R keys.
- Type in “ Regedit ” on the Run window and click on OK.
- Go to this key: ...
- Click on the key on the left sidebar, and then right-click on the Setup folder.
- Select New > Key.
- Name the key LabConfig.
GNOME Boxes is an application of the GNOME Desktop Environment, used to access virtual systems. Boxes uses the QEMU, KVM, and libvirt virtualization technologies.Is GNOME good for gaming? ›
In the past we've seen the GNOME Shell Wayland-based Linux gaming experience to be in very good shape and in some games performing even better than the X.Org based environment.Do GNOME Extensions use RAM? ›
So since I moved my Arch install from Plasma to GNOME and upgraded GNOME from 3.36 to the most recent version, the GNOME Shell uses huge amounts of RAM of my notebook. According to Usage, it is currently the top programming hording RAM with over 9GB.What is the lightest OS for PC? ›
- Linux Lite - A lightweight distribution built to be a great first-timer distro.
- Peppermint OS - A lightweight OS that strikes a perfect balance between local and cloud applications with ICE-apps.
- Xubuntu - The same features as Ubuntu, with a pre-built XFCE desktop environment.
6 Ways to Speed Up the GNOME Desktop
- Disable or Uninstall Extensions. GNOME isn't very customizable out of the box. ...
- Turn Off Search Sources. ...
- Disable File Indexing. ...
- Turn Off Animations. ...
- Install Lighter Alternative Apps. ...
- Limit Startup Applications.
Which Linux OS is fastest? ›
Well Puppy Linux is by far the fastest out of all Linux distros out there. Another one that I think is very fast is Chrome OS. For a new os, it is surprisingly fast and very quick when it comes to booting up.Can you enable USB ports in BIOS? ›
The BIOS setup program is displayed. On the left pane, select Settings > System Configuration > USB Configuration. The USB configuration is displayed on the right pane. Select or clear the Enable External USB Port check box to enable or disable it, respectively.How do I enable USB emulation? ›
- From the System Utilities screen, select System Configuration > BIOS/Platform Configuration (RBSU) > System Options > USB Options > USB Boot Support.
- Select a setting. Enabled—The system can boot from USB devices connected to the server. ...
- Save your setting.
- Press the Power button for your computer.
- During the initial startup screen, press ESC, F1, F2, F8 or F10. ...
- When you choose to enter BIOS Setup, the setup utility page will appear.
- Using the arrow keys on your keyboard, select the BOOT tab. ...
- Move USB to be first in the boot sequence.
Computer Resources Usage
Gnome uses around 800 MB of RAM. It uses lower memory space, unlike the other desktop software. The memory footprint of Xfce is around 500MB of RAM. Lower consumption of CPU and memory reflects in the overall performance.
GNOME is generally regarded as streamlined and less resource-intensive than KDE. Interestingly, while GNOME's minimum system requirements are less demanding as far as CPU speed is concerned (700 Mhz, vs KDE's 1 Ghz requirement), KDE actually requires less minimum RAM (615 MB vs GNOME's 768 MB).Is cinnamon faster than XFCE? ›
Cinnamon, MATE or Xfce? ¶
|Cinnamon||The most modern, innovative and full-featured desktop|
|MATE||A more traditional, and faster desktop|
|Xfce||The most lightweight desktop|
“Linux is the most secure OS, as its source is open. Anyone can review it and make sure there are no bugs or back doors.” Wilkinson elaborates that “Linux and Unix-based operating systems have less exploitable security flaws known to the information security world.Can malware detect virtual machine? ›
To evade detection and analysis by security researchers, malware may check if it is running under a virtualized environment such as virtual machine in VirtualBox and VMWare. If these checks indicate that it is being run in a VM, the malware will simply not run, and in some cases, delete itself to prevent analysis.How do I know if I've been hacked? ›
- You get a ransomware message.
- You get a fake antivirus message.
- You have unwanted browser toolbars.
- Your internet searches are redirected.
- You see frequent, random popups.
- Your friends receive social media invitations from you that you didn't send.
- Your online password isn't working.
Why GNOME is the best desktop? ›
GNOME Is the Most Accessible
For a desktop to be usable for the broadest number of people, it must cater to a wide set of needs. GNOME supports large text and high contrast text, and comes with screen reading functionality. You can enlarge various parts of the desktop as needed.
- CentOS. ...
- Arch Linux. ...
- Manjaro GNOME Edition. ...
- Debian. GNOME running on Debian. ...
- Ubuntu. Customized GNOME Desktop running on Ubuntu. ...
- Pop!_ OS. ...
- Zorin OS. Custom GNOME desktop on Zorin OS. ...
- Mageia. GNOME running on Mageia.
They Gained Traction as an Alternative to 'Elf on the Shelf'
Kids like it, because they can hug the gnome or play with it—a no-no for the Elf—and parents like its low-effort appeal.
Here is how to force GNOME Shell to switch between active apps only on the current workspace when pressing the Alt+Tab shortcut. By default in Gnome Alt+Tab switches windows on all workspaces.How do I run a Debloater on Windows 11? ›
Click on Debloat Windows 11 from the left pane. (Optional) Hold the Ctrl button and select each of the apps you want to remove. Click the Move selected button. (Optional) Click the Move all button to debloat all the apps.Which Windows Terminal allows you to run in Windows 11? ›
Windows Terminal is now the default command line experience on Windows 11 22H2! This means that all command line applications will now automatically open in Windows Terminal.How do I get Windows 10 GUI for Windows 11? ›
In Settings, navigate to Personalization, then Taskbar, and open Taskbar behaviors. You'll see a field labeled Taskbar alignment with a drop-down menu. Change the drop-dox menu from Center to Left. The change takes place immediately.Does GNOME have a window manager? ›
The Metacity window manager is the default window manager for GNOME. It is a simple and efficient window manager which also supports custom themes. To run this window manager, you need to install the kdebase package. mwm.What is the fastest way to switch between windows? ›
- Press and hold the [Alt] key > Click the [Tab] key once. ...
- Keep the [Alt] key pressed down and press the [Tab] key or arrows to switch between open applications.
- Release the [Alt] key to open the selected application.
- Open the Start menu and then click the power button and - while holding Shift on your keyboard. Click Restart. ...
- You'll be given a series of boot options. Click Use a device, then choose the USB flash drive you have inserted and your PC will boot from it.
How do I turn on high performance mode in Windows 11? ›
Choose the power mode that works for you and what you want to do on your Windows 11 PC. This lets you determine what's important to you—getting the best battery life, best performance, or a balance between the two. To change the power mode, select Start > Settings > System > Power & battery.How do I optimize Windows 11 for performance? ›
- 1. Make sure you have the latest updates for Windows and device drivers. ...
- Restart your PC and open only the apps you need. ...
- Use ReadyBoost to help improve performance. ...
- 4. Make sure the system is managing the page file size. ...
- Check for low disk space and free up space.
- Go to the “Microsoft Windows 11 download page“ and choose to create an iso file. ...
- Insert a “USB device” into your computer. ...
- Launch “Rufus.”
- Under “Device,” find and select your “USB Drive.”
- Choose “Disk or ISO image” in the “Boot selection” section.
- Check if your system supports Secure Boot. Press Win Key + R. ...
- Check if your PC supports UEFI mode. Restart your PC and press the F2/F10/Del key to enter your BIOS. ...
- Enable UEFI Mode and Secure Boot. Enable UEFI Mode:
- Cmder. ...
- ZOC Terminal Emulator. ...
- ConEmu console emulator. ...
- Mintty console emulator for Cygwin. ...
- MobaXterm emulator for remote computing. ...
- Babun -a Cygwin Shell. ...
- PuTTY – Most popular terminal emulator. ...
Windows 11 includes support for Linux apps running with GPU access, making it a versatile tool for different types of users. Here's how to get Windows Subsystem for Linux running on your Windows 11 PC.Is Windows 11 faster than Windows 10? ›
Windows 11 is snappier than Windows 10, but the differences are small in real-world use. The various optimizations in Windows 11 help it to run faster on weaker laptops, but you're not giving up a ton of performance with Windows 10.How do I make Windows 11 look like XP? ›
The company's latest beta of WindowBlinds 11 allows you to make Windows 11 look and feel like Windows XP. WindowBlinds 11 allows for unique customization of the Windows Start menu, taskbar, window frames, control buttons, and more using desktop interface themes called skins, according to the company.How to make Windows 11 look like Windows 95? ›
RetroBar is freeware software that adds old-style taskbars to Windows 11. It includes nine Windows 95 and XP taskbar themes for users to choose from. Whatever one you choose will replace the standard taskbar in Windows 11. However, RetroBar doesn't change the Start menu in any way.