Looking at the OCR GCSE Computing A452 Practical Investigation tasks for this year (2015) I was not particularly excited by theLMC and App Inventor options. I also had concerns over using the Raspberry Pi. We don’t have any at my current school so there would have been the expense and they also take some time to set up every time they are required. At first I considered setting up a remote virtual machine that the students could log into via SSH. We also considered purchasing a number of USB/External drives and allowing the students to use them to boot into a flavor of Linux. However, after some consideration we decided upon using Virtual Box Virtual Machines running a guest Linux installation. This is how we configured the virtual machines.
This was easy. We just downloaded the appropriate installer from the downloads page and installed it.
The first time you run the virtual machine the guest OS setup wizard will run. This wizard only runs once so its best to be prepared. I experimented with a few flavors of Linux before settling on the mini.iso for Lubuntu/Ubuntu. You can download it from the Minimum Install page Downloading section. So you might want to download 14.10 Utopic Unicorn 32 bit mini.iso. Health warning: Check the Ubuntu releases page so you know you are not going to run out of time prematurely and need to upgrade.
When the VM reboots it will reboot back to the install screen because we didn’t remove the install media.
At this point the new guest system should be ready for students to proceed with their A453 investigation.