There are many Virtualization solutions that run on Linux and of course Linux Mint. Oracle Virtualbox is a virtualization software available for Linux, Solaris, Windows and Mac, . It is available from the Linux Mint Julia Repositories and can be installed directly via Software Manager. However, if you install the open source version i.e. virtualbox-ose package, you will not be able to connect your USB devices and share folders between Guest and Host machines. File sharing can be set up in other ways, but if you wish to use one of your USB devices which has no Linux drivers, you may need to install Windows inside Virtualbox and connect your devices so that you can install drivers inside. In that case, you will need to install closed source edition of Virtualbox i.e. virtualbox-nonfree.
I am using Debian Squeeze Testing and I wanted to allow myself to shutdown without entering root password. To do so, I just executed the following as root: