This page has been live for a long time. Sun Microsystems bought Innotek the authors of Virtual Box, an opensource virtualisation product in 2008. It permits Windows/Linux/Solaris guests on the same operating system. I probably started this page slightly later, my first oracle blog on it was dated May 2008. It mainly describes any guest installation tricks.

I have not been systematic in how I document my virtual box projects, some are on this page, some have their own articles, they should all be tagged;

The shared folder manager script has been uploaded to git, see, just in time to be replaced by launchd although there is a problem with systemd and vboxshares, or there was last time I checked, which seems to have been fixed.

Builds | Problems | Shared Folders

Open Solaris

An article in the Register made me think there might be some interest in this; but it isn’t easy partly because I have forgotten a lot about Solaris. The Guest Additions use pkgadd and pkgrm ( documentation +1 | my script | VBox Forums thread ). The binaries are old and there is a problem with X integration, someone recommended using an older version of the guest additions, i.e. 6.1.8, but this too fails, so I am trying 6,1,10, there was no dot nine. Oracle have the old VB builds online, and the 6.1.10 directory tree is also available.

Raspbian Desktop

We need an intel version of Raspbian, to be found here. How to install instructions, the guest additions are available as a package allegedly. My first version seems to have a strange panel which doesn’t display to the screen properly; it needs some work, so much that I made a second VM which I did not find nor install the vbox guest additions. I use RDP to connect to the VM. See also install raspbian desktop on a VB virtual machine from roboticsbackend. The VM needs ssh turned on via raspi-config, the default is off.

Ubuntu 22

And now Ubuntu 22, check what I say elsewhere o this blog. I have amended my mount shares script, to meet my current standards; see my git repo. I came across the panic on boot feature, this thread at the Virtual Box forums helped me out; #CPUs := 2, and another on video ram >= 64Mb. to resolve the freeze on screenlock feature. I needed to install build-essential and dkms using apt. The installation is invoked by; it did not autorun for me and so I invoked it via the file manager and menu option run as program.

Elementary 6.0

And this sort of nonsense is why I gave up on it; it needs System:Enable EFI = true to be set otherwise the screen display is too small to run the graphic installer; there is a warning that the OS may freeze or hang on virtual hardware. It also doesn’t display the vm managament menu, on some of the views. So I needed to reset the Host button.

Elive 3

I decided to make a guest of Elive 3.0.6. This is currently much slower than I want. The install suggested I needed 15Gb, although after asking forthe uninstall of Libre Office and WINE, it fitted into 4GB. TCL/TK may now be missing, but easy enough to fix.

The screen is not behaving, and when I tried to install the guest additions, it reported that they were already installed.

MacOS (Snow Leopard)

I have found my Snow Leopard disk, let’s see what happens with this. I made another page for this.

Windows 10 (Guest)

Sometimes, to act as an applications host; this might once have been useful , as might this from MS Community Answers and this might be the ISO source.

Windows 98

Yes, really! I want to see if I can rescue Superproject. This video,“Windows 98 Second Edition – Installation in Virtualbox” is a good start point. Since VB post dates W98, the Guest Additons are a bit crap, and so my researches take me to this page on the ubuntu forums, which points at Sci-Tech Display Doctor version 7 beta, the .iso is here, and instructions are here. Auto capture is not in place, except for the keyboard. In May 2020, when tranferring the image to my 2nd Laptop (W10), I found this video on the subject. I also found this article which includes a section on networking, one has to install the hardware driver. When I am ready, how to change the wall paper.

Elementary (Loki)

This can install via AppCenter or apt-get,

$ sudo apt-get install -y virtualbox

Fedora 24 & Vbox 5.0.26

yum has been replaced by dnf, (yum update) && (yum install kernel-devel) which will invoke the dnf commands and then make the guest additions. The update took a bit of time. It would seem that one has to use systemd to execute the mount commands as System V init files no longer works.



I have some naming problems on my VB host. Openfire insists that its name for the conference server is part of the login string and I don’t propagate the names of virtual machines around my home network. My work round is to hardcode the server name in the connection string on the client side.

Mongodb & Shared Folders

Mongodb, cannot unfortunately be mounted on an incoming shared folder, nor (more obviously) on a mounted NFS disk, less sure about SMB.  See here… on google groups/vagrant

Extending or resize(ing) Hard Disks

I found this, by Derek Molloy very useful. You extend the disk using vboxmanage, and extend the partitions using gpartd.

Using Shared Folders

Share Disk

I have had a method for several years; it was based on the documentation for Linux Guests, see Help with Shared Folders VB 3.0.6 at Using the -o flag allows mounting as a non root user. Each host will have a folder, that will be mounted on /host. This requires a script in /usr/local/bin, invoked by rc.local.

mount -t vboxsf -o uid=1000,gid=1000 ${sharename} ${mountname}

In Sept 2011, I had another look at this and re-wrote the mountshares script to use the -o flag. I have also written an installer. It is LSB compliant and tested for syntax and function on Ubuntu 11, also how-to-mount-a-virtualbox-shared-folder-at-startup from askubuntu talks of fstab dated 2013

To mount the cdrom if you are using a server edition,

mount -t iso9660 -o ro /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom
 Shared Folders

I have written some scripts to mount shared folders on Ubuntu and uploaded them there, and on the Virtual Box Forums in this thread. , thi is now held in my vbooxtools repo on github. Your user[s] need to be members of the vboxsf group, the repo now has a script that does this.



17 Replies

  1. I needed to use Linux and rebooted my trusty Natty Narwahl aka U13. Whole bunch of problems due to it being out of support. So I downloaded the latest and greatest Vbox 4.2.16, and then Ubuntu 13. Oracle have obviously spent some money and time. It installs a treat, and so does Ubuntu 13. 64 bit now refers to the platform and is no longer code for the CPU architecture/vendor. Vbox fetches its extensions and guest additions now self installs at the touch of a button.

    Now to identify the packages I have installed such as Samba, and install my personal scripts from NN.

    And to delete all my redundant Ubuntu and Centos images.

  2. I moved some out of date comments to here.

    Ubuntu 9, First tried on the Mac, see Networking above, I used synaptic to install smbfs.

    Ubuntu 8, The screen resizing now seems pretty solid. All my U8 images do a full screen resize.

    Ubuntu 7, This has a full screen mode and a vnc client launcher. I don’t use this anymore.

  3. About Ubuntu 11 Server, I installed it at home, and it couldn’t find the dhcp server, (interesting, is this the cause of all the Vista shite!), so installed with static network addressing. When I got to work I changed it, with help from the Ubuntu Networking page.

    I checked that the samba service was running it was. Rebooted the Server, up it comes and I have server VM advertising itself on the network.

    I installed dkms, build-essential and linux-headers-generic using apt-get. The Guest Additions then compiled the windows install failed, this is to be expected.

  4. Some inconclusive comments about VRDP. Virtual Box now has this as functionality to support remote desktop. I tried to get this working with a MS Windows XP Home host and a Win 7 Client. There seems to be a configuration issue with the host. I have not yet got this working with external i.e. host authentication, nor from the ipod touch. I asked for help at the forums in a thread called Help with connecting using VRDP. I shall return to this one day soon.

  5. On Ubuntu 16 & Vbox 5.0.26

    I did this with a Window 10 host. Easy peasy. Until I wanted Samba. This might be tricky, bridged networking seems harder than before on W10; can we actually build servers on a w10 host? I was advised to use NAT for the internet connection and “host only” to allow the guest servers to be connected using the host. 2 August 2015

    I can’t find a complete problem statement, but stackexchange have a page here, and google is quite effusive.

  6. I have just amended the page to point at Derek Molloy’s advice on growing a disk.

    This didn’t work on an Ubuntu image as the rebooted VM couldn’t see the extra space. (Ubuntu 16 for Docker). I made a new VM using the old disk and this seems to be not what I expect. The disk i.e. file system is larger but some data is missing (U16 4 Docker).

  7. I removed some out of date comments about OpenSUSE, I orginally said, the downloaded disk (11.3) is well behind the repos, since you need to download some additional packages its important that the kernel, source and headers are in sync. The VBox How To states that you need dkms, binutils, gcc, make, patch, libgomp, glibc-headers, glibc-devel, kernel-headers, kernel-devel OR kernel-pae-devel. OpenSUSE uses zipper not yum.

    I waited a while and then issued a zypper refresh command. I then started to issue the compile statements, but was still getting failures. I ran the zypper install for the string above and dkms and libgomp fail. They can’t find anything suitable. I am running this on a W7 64 bit host and this asked for kernel-devel not the pae version. I don’t know if the kernel libraries had been updated before I issued the refresh. Any way the shared folders compiled. This comment was originally written in Sept 2011.

  8. I removed a comment about Centos 5.3 and the screen driver, and a comment about networking on Vbox V3.x on XP. Don’t think anyone will find them useful any more. I also removed a bit about the HP Probook 5320m, its advertised 64 bitness, and the need to play/configure the BIOS to get Vbox working.

  9. I moved my notes on using the FAT file system if using Windows Hosts. The short version is “Don’t”.

    In my early experimentation with Virtual Box, I installed an Ubuntu 8.04 image on an XP FAT Filesystem. On my Dell, I came across an instance where the update manager claims to have run out of disk space. This is almost certainly because I have mounted the VDI on a FAT32 file system. I have created a volume of max size 32 Gb volume. This will probably fail when virtual box attempts to exceed the 32 bit word size limit. Changing the filesystem to NTFS made this problem go away. I used the Microsoft utility to do this. See …Convert FAT disks… at Microsoft’s site, and External Disk on the Dell here. Originally posted on 18 Sep 2009.

  10. I originally said this about Ubuntu 14 & Vbox 4.3.15.

    Even better, Ubuntu now have a package for the guest additions.

    $ apt-cache show virtualbox-guest* | egrep ^Package

    installed on Windows 8, I installed the guest addition using apt-get, I am using mountshares, see below, and used update-rc.d to install it.

  11. I originally said this about Ubuntu 14 & Vbox 4.3.26, even better, they’ve fixed the virtual guest compilation script

    Make the VM manifest, set the ubuntu .iso as the boot disk, – Install the live cd on the .vdi, restart, you can set the shared folder parameters now, which in my case includes making a folder called local in the VM folder, restart

    $ sudo apt-get update ; sudo apt-get upgrade;

    You don’t need to get the kernel header source any more.

    Tidy up the launcher panel, insert a terminal and libre office, delete the libre office tools, lock the software update program to the panel, wish they still had drawers

    mount the vbox installation CD, browse using the file browser and you will be prompted to make the vbox drivers, do so.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.