Installing VirtualBox on Linux

3 min read

Time for action – downloading and Installing VirtualBox on Linux

Ok, for this exercise you’ll need a copy of Ubuntu Linux already installed on your PC. I chose Ubuntu because it’s one of the friendliest Linux distributi ons available, as you will see in a moment.

  1. Before installing VirtualBox, you’ll need to install two additional packages on your Ubuntu system. Open a terminal window (Applications | Accessories | Terminal), and type sudo apt-get update, followed by Enter. If Ubuntu asks for your administrative password, type it, and hit Enter to continue.
  2. Once the package list is updated, type sudo apt-get install dkms, and hit Enter; then type Y and hit Enter to install the DKMS package.
  3. The other package needed before you can install VirtualBox is build-essential. This package contains all the compiling tools VirtualBox needs to build the kernel module. Type sudo apt-get install build-essential, and hit Enter. Then type Y, and hit Enter again to conti nue. Wait for the $ prompt to show up again, type exit, and hit Enter to close the terminal window. Now you can proceed to install VirtualBox.
  4. Open the Synaptic Package Manager (System | Administration | Synaptic Package Manager), and select the Settings | Repositories option in the menu bar (if Ubuntu asks for your administrative password, type it, and press Enter to continue) :
  5. VirtualBox 3.1: Beginner's Guide

  6. The Software Sources dialog will appear. Click on the Other (on earlier Ubuntu versions the name of this tab is Third-Party Software)and then on the Add+ button:
  7. VirtualBox 3.1: Beginner's Guide

  8. Another dialog box will show up. Now type deb karmic non-free on the APT line field, and click on the Add Source button:
  9. VirtualBox 3.1: Beginner's Guide

    If you’re not using Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, then you’ll need to change the APT line in the previous step. For example, if you’re using Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope, replace the karmic part with jaunty. On the webpage, you’ll find more information about installing VirtualBox on several Linux distributions and the APT line required for each Ubuntu distribution available.

  10. The third-party software source for VirtualBox will now show up on the list:
  11. VirtualBox 3.1: Beginner's Guide

  12. Now open a terminal window (Applications | Accessories | Terminal), and type wget -q to download the Sun public key:
  13. VirtualBox 3.1: Beginner's Guide
  14. Go back to the Synaptic Manager, select the Authentication tab, and click on the Import Key File button:
  15. VirtualBox 3.1: Beginner's Guide

  16. The Import Key dialog will appear next. Select the sun_vbox.asc file you just downloaded, and click on the OK button to continue:
  17. VirtualBox 3.1: Beginner's Guide

  18. The Sun public key for VirtualBox should now appear on the list:
  19. VirtualBox 3.1: Beginner's Guide

  20. You can now delete the Sun public key file you downloaded earlier. Click on the Close button to return to the Synaptic Package Manager. If the Repositories Changed dialog shows up, select the Never show this message again checkbox, and click on Close to continue.
  21. Now click on the Synaptic Package Manager’s Reload button to update your package sources with the most recent VirtualBox version:
  22. VirtualBox 3.1: Beginner's Guide

  23. Once the Synaptic Package Manager finishes updating the package sources list, click on the Origin button located at the lower-left part of the window and select the repository from the window above this button:
  24. VirtualBox 3.1: Beginner's Guide

  25. Click on the most recent virtualbox-3.X package checkbox in the right window, and select the Mark for Installation option:
  26. VirtualBox 3.1: Beginner's Guide

    When upgrading to a newer VirtualBox version, you must first completely remove the older version. Then you’ll be able to install the newest version without any hassles.

  27. The Mark additional required changes? dialog box will appear next. Click on the Mark button to mark all the additional packages required to install VirtualBox:
  28. VirtualBox 3.1: Beginner's Guide

  29. Now click on the Apply button in the Synaptic Package Manager:
  30. VirtualBox 3.1: Beginner's Guide

  31. The Apply the following changes? dialog box will appear next. Make sure the Download package files only option is deselected, and click on the Apply button to start installing the required packages, along with VirtualBox:
  32. VirtualBox 3.1: Beginner's Guide

  33. The Synaptic Package Manager will start downloading the required packages and, when finished, it will install them along with VirtualBox.


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