VirtualBox Guest Additions, similar to Virtual Machine Additions for Virtual PC (VPC), is an application that installs into guest operating system running in virtual machine (VM) of VirtualBox to add and enable extra features that allow better and seamless integration between guest OS and host OS, in addition to improve performance.

Some of the features made available by VirtualBox Guest Additions include:

  • Mouse pointer integration without having to press Host key (by default is right Ctrl).
  • Clipboard sharing to allow cut, copy and paste between host OS and guest OS.
  • Arbitrary screen solutions which automatically resize guest operating system desktop resolution by resizing the VirtualBox guest window.
  • Custom video drivers provide extra high and non-standard video modes as well as accelerated video performance.
  • Time synchronization between guest OS and host machine.
  • Shared folders where folder in directories in host available in guest operating system as network share.
  • Seamless windows to map individual windows that are displayed on the desktop of the virtual machine on the host’s desktop, side by side.
  • Automated Windows logon.

With the powerful features provided by Guest Additions, the installation of the Guest Additions right after the operating system is installed on the guest virtual machine is almost a must-do. Unlike in Windows, installation of VirtualBox Guest Additions in Linux is slightly more complicated. Here’s the steps to install Guest Additions in Linux for VirtualBox, which works for most flavors of Linux, including Ubuntu, Fedora, Red Hat, Debian, OpenSUSE, Arch Linux, Gentoo, Mandriva, TurboLinux, and Xandros.

  1. Start up the Linux guest virtual machine.
  2. In the Linux guest Virtualbox window, click on Devices pull down menu, and choose Install Guest Additions.

    Install VirtualBox Guest Additions

    The CD ISO image for VirtualBox Guest Additions will be mounted at /media/cdrom, and CD icon will be displayed on desktop, in the case of some Linux such as Ubuntu.

  3. Inside the Linux operating system, launch Terminal or command-line window. For example, in Ubuntu, go to Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal.

    Open Ubuntu Terminal Command-Line Window

  4. Change directory to the CD/DVD-ROM drive when VirtualBox Guest Additions image is loaded and mounted:

    cd /media/cdrom

    Note: In some Linux flavors, the path may be different.

  5. For 32-bit (x86) guest OS, run the following command to install Virtual Box Guest Additions:

    sudo ./VBoxLinuxAdditions-x86.run

    For 64-bit (x64) guest OS, run the following command:

    sudo ./VBoxLinuxAdditions-amd64.run

    Install Guest Additions in Linux VM

    Enter the administrator’s password when prompted.

  6. After installation completed, restart the guest machine. In Ubuntu 9.10, just click on the user name on top right corner, and select Restart. Prior to Ubuntu 9.04, go to System to reboot the virtual machine.

    Reboot Guest OS

  7. Once the virtual machine boots up again, VirtualBox Guest Additions is installed, and user can enjoy the benefits, most visibly is mouse pointer integration.

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  • Sidnei Marçal

    Hello partner, td bem?
    Your tip worked like a charm.
    I had tried working with Virtual Box but when he saw a small window without being able to leave it in full screen, I was discouraged. This tip has revived my spirits.
    Thanks. Success and keep sending us tips

    Hug.

    Sydney Marçal
    Itapecerica da Serra / SP.

  • Patrick

    I had hopes this would work, but I still get a "failed" status with the message "(Your system does not seem to be set up to build kernel modules. Look at /var/log/vboxadd-install.log to find out what went wrong)

    Still working through this issue.

    Patrick

  • J.s Divey

    Tell me what is this nonsense:

    Navigate to the directory CD / DVD-ROM drive when VirtualBox Guest Additions
    images downloaded and installed:

    What more tries ischobrazhenie and what he's uploads an image what else. GENERAL
    MEGA Brad!

    and here:
    Note: In some tastes Linux, the path may be different.

    What other fuckin tastes. European Championship for bullshit.

  • Arkapravo

    Works great ! …. nice tutorial !

  • Can anyone post the instructions to setup the script to auto load the folder? I'm new to linux and couldn't find any info on it. I'm obviously not good at coding.

  • Thanks for this. One small detail not included that tripped me up (momentarily) is that the .run file may not have the right permissions set to be executed, so before the sudo command, I had to do a chmod +x .

    Hope that helps someone, and thanks again for the write-up.

    Cheers

    Matt

  • myself

    heh…

    on ubuntu you just have to browse the cd and double clic on VBoxLinuxAdditions-x86.run

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