Table of Contents
As installation of VirtualBox varies depending on your host operating system, we provide installation instructions in four separate chapters for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Solaris, respectively.
For the various versions of Windows that we support as host operating systems, please refer to Section 1.4, “Supported host operating systems”.
In addition, Windows Installer 1.1 or higher must be present on your system. This should be the case if you have all recent Windows updates installed.
The VirtualBox installation can be started
either by double-clicking on its executable file (contains both 32- and 64-bit architectures)
or by entering
on the command line. This will extract both installers into a temporary directory in which you'll then find the usual .MSI files. Then you can do a
msiexec /i VirtualBox-<version>-MultiArch_<x86|amd64>.msi
to perform the installation.
In either case, this will display the installation welcome dialog and allow you to choose where to install VirtualBox to and which components to install. In addition to the VirtualBox application, the following components are available:
This package contains special drivers for your Windows host that VirtualBox requires to fully support USB devices inside your virtual machines.
This package contains extra networking drivers for your Windows host that VirtualBox needs to support Bridged Networking (to make your VM's virtual network cards accessible from other machines on your physical network).
This package contains Python scripting support for the VirtualBox API (see Chapter 11, VirtualBox programming interfaces). For this to work, an already working Windows Python installation on the system is required.
Depending on your Windows configuration, you may see warnings about "unsigned drivers" or similar. Please select "Continue" on these warnings as otherwise VirtualBox might not function correctly after installation.
The installer will create a "VirtualBox" group in the Windows "Start" menu which allows you to launch the application and access its documentation.
With standard settings, VirtualBox will be installed for all users on the local system. In case this is not wanted, you have to invoke the installer by first extracting it by using
and then do as follows:
VirtualBox.exe -msiparams ALLUSERS=2
msiexec /i VirtualBox-<version>-MultiArch_<x86|amd64>.msi ALLUSERS=2
on the extracted .MSI files. This will install VirtualBox only for the current user.
If you do not want to install all features of VirtualBox, you can
set the optional
ADDLOCAL parameter to
explicitly name the features to be installed. The following features are
Main binaries of VirtualBox.
This feature must not be absent since it contains the minimum set of files to have working VirtualBox installation.
All networking support; includes the VBoxNetworkFlt and VBoxNetworkAdp features (see below).
Bridged networking support.
Host-only networking support.
For example, to only install USB support along with the main binaries, do a:
VirtualBox.exe -msiparams ADDLOCAL=VBoxApplication,VBoxUSB
msiexec /i VirtualBox-<version>-MultiArch_<x86|amd64>.msi ADDLOCAL=VBoxApplication,VBoxUSB
The user is able to choose between NDIS5 and NDIS6 host network filters drivers during
the installation. This is realized via a command line parameter
The NDIS6 driver is default for Windows Vista and later. For older Windows versions,
the installer will automatically select the NDIS5 driver and this cannot be changed.
For Windows Vista and later the user can force to install the (legacy) NDIS5 host
network filter driver using
example, to install the NDIS5 driver on Windows 7, do
VirtualBox.exe -msiparams NETWORKTYPE=NDIS5
msiexec /i VirtualBox-<version>-MultiArch_<x86|amd64>.msi NETWORKTYPE=NDIS5
As VirtualBox uses the standard Microsoft Windows installer, VirtualBox can be safely uninstalled at any time by choosing the program entry in the "Add/Remove Programs" applet in the Windows Control Panel.
For Mac OS X hosts, VirtualBox ships in a disk image
dmg) file. Perform the following
Double-click on that file to have its contents mounted.
A window will open telling you to double click on the
VirtualBox.mpkg installer file
displayed in that window.
This will start the installer, which will allow you to select where to install VirtualBox to.
After installation, you can find a VirtualBox icon in the "Applications" folder in the Finder.
To uninstall VirtualBox, open the disk image (dmg) file again and double-click on the uninstall icon contained therein.
To perform a non-interactive installation of VirtualBox you can use the command line version of the installer application.
Mount the disk image (dmg) file as described in the normal installation or use the following command line:
hdiutil attach /path/to/VirtualBox-xyz.dmg
Then open a terminal session and execute:
sudo installer -pkg /Volumes/VirtualBox/VirtualBox.pkg -target /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD
For the various versions of Linux that we support as host operating systems, please refer to Section 1.4, “Supported host operating systems”.
You will need to install the following packages on your Linux system before starting the installation (some systems will do this for you automatically when you install VirtualBox):
Qt 4.8.0 or higher;
SDL 1.2.7 or higher (this graphics library is typically called
libsdl or similar).
To be precise, these packages are only required if you want to
run the VirtualBox graphical user interfaces. In particular,
VirtualBox, the graphical VirtualBox
manager, requires both Qt and SDL;
VBoxSDL, our simplified GUI, requires
only SDL. By contrast, if you only want to run
VBoxHeadless, neither Qt nor SDL are
VirtualBox uses a special kernel module called
vboxdrv to perform physical memory
allocation and to gain control of the processor for guest system
execution. Without this kernel module, you can still use the VirtualBox
manager to configure virtual machines, but they will not start. In
addition, there are the network kernel modules
vboxnetadp which are required for the
more advanced networking features of VirtualBox.
The VirtualBox kernel module is automatically installed on your system when you install VirtualBox. To maintain it with future kernel updates, for those Linux distributions which provide it -- most current ones -- we recommend installing Dynamic Kernel Module Support (DKMS). This framework helps with building and upgrading kernel modules.
If DKMS is not already installed, execute one of the following:
On an Ubuntu system:
sudo apt-get install dkms
On a Fedora system:
yum install dkms
On a Mandriva or Mageia system:
If DKMS is available and installed, the VirtualBox kernel module should always work automatically, and it will be automatically rebuilt if your host kernel is updated.
Otherwise, there are only two situations in which you will need to worry about the kernel module:
The original installation fails. This probably means that your Linux system is not prepared for building external kernel modules.
Most Linux distributions can be set up simply by installing the right packages - normally, these will be the GNU compiler (GCC), GNU Make (make) and packages containing header files for your kernel - and making sure that all system updates are installed and that the system is running the most up-to-date kernel included in the distribution. The version numbers of the header file packages must be the same as that of the kernel you are using.
With Debian and Ubuntu releases, you must install the
right version of the
linux-headers and if it
package. Current Ubuntu releases should have the right
packages installed by default.
In even older Debian and Ubuntu releases, you must
install the right version of the
On Fedora and Redhat systems, the package is
On SUSE and openSUSE Linux, you must install the right
versions of the
If you have built your own kernel, you will need to make sure that you also installed all the required header and other files for building external modules to the right locations. The details of how to do this will depend on how you built your kernel, and if you are unsure you should consult the documentation which you followed to do so.
The kernel of your Linux host was updated and DKMS is not installed. In that case, the kernel module will need to be reinstalled by executing (as root):
VirtualBox is available in a number of package formats native to various common Linux distributions (see Section 1.4, “Supported host operating systems” for details). In addition, there is an alternative generic installer (.run) which should work on most Linux distributions.
First, download the appropriate package for your distribution.
The following examples assume that you are installing to a 32-bit
Ubuntu Raring system. Use
install the Debian package:
sudo dpkg -i virtualbox-5.0_5.0.6_Ubuntu_raring_i386.deb
You will be asked to accept the VirtualBox Personal Use and Evaluation License. Unless you answer "yes" here, the installation will be aborted.
The installer will also search for a VirtualBox kernel module
suitable for your kernel. The package includes pre-compiled modules
for the most common kernel configurations. If no suitable kernel
module is found, the installation script tries to build a module
itself. If the build process is not successful you will be shown a
warning and the package will be left unconfigured. Please have a look
/var/log/vbox-install.log to find
out why the compilation failed. You may have to install the
appropriate Linux kernel headers (see Section 2.3.2, “The VirtualBox kernel module”). After correcting any problems, do
sudo rcvboxdrv setup
This will start a second attempt to build the module.
If a suitable kernel module was found in the package or the module was successfully built, the installation script will attempt to load that module. If this fails, please see Section 12.8.1, “Linux kernel module refuses to load” for further information.
Once VirtualBox has been successfully installed and configured, you can start it by selecting "VirtualBox" in your start menu or from the command line (see Section 2.3.5, “Starting VirtualBox on Linux”).
The alternative installer performs the following steps:
It unpacks the application files to the target directory,
which cannot be changed.
It builds the VirtualBox kernel modules
vboxnetadp) and installs
/sbin/rcvboxdrv, an init
script to start the VirtualBox kernel module.
It creates a new system group called
It creates symbolic links in
/usr/bin to the a shell script
/opt/VirtualBox/VBox) which does
some sanity checks and dispatches to the actual executables,
a description file for udev, if that is present, which makes the
USB devices accessible to all users in the
It writes the installation directory to
The installer must be executed as root with either
uninstall as the first
sudo ./VirtualBox.run install
Or if you do not have the "sudo" command available, run the following as root instead:
After that you need to put every user which should be able to
access USB devices from VirtualBox guests in the group
vboxusers, either through the GUI
user management tools or by running the following command as
sudo usermod -a -G vboxusers username
usermod command of some
older Linux distributions does not support the
-a option (which adds the user to
the given group without affecting membership of other groups). In
this case, find out the current group memberships with the
groups command and add all these
groups in a comma-separated list to the command line after the
-G option, e.g. like this:
usermod -G group1,group2,vboxusers
If, for any reason, you cannot use the shell script installer described previously, you can also perform a manual installation. Invoke the installer like this:
./VirtualBox.run --keep --noexec
This will unpack all the files needed for installation in the
install under the current
directory. The VirtualBox application files are contained in
VirtualBox.tar.bz2 which you can
unpack to any directory on your system. For example:
sudo mkdir /opt/VirtualBox sudo tar jxf ./install/VirtualBox.tar.bz2 -C /opt/VirtualBox
or as root:
mkdir /opt/VirtualBox tar jxf ./install/VirtualBox.tar.bz2 -C /opt/VirtualBox
The sources for VirtualBox's kernel module are provided in the
src directory. To build the module,
change to the directory and issue
If everything builds correctly, issue the following command to install the module to the appropriate module directory:
sudo make install
In case you do not have sudo, switch the user account to root and perform
The VirtualBox kernel module needs a device node to operate. The
above make command will tell you how to create the device node,
depending on your Linux system. The procedure is slightly different
for a classical Linux setup with a
/dev directory, a system with the now
devfs and a modern Linux
On certain Linux distributions, you might experience difficulties building the module. You will have to analyze the error messages from the build system to diagnose the cause of the problems. In general, make sure that the correct Linux kernel sources are used for the build process.
Note that the
kernel module device node must be owned by root:root and must be
read/writable only for the user.
Next, you will have to install the system initialization script for the kernel module:
cp /opt/VirtualBox/vboxdrv.sh /sbin/rcvboxdrv
you installed VirtualBox to the
/opt/VirtualBox directory) and
activate the initialization script using the right method for your
distribution. You should create VirtualBox's configuration
mkdir /etc/vbox echo INSTALL_DIR=/opt/VirtualBox > /etc/vbox/vbox.cfg
and, for convenience, create the following symbolic links:
ln -sf /opt/VirtualBox/VBox.sh /usr/bin/VirtualBox ln -sf /opt/VirtualBox/VBox.sh /usr/bin/VBoxManage ln -sf /opt/VirtualBox/VBox.sh /usr/bin/VBoxHeadless ln -sf /opt/VirtualBox/VBox.sh /usr/bin/VBoxSDL
Before updating or uninstalling VirtualBox, you must terminate any virtual machines which are currently running and exit the VirtualBox or VBoxSVC applications. To update VirtualBox, simply run the installer of the updated version. To uninstall VirtualBox, invoke the installer like this:
sudo ./VirtualBox.run uninstall
or as root
. Starting with version 2.2.2, you can uninstall the .run package by invoking
To manually uninstall VirtualBox, simply undo the steps in the manual installation in reverse order.
The Debian packages will request some user feedback when
installed for the first time. The debconf system is used to perform
this task. To prevent any user interaction during installation,
default values can be defined. A file
vboxconf can contain the following
virtualbox virtualbox/module-compilation-allowed boolean true virtualbox virtualbox/delete-old-modules boolean true
The first line allows compilation of the vboxdrv kernel module if no module was found for the current kernel. The second line allows the package to delete any old vboxdrv kernel modules compiled by previous installations.
These default settings can be applied with
prior to the installation of the VirtualBox Debian package.
In addition there are some common configuration options that can be set prior to the installation, described in Section 188.8.131.52, “Automatic installation options”.
The .rpm format does not provide a configuration system comparable to the debconf system. See Section 184.108.40.206, “Automatic installation options” for how to set some common installation options provided by VirtualBox.
To configure the installation process of our .deb and .rpm
packages, you can create a response file named
automatic generation of the udev rule can be prevented by the
The creation of the group vboxusers can be prevented by
If the line
is specified, the
package installer will not try to build the
vboxdrv kernel module if no module
fitting the current kernel was found.
The Linux installers create the system user group
vboxusers during installation. Any
system user who is going to use USB devices from VirtualBox guests must
be a member of that group. A user can be made a member of the group
vboxusers through the GUI user/group
management or at the command line with
sudo usermod -a -G vboxusers username
The easiest way to start a VirtualBox program is by running the
program of your choice (
VBoxHeadless) from a terminal. These
are symbolic links to
start the required program for you.
The following detailed instructions should only be of interest if
you wish to execute VirtualBox without installing it first. You should
start by compiling the
module (see above) and inserting it into the Linux kernel. VirtualBox
consists of a service daemon (
and several application programs. The daemon is automatically started if
necessary. All VirtualBox applications will communicate with the daemon
through Unix local domain sockets. There can be multiple daemon
instances under different user accounts and applications can only
communicate with the daemon running under the user account as the
application. The local domain socket resides in a subdirectory of your
system's directory for temporary files called
.vbox-<username>-ipc. In case of
communication problems or server startup problems, you may try to remove
All VirtualBox applications
VBoxHeadless) require the VirtualBox
directory to be in the library path:
LD_LIBRARY_PATH=. ./VBoxManage showvminfo "Windows XP"
For the specific versions of Solaris that we support as host operating systems, please refer to Section 1.4, “Supported host operating systems”.
If you have a previously installed instance of VirtualBox on your Solaris host, please uninstall it first before installing a new instance. Refer to Section 2.4.4, “Uninstallation” for uninstall instructions.
VirtualBox is available as a standard Solaris package. Download
the VirtualBox SunOS package which includes the 64-bit
versions of VirtualBox. The installation must be performed as
root and from the global zone as the VirtualBox installer
loads kernel drivers which cannot be done from non-global zones. To
verify which zone you are currently in, execute the
zonename command. Execute the following
gunzip -cd VirtualBox-5.0.6-SunOS.tar.gz | tar xvf -
Starting with VirtualBox 3.1 the VirtualBox kernel package is no longer a separate package and has been integrated into the main package. Install the VirtualBox package using:
pkgadd -d VirtualBox-5.0.6-SunOS.pkg
If you are using Solaris Zones, to install VirtualBox only into
the current zone and not into any other zone, use
pkgadd -G. For more information refer
pkgadd manual; see also Section 2.4.6, “Configuring a zone for running VirtualBox”.
The installer will then prompt you to enter the package you wish to install. Choose "1" or "all" and proceed. Next the installer will ask you if you want to allow the postinstall script to be executed. Choose "y" and proceed as it is essential to execute this script which installs the VirtualBox kernel module. Following this confirmation the installer will install VirtualBox and execute the postinstall setup script.
Once the postinstall script has been executed your installation is
now complete. You may now safely delete the uncompressed package and
autoresponse files from your system.
VirtualBox would be installed in
Starting with VirtualBox 4.1, the installer creates the system
vboxuser during installation
for Solaris hosts that support the USB features required by VirtualBox.
Any system user who is going to use USB devices from VirtualBox guests
must be a member of this group. A user can be made a member of this
group through the GUI user/group management or at the command line by
executing as root:
usermod -G vboxuser username
Note that adding an active user to that group will require that user to log out and back in again. This should be done manually after successful installation of the package.
The easiest way to start a VirtualBox program is by running the
program of your choice (
VBoxHeadless) from a terminal. These
are symbolic links to
start the required program for you.
Alternatively, you can directly invoke the required programs from
/opt/VirtualBox. Using the links
provided is easier as you do not have to type the full path.
You can configure some elements of the
VirtualBox Qt GUI such as fonts and
colours by executing
Uninstallation of VirtualBox on Solaris requires root permissions. To perform the uninstallation, start a root terminal session and execute:
After confirmation, this will remove VirtualBox from your system.
If you are uninstalling VirtualBox version 3.0 or lower, you need to remove the VirtualBox kernel interface package, execute:
To perform a non-interactive installation of VirtualBox we have
provided a response file named
autoresponse that the installer will
use for responses to inputs rather than ask them from you.
Extract the tar.gz package as described in the normal installation. Then open a root terminal session and execute:
pkgadd -d VirtualBox-5.0.6-SunOS-x86 -n -a autoresponse SUNWvbox
To perform a non-interactive uninstallation, open a root terminal session and execute:
pkgrm -n -a /opt/VirtualBox/autoresponse SUNWvbox
Assuming that VirtualBox has already been installed into your zone, you need to give the zone access to VirtualBox's device node. This is done by performing the following steps. Start a root terminal and execute:
zonecfg -z vboxzone
Replace "vboxzone" with the name of the zone in which you intend to run VirtualBox.
zonecfg prompt add the
device resource and
match properties to the zone. Here's
how it can be done:
zonecfg:vboxzone>add device zonecfg:vboxzone:device>set match=/dev/vboxdrv zonecfg:vboxzone:device>end zonecfg:vboxzone>add device zonecfg:vboxzone:device>set match=/dev/vboxdrvu zonecfg:vboxzone:device>end zonecfg:vboxzone>exit
If you are running VirtualBox 2.2.0 or above on Solaris 11 or
above, you may add a device for
too, similar to what was shown above. This does not apply to Solaris 10
hosts due to lack of USB support.
Next reboot the zone using
and you should be able to run VirtualBox from within the configured zone.
 See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_Kernel_Module_Support for an introduction.