How to install Virtualbox 2.1.0 in Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex)/8.04 (Hardy Heron)

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Install Virtualbox 2.1.0 in Ubuntu 8.10/8.04

If you want to know what are the changes in virtualbox 2.1.0 check here

First you need to edit the /etc/apt/sources.list file

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list


Open System->Administration->Software Sources and select the Third Party Software tab.

add the following line

For Intrepid Users

deb intrepid non-free

For hardy Users

deb hardy non-free

Save and exit the file

Now add the public key using the following command

wget -q -O- | sudo apt-key add --

Update the sourcelist using the following command

sudo apt-get update

First you need to install dkms using the following command

sudo apt-get install dkms

Install virualbox2.1 using the following command

sudo apt-get install virtualbox-2.1

Note:- Users might want to install the dkms(Dynamic Kernel Module Support) package to ensure that the VirtualBox host kernel module (vboxdrv) is properly updated if the linux kernel version changes during the next apt-get upgrade.

To start VirtualBox, go to Applications—>System Tools—>Sun xVM VirtualBox.If you don’t see this just logout and login back.

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31 Responses

  1. x33a says:

    if you have installed previous version of virtualbox, you are first required to uninstall it.

    and instead of logging out you could try killall gnome-panel. this restarts the panel.

  2. Randy says:

    Just a question. When Installing ubuntu as a Guest OS. Is there a way to increase the Screen Resolution above 800×600 without actually editing xorg.conf?

  3. Von says:

    i already have version 2.0.6 installed on Intrepid and i want a way 2 upgrade 2 version 2.1.0 witout losing my already installed OS

  4. x33a says:

    you’ll have to uninstall the previous version. use synaptic or dpkg. your previous OS won’t be deleted and it is compatible with the new version.

  5. Von says:

    Thanx X33a and more thanx 2 admin, i didn’t need 2 uninstall d previous version myself cuz by just following d above instructions and it got overwritten and updated,one more thing though 4 d readers,u can backup ur settings just b4 running version 2.1.

  6. Nice guide, thanks! Vbox is so much more stable than emulation apps like Wine.

  7. David says:

    You can also use full words and complete sentences.

  8. shubuntu says:

    Nice step-by-step tutorial. Thanks.

  9. Eddy says:

    With the help of this informative guide I have been able to install VirtualBox 2.1 on my Linux Mint 6

    Working through the install routine on Mint & have CD set to image > VBoxGuestAdditions.iso

    Clicked on Start > error “FATAL: Could not read from the boot medium! System halted”

    Any suggestions?

    Do I have to install the Guest OS first?


  10. admin says:


    Go to system>administration>usersandgroups>manage groups>vboxusers
    and set a mark at all

    now log off and log in. after this the process has to work!

  11. Mike says:


    The problem is the VM is trying to boot from the CD first. Either edit the boot order in Settings under General or press F12 to select 1 for the Primary hard drive. The VBoxGuestadditions.iso has install scripts to install the needed pieces for full resolution and additional drivers under the Guest OS.

  12. nick says:

    When I enter:
    sudo apt-get update
    I get:
    W: Failed to fetch Unable to find expected entry non-free/source/Sources in Meta-index file (malformed Release file?)

    E: Some index files failed to download, they have been ignored, or old ones used instead.

    Any Ideas on how to correct this?

  13. Dale Kaup says:

    WINE Is Not an Emulator W I N E repeat WINE I Not an Emulator

  14. Nick says:

    I did end up figuring it out. I just needed to install all the lpia header packages.

  15. Stobor says:

    If you want to use the opensource version of VirtualBox rather than the “personal use or evaluation only” version, you will need to build from source. Fortunately, there is a package customised for Ubuntu, so it’s pretty much just a matter of downloading the source package and pointing dpkg at it.

    I’ve listed the steps which worked for me at for anyone else who’s interested.

  16. Ubuntu beginner says:

    What are the lpia header packages and how do I install them?

  17. Nick says:

    lpia packages are for Low Power Intel Architectures, like some laptops and most netbooks. You might just need to install your generic headers (if its part of your problem).

    Step 1) From the System drop down menu go to Administration, then Synaptic Package Manager

    Step 2) Click on Search and enter linux-headers

    Step 3) You should then see a list of all the linux header packages. If you don’t you’ll just have to cycle down through all the packages and find them. Select all the generic headers, which are linux-headers-#.#.##-##.

    For example – linux-headers-2.6.24-16

    If you find that you are running a low power architecture and you’ll need the head packages with lpia at the end of the package name.

    Example – linux-headers-2.6.24-16-lpia or lpiaco

    Step 4 – Click Apply to install and then try to reinstall Virtual Box.

    Also be sure to set Virtual Box in your Users and Groups

  18. Nick says:

    Oh. I also ended up just going to the Virtual Box site and downloading the install from there. But you can try the tutorial from this forum and see if that works as well.

  19. Claude says:

    Very promising tutorial. I have Ubuntu 8.10 installed (from download ~1 month ago, and searching for virtual box in the synaptic package manager for Virtual Box, I find ~ 30 files with 4 of them marked with Ubuntu icon, but none installed. Should I assume that these files represent an earlier version of Virtual Box? If per chance they are Virtual Box 2.10, should files be checked to install, or just the ones blessed by Ubuntu?
    Thanks in advance.

  20. Jonathan says:

    I am also trying to update from 2.06 to 2.10/2.12 without having to reinstall the Win XP guest. Could someone be more explicit about what steps I need to take? Thanks.

  21. Ubuntu beginner says:

    Thank you so much!! I just download the install from Virtual Box site instead of using the synaptic or the tutorial here. It works!

  22. Jack says:

    Just upgraded 1.6 to 2.1 (2.1.2-41855_Ubuntu_hardy) with these instructions. My specs are:

    $ cat /etc/lsb-release
    DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Ubuntu 8.04.2"
    $ uname -a
    Linux __ 2.6.24-23-generic #1 SMP Mon Jan 26 01:04:16 UTC 2009 x86_64 GNU/Linux

    VirtualBox started once, upgraded my guest files, and now won’t start.

    $ VirtualBox
    Qt FATAL: Cannot mix incompatible Qt libraries

    One suggested solution (mv ~/.config/Trolltech.conf ~/.config/Trolltech.conf_broken) does not affect the problem.

    Looks as though there are both libqt3 and libqt4 packages on my system. The qt4 things have only VirtualBox-2.1 as dependencies. libqt3-mt for me has many (kdbg, kdevelop, khexedit, ktorrent, …). Since these are more important than the new features of VirtualBox, guess what stays.

    To get the virtualbox-1.6 app functioning again, assuming you have added the package repository as mentioned above, I had to remove three packages:
    libqt4-gui AND libqt4-core (I think. whatever came down with the vb2.1 package)
    and just reinstall:

    It turns out that the upgrade to 2.1 backs up your machine .xml files. I restored my “upgraded” disks to the 1.6 compatable versions by copying the .bak to the .xml. For example:

    $ cd ~/.VirtualBox
    $ mv VirtualBox.xml VirtualBox.xml_for2.1
    $ cp VirtualBox.xml.1.3-linux.bak VirtualBox.xml
    $ cd ~/.VirtualBox/Machines/ExpDevXP
    $ mv ExpDevXP.xml ExpDevXP.xml_for2.1
    $ cp ExpDevXP.xml.1.3-linux.bak ExpDevXP.xml

    of course, your Machines// directory will depend on you names.

    Hope this saves someone the time it took me to get through this..

  23. I believe that there is a important step missing.

    sudo apt-get install linux-headers-(uname -r)

    where uname -r returns the appropriate version information.

    root@krylon:~# uname -r
    root@krylon:~# sudo apt-get install linux-headers-2.6.27-7-server

    This will save the step of having to go back and recompile the the vbox kernel module after it throws an error.

  24. sandeep jakhar says:

    working fine !!!!!!!!!

  25. mattoid says:

    ok. i’ve followed every step for the intrepid install, tried out all the suggestions from the comments but vbox still throws up a kernal error every time i try to start a virtual machine
    the error

    VirtualBox can’t operate in VMX root mode. Please disable the KVM kernel extension, recompile your kernel and reboot (VERR_VMX_IN_VMX_ROOT_MODE).

    Result Code:
    NS_ERROR_FAILURE (0x80004005)
    IConsole {e3c6d4a1-a935-47ca-b16d-f9e9c496e53e}

  26. jayanramesh kombai says:

    Followed your instructions-everything went flawlessly-GREAT IT WORKS.
    Thank you.

  27. Dale Kaup says:

    Virtualbox just blows me away. Seriously a person could have a tiny OS like Damn Small Linux just to run virtualbox and run your main OS as a guest.

  28. stam says:


    sudo su
    [give your password]
    rmmod kvm-intel (use kvm-amd instead of kvm-intel if you have a amd processor)
    rmmod kvm

    And then run again Virtualbox!

    Hope it works!

  29. Dale Kaup says:

    Virtualbox is getting better and better. I just wish it’d run XP on my 512mb Dell Ubuntu 9.10 computer at work.

  30. Dale Kaup says:

    Can’t wait to scope out this new version. As far as I’m concerned the OSE version works perfectly but still I know the update will be great.


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