How to install VirtualBox Guest Additions for Linux

Last updated on December 2, 2020 by Dan Nanni

VirtualBox Guest Additions are a set of device drivers and system applications which are designed to be installed in the guest operating systems of VirtualBox. Guest Additions are available as an ISO image for Windows, Linux, Solaris or OS/2. The Guest Additions offer a number of features including:

In this tutorial, I will describe how to install VirtualBox Guest Additions for Linux.

I assume that you already have a Linux guest virtual machine (VM) up and running on VirtualBox. The rest of the steps below should be done inside the Linux guest VM.

First, check out the version of your VirtualBox, and download the ISO image of matching Guest Additions from http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox. For example, assuming that VirtualBox is 4.2.16, download Guest Additions for version 4.2.16.

Install Dependencies for VirtualBox Guest Additions

$ wget http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/4.2.16/VBoxGuestAdditions_4.2.16.iso

Next, install necessary packages:

On Ubuntu, Mint or Debian:

$ sudo apt-get install dkms gcc

On Fedora:

$ sudo yum install dkms gcc

On CentOS or RHEL:

$ sudo yum install kernel-devel gcc

Install VirtualBox Guest Additions

Now, mount the ISO file for Guest Additions:

$ sudo mount -o loop VBoxGuestAdditions_4.2.16.iso /mnt
$ cd /mnt

Run the following executable in the mount point. This is the Guest Additions installer.

$ sudo ./VBoxLinuxAdditions.run

After the executable is completed, reboot the guest operating system to activate the updates.

To verify that Guest Additions are installed successfully, run the following. You should see several kernel modules loaded in the kernel.

$ lsmod | grep vbox
vboxvideo              12611  0
drm                   286313  1 vboxvideo
vboxsf                 39557  0
vboxguest             235614  2 vboxsf

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