How to Install VirtualBox Guest Additions on Ubuntu 22.10

By | January 15, 2023

After you install Ubuntu inside VirtualBox its necessary to install guest additions in order to enable enhanced features like native screen resolution, seamless windows, shared clipboard, shared folders and few others.

Without it, you would probably have to work with a standard resolution like 1024x768 as the default virtual machine does not support every possible video resolution. These details have been explained on virtualbox website.

Install Guest Additions on Ubuntu 22.10

Installing guest additions inside ubuntu and many popular linux distros is actually quite easy and requires a few clicks and commands only. Make sure that Ubuntu is fully installed inside VirtualBox and that you can boot properly to the desktop. Once there, you can follow the next steps as shown below.

1. Update Ubuntu

As a first step its always better to upgrade all the packages on the system.

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

2. Install essential packages

Next you have to install important packages like linux headers and build files. These are needed in order to compile virtualbox guest additions for your particular linux system and ubuntu version.

On Linux guest additions are always compiled from source for proper compatibility.

sudo apt-get install build-essential module-assistant dkms linux-headers-generic

The above command will install linux headers for your current kernel which is needed to compile and build virtualbox source code. Some distros like Fedora have guest addition package pre-installed.

You do not have to compile or install guest additions on such distros. All features would be available and work fine out of the box, provided that the version of virtualbox is compatible with the guest additions in that distro. Its always best to install the virtualbox provided guest additions for maximum compatiblity.

3. Compile Guest Additions

On the Virtual Machine window click the menu option on the top:

Click Devices > Insert Guest Additions CD Image

Now open any file browser like Nautilus (Gnome) or Dolphin (KDE) and navigate to the mounted disk and note the full path. For instance on my system the path is: /media/silver/VBox_GAs_6.1.38/

Now open a terminal and switch to that folder:

cd /media/silver/VBox_GAs_6.1.38/

View the files with the ls -la command

[email protected]:/media/silver/VBox_GAs_6.1.38$ ls -la
total 49580
dr-xr-xr-x  5 silver silver     2570 Sep  1 19:53 .
drwxr-x---+ 3 root   root       4096 Jan  5 18:31 ..
-r--r--r--  1 silver silver      763 Feb 20  2020 AUTORUN.INF
-r-xr-xr-x  1 silver silver     6384 Sep  1 19:13 autorun.sh
dr-xr-xr-x  2 silver silver      968 Sep  1 19:53 cert
dr-xr-xr-x  2 silver silver     1824 Sep  1 19:53 NT3x
dr-xr-xr-x  2 silver silver     2652 Sep  1 19:53 OS2
-r-xr-xr-x  1 silver silver     4821 Sep  1 19:13 runasroot.sh
-r--r--r--  1 silver silver      592 Sep  1 19:53 TRANS.TBL
-r--r--r--  1 silver silver  4114801 Sep  1 19:16 VBoxDarwinAdditions.pkg
-r-xr-xr-x  1 silver silver     3949 Sep  1 19:12 VBoxDarwinAdditionsUninstall.tool
-r-xr-xr-x  1 silver silver  7566772 Sep  1 19:13 VBoxLinuxAdditions.run
-r--r--r--  1 silver silver  9559552 Sep  1 19:10 VBoxSolarisAdditions.pkg
-r-xr-xr-x  1 silver silver 18283432 Sep  1 19:53 VBoxWindowsAdditions-amd64.exe
-r-xr-xr-x  1 silver silver   272736 Sep  1 19:15 VBoxWindowsAdditions.exe
-r-xr-xr-x  1 silver silver 10940328 Sep  1 19:32 VBoxWindowsAdditions-x86.exe
-r--r--r--  1 silver silver      259 Oct  4  2021 windows11-bypass.reg
[email protected]:/media/silver/VBox_GAs_6.1.38$

There are lots of installation files for various systems like Windows, Solaris and Linux. The linux specific installer is VBoxLinuxAdditions.run.

Now start the compilation process by running the script with root privileges. You need to run it with root privileges because it shall install guest addition driver as kernel modules on the system.

[email protected]:/media/silver/VBox_GAs_6.1.38$ sudo ./VBoxLinuxAdditions.run
[sudo] password for silver:
Verifying archive integrity... All good.
Uncompressing VirtualBox 6.1.38 Guest Additions for Linux........
VirtualBox Guest Additions installer
Copying additional installer modules ...
Installing additional modules ...
VirtualBox Guest Additions: Starting.
VirtualBox Guest Additions: Building the VirtualBox Guest Additions kernel
modules.  This may take a while.
VirtualBox Guest Additions: To build modules for other installed kernels, run
VirtualBox Guest Additions:   /sbin/rcvboxadd quicksetup <version>
VirtualBox Guest Additions: or
VirtualBox Guest Additions:   /sbin/rcvboxadd quicksetup all
VirtualBox Guest Additions: Building the modules for kernel 5.19.0-26-generic.
update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-5.19.0-26-generic
VirtualBox Guest Additions: Running kernel modules will not be replaced until
the system is restarted
[email protected]:/media/silver/VBox_GAs_6.1.38$

Finally restart the guest OS.

Now you should be able to get native resolution easily.

Check

To make sure that the guest additions are installed, you can run the following commands. The lsmod command lists all modules and the modinfo command shows details about a given module.

[email protected]:~$ lsmod | grep -io vboxguest
vboxguest
[email protected]:~$ modinfo vboxguest
filename:       /lib/modules/5.19.0-26-generic/misc/vboxguest.ko
version:        6.1.38 r153438
license:        GPL
description:    Oracle VM VirtualBox Guest Additions for Linux Module
author:         Oracle Corporation
srcversion:     FA5DE49C7F2CB39107D8436
alias:          pci:v000080EEd0000CAFEsv00000000sd00000000bc*sc*i*
depends:
retpoline:      Y
name:           vboxguest
vermagic:       5.19.0-26-generic SMP preempt mod_unload modversions
[email protected]:~$

Enable things

Now you can enable shared clipboard and "Drag and Drop" functionality from the top menu.

1. Click Devices > Shared Clipboard > Bidirectional
2. Click Devices > Drag and Drop > Bidirectional

Conclusion

About Silver Moon

A Tech Enthusiast, Blogger, Linux Fan and a Software Developer. Writes about Computer hardware, Linux and Open Source software and coding in Python, Php and Javascript. He can be reached at [email protected].

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