[SOLVED] VirtualBox installation on Mint Debian

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mike77
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[SOLVED] VirtualBox installation on Mint Debian

Post by mike77 » Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:33 pm

For several days, I've been reading up on installing virtualbox on Mint LMDE, and still can't work out which is the better procedure - install via Synaptic or from the Oracle website.

I am running Mint Debian 1 (Host: pc Kernel: 3.11-2-amd64 x86_64 (64 bit) Desktop: Cinnamon 2.0.14 Distro: LinuxMint 1 debian).

The virtualbox version offered by Synaptic - 4.2.16 - is older than the one I've downloaded for possible use from Oracle ( virtualbox-4.3_4.3.20-96996~Debian~wheezy_amd64.deb).

These are the things which bug me, never before having installed/used virtualbox:

Synaptic also tells me the following are pre-installed:

virtualbox-guest-dkms 4.2.16-dfsg-3 (my question here: Would I additionally have to install "virtualbox-dkms" Synaptic offers, I'm not sure what the difference is between dkms and guest-dkms?)
virtualbox-guest-x11
virtualbox-guest-utils 4.2.16-dfsg-3+b1

If I were to install the newer version from the deb file, would that cause any conflicts? Then, I read I should also install the Extension Pack. Since staring this query, I have found the version matching the 4.2.16 versions offered by Synaptic (also guestadditions) here:

http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/4.2.16/

If I install from Synaptic, I could use those, I suppose?

Thank you for your patience. I'd rather not do anything I might live to regret. Any advice will be much appreciated:-)
Last edited by mike77 on Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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kyphi
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Re: VirtualBox installation on Mint Debian

Post by kyphi » Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:14 pm

The reason for the older version of VirtualBox in the repositories is that it has been tried and found to work. That does not mean that you cannot use a more up-to-date version from Oracle directly.
Since attempting to install VirtualBox via the Software Manager shows options which are likely to confuse, I have always made it a practice to download the software from the maker. I must add that does not always work out for the best and I have had to remove a later version in order to replace it with an earlier version that works better.
Should you find yourself in that position, use synaptic to remove (do not use the option of total removal if you already have an operating system installed in VirtualBox).

So, download and install the appropriate version of VirtualBox from Oracle. After installation you will be prompted to install the version-corresponding Extension Pack or you can download that as well.

After installing an operating system. the only other package that you will have to deal with is included in the version download called Guest Additions. To install it, activate one of your DVD drives (if you have more than one) to set it as default and press Host + d (Host is usually the right Ctrl key).

Should there be any missing files, the installer will let you know.
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mike77
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Re: VirtualBox installation on Mint Debian

Post by mike77 » Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:37 pm

Thanks for that reply kyphi! I feel encouraged to try the version I downloaded from Oracle. It's also interesting to learn that guest Additions (apart from the Extension Pack) is already included in that version, so no need for additional downloads.

My main worry, being new to this subject, has been that I might end up with something unworkable, with tons of dependencies having to be sorted out. If it's as simple as removing the version which causes problems (should that happen), I could then still go with the one in Synaptic.

Thanks again, I might give this a try then tomorrow :-)

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Re: VirtualBox installation on Mint Debian

Post by kyphi » Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:44 pm

The first step into the unknown is the hardest step.

When you install the version of VirtualBox that you have already downloaded, it will be in .deb format. If you want to remove it, activate the downloaded .deb file again and it will tell you that "same version is already installed" and also offer you a removal option.
Once you install anything on your system it will show up in synaptic and you can also remove it from there.

Of course, the .deb installer will also advise you that another version is available in a software channel - that would be the one in the Software Manager. Synaptic keeps everything together so that there will be no free-floating dependencies of consequence.
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Re: VirtualBox installation on Mint Debian

Post by mike77 » Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:22 am

Indeed, the first step sometimes has me sitting in front of a task like a rabbit staring at an approaching serpent. But I've learned that trying to understand what I am doing before I do it isn't a bad thing, more so when it concerns I computer which I rely on for my daily work :-)

I didn't know that activating an installed deb file will offer an option to remove it - I like that. I had only been familiar with the removal options via synaptic and apt-get remove.

I'll try to install VB later today and hope to be able to report success! Thanks again for taking the time to help!

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Re: VirtualBox installation on Mint Debian

Post by mike77 » Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:24 pm

Installation of virtualbox and extension pack was successful. I managed to install a guest OS without any problems. So that's good - I used the deb file from Oracle, no issues as far as I can tell. It seems my concern was unfounded.

There are a few problems, however, which I can't seem to sort out. I am unable to share folders between host and guest. In VB Settings I point to a folder on the host, the folder does not show up in the guest file manager. I am not sure how to proceed. This is not such a big thing since I intend to use VB mainly to test different OS, it's just a little puzzling. Additional Features in VB tells me: Unrestricted execution disabled, I have no idea what it means but could be responsible. I shall dig into this some more.

Even so, the installation as such worked fine, and I can install guest OS without any trouble, so for my main purposes I am set to go :-)

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Re: [SOLVED, SORT OF] VirtualBox installation on Mint Debian

Post by kyphi » Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:40 pm

Unrestricted execution disabled
Where did you see that?

Setting up a shared folder.
Which guest? If Windows 7, then do this:

In Linux Mint
Create a folder in your home directory and name it vboxshared.
Next open a terminal and type

Code: Select all

VBoxManage sharedfolder add Win7 --name vboxshared --hostpath /home/mike77/vboxshared
Then in Windows 7 go to "Search programs and files" (bottom of main menu), type run (followed by Enter), type cmd (followed by Enter) then type

Code: Select all

net use x: \\vboxsvr\vboxshared
Done. You can of course use a name other than vboxshared as long as it is consistently used in the above commands.
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Re: [SOLVED, SORT OF] VirtualBox installation on Mint Debian

Post by mike77 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:25 am

In the VB main menu bar, there is an "Additional features status" icon. This says:
VT-X/AMD-V: Enabled
Nested Paging: Enabled
Unrestricted Execution: Disabled
Execution Cap: 100%

It seems I have not installed guest additions after all (the guest is Linux Mint 17 KDE which, by the way, can be customized to death but tells me I cannot use screen edge hotspots because they need Open GL, and when I set it to Open GL, makes the WM crash). Trying to install Guest additions, I am told:

Unable to insert the virtual optical disk
/usr/share/virtualbox/VBoxGuestAdditions.iso
Would you like to try to force insertion of this disk?

Then I tried to install Guest Additions from root and got:

You appear to have a version of the VBoxGuestAdditions software on your system which was installed from a different source or using a different type of installer. If you installed it from a package from your Linux distribution or if it is a default part of the system then we strongly recommend that you cancel this installation and remove it properly before installing this version. If this is simply and older or a damaged installation you may safely proceed.

Does this refer to the guest system or the host, and should I remove (via Synaptic) the guest addition stuff from the guest or the host? Or should I ignore the warning and proceed?

The solution you recommend poses a challenge (well practically all command line stuff poses challenges)

In the line:
VBoxManage sharedfolder add Win7 --name vboxshared --hostpath /home/mike77/vboxshared

what would I put instead of win7 when the guest is mint 17 KDE?

I know this is a lot of details but I want to give as much info as possible. I am not very good at this technical stuff, I could probably write a short story about it but other than that, it has a habit of downgrading me to imbecile level :-)

UPDATE: Installed Mint 17 MATE as a guest and found I was able to install GuestAdditions. Compiz works fine, except no window decorations despite all the correct compiz settings. This, from what I have read, seems to be a virtualbox problem. Anyway, this guest allows me to install the GuestAddition which is a) nice and b) confusing...

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Re: [SOLVED, SORT OF] VirtualBox installation on Mint Debian

Post by kyphi » Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:57 pm

Thank you for the explanation regarding "Additional features". I am using VBox version 4.3.14 and have updates of VBox disabled since the latest version resulted in some graphics disturbances - hence the "Unrestricted execution" option is not available to me. It must be a recent addition.

If you have previously installed VBox from a source other than Oracle then you may very well have an old version of the Guest Additions. While you can remove it via synaptic I am unable to advise how to differentiate between the older version and the new - except for checking the version number in synaptic. The simplest way would be to un-install the entry relating to the Guest Additions in synaptic and then re-install the downloaded VirtualBox.deb file. That should get the installation up to date.

The line VBoxManage sharedfolder add Win7 can be changed to reflect the name of the operating system to be installed e.g. KDE. Please note that if you want to call it 17 KDE then you must flank the name with quotation marks so it presents as "17 KDE". The reason is that the space is to be included in the name.

I think that you are doing very well :)
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Re: [SOLVED, SORT OF] VirtualBox installation on Mint Debian

Post by mike77 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:37 am

Well my Mint Debian edition (the host) has some VB stuff - virtualbox guest dkms, utils, and x11 - installed by default, all older versions than the virtualbox version I am using (4.3). Am I right in assuming that the procedure you suggest is to uninstall those in the host OS, and install in the host OS the deb file I got from Oracle?

I'll follow your advice on how to create a shared folder. For a few days, I won't have time to do any of that (work can no longer be put off I'm afraid), and as soon as I can I shall return to this task and report what progress, if any, I may have made.

Meanwhile, thank you again for taking the trouble of guiding me through this and offering explanations I can understand :-)

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Re: [SOLVED, SORT OF] VirtualBox installation on Mint Debian

Post by kyphi » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:43 am

virtualbox-guest-dkms
virtualbox-guest-utils
virtualbox-guest-x11
are all part of your Linux Mint installation and are NOT to be deleted.

The file of virtualbox that you downloaded from Oracle will contain the guest additions that you need. To install the guest additions you first have to select an optical drive (click on it and it will show with a tick) - then install the guest additions.
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Re: [SOLVED, SORT OF] VirtualBox installation on Mint Debian

Post by mike77 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:24 pm

Thank you for the warning, I won't touch the VB stuff on my host, I promise :-)

I have actually managed to install the guest additions on all the guests. (In the case of Ubuntu, I am not sure that's a good thing - before installing the guest additions, it showed up in a ridiculously small square, now it's full screen but I find the more you see of Unity, the uglier it gets. Actually, it is not quite as dysfunctional as I remember it from 2012, but it's still not exactly work flow friendly.)

Anyway, the last thing I still haven't fully worked out yet is this folder sharing stuff, when I try to mount a shared folder I keep getting error messages saying "no such device" or "no such file". Perhaps trying to do it at 2 AM in a state of near coma isn't helping. But as soon as I have time again I shall solve that problem as well.

Meanwhile, as the topic has been installing VB, I think I should now mark this as "Solved" without the "SORT OF" in front. Thanks again for all your help, kyphi!

----

UPDATE (the morning after): I now managed to set up shared folder. It's always best to do these things while reasonably awake!

It's nice to learn that the path from "Oh I'll NEVER be able to sort this out" to "Well that wasn't so difficult, was it" can be less stony than one might think :-)

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Re: [SOLVED] VirtualBox installation on Mint Debian

Post by kyphi » Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:03 pm

I am pleased to read of your success.

There is an excellent User Manual available as pdf from the Oracle website. Like all manuals, it sometimes takes a bit of time to find the answer to a puzzle especially if urged along by impatience.

You have done very well, mike77. Good Luck.
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Re: [SOLVED] VirtualBox installation on Mint Debian

Post by mike77 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:16 am

I've downloaded the manual, I agree, it takes a little time to find what one is looking for, but it's very detailed and useful. And as for impatience, I am beginning to understand that it isn't really all that helpful. I'm striving hard to learn the more measured "there-is-a-solution-so-I-shall-find-it" approach :-)

Thanks again for your help and your kind words, kyphi :-)

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Re: [SOLVED, SORT OF] VirtualBox installation on Mint Debian

Post by krow7 » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:05 am

kyphi wrote:virtualbox-guest-dkms
virtualbox-guest-utils
virtualbox-guest-x11
are all part of your Linux Mint installation and are NOT to be deleted.
Kyphi, can you please clarify why these packages should not be removed? Specially if the OS is not running in a VM.
Thanks in advance!

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Re: [SOLVED] VirtualBox installation on Mint Debian

Post by kyphi » Tue Jul 14, 2015 7:43 pm

Please note that his thread was finished and marked "Solved" six months ago.

In answer to your question, the files listed are an inherent part of your Linux Mint installation and are there to provide system-specific instructions for configuring the installation requirements of VirtualBox if the user decides to install VirtualBox in the future. What effects their removal might have I have no wish to test. Best to leave them where they are.
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Re: [SOLVED] VirtualBox installation on Mint Debian

Post by krow7 » Thu Nov 26, 2015 11:53 am

kyphi wrote:Please note that his thread was finished and marked "Solved" six months ago.

In answer to your question, the files listed are an inherent part of your Linux Mint installation and are there to provide system-specific instructions for configuring the installation requirements of VirtualBox if the user decides to install VirtualBox in the future. What effects their removal might have I have no wish to test. Best to leave them where they are.
Hey Kyphi! Thanks for answering to my question. I wanted to clarify for anyone reading this thread.
These packages (virtualbox-guest-dkms, virtualbox-guest-utils, virtualbox-guest-x11) are in fact not needed to run VirtualBox. They are needed only if you are running Linux Mint as a guest OS on VirtualBox and not on actual hardware. This has been tested by me and other people - http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.p ... 0#p1096395

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