Image of the glider from the Game of Life by John Conway
Skip to content

VirtualBox OSE on Debian/Ubuntu Linux

Lately, I've been getting quite interested in virtual machines. Namely, Linux/UNIX on Linux. When I got my new T61 laptop, even before, I have been looking forward to virtualizing Linux operating systems. Gentoo, Fedora, OpenSUSE, etc. So, first thing first, find a good virtual machine to run these guests.

I had already known about VirtualBox, so I thought I'd give that a try. To my surprise, VirtualBox OSE was already in the Debian Sid repositories, and it's in Ubuntu Gutsy, so I did an aptitude install, and had it down the pipe and installed on my system in no time flat.

I fired it up. Unfortunately, to my surprise, VirtualBox was complaining that the modules for the kernel were not installed, and that I would not be able to start a virtual guest until they were installed. Bummed, I began searching Google for how to get these modules installed. Again, to my surprise, it was easier than expected. If you're running VirtualBox OSE, and have run into the same issue, which you probably will, here's what you can do on a Debian/Ubuntu system to get VirtualBox and the modules in place:

sudo aptitude install virtualbox-ose virtualbox-ose-source module-assistant
sudo m-a prepare
sudo m-a a-i virtualbox-ose
sudo adduser [user] vboxusers

Now, you should be able to install and run virtual guests with ease. Currently, I hawe Fedora Core 6 installed (for RHEL 5 instruction and learning) and Gentoo (although I'm currently faced with a kernel panic). Future guests will most likely include Open|FreeBSD, OpenSUSE, Ubuntu and OpenSolaris. I can run them simultaneously, although that might be a bit of a resource hog, or one at a time.

The only hiccups that I currently face with this setup, is getting bridged networking functional. I should be able to ping the guest from the host, and ping the host from the guest. Currently, I can only do the latter and not the former. Also, I have installed the guest additions, but I seem to not be able to run a guest at higher than 1024x768. Seeing as though I have 1680x1050, it would be nice to utilize full screen, but it's not working for me, even with Host+G. I'm sure I'll figure it out.

{ 12 } Comments