If you want to fully integrate Ubuntu guest machines with the host machine using VirtualBox technology, you must install VirtualBox Guest Additions inside the Ubuntu guest OS. The Guest Additions are to be installed inside the guest operating systems (Ubuntu, Windows, etc.) and consist of device drivers, system applications that enhance the guest operating system for better performance and stability.
This brief tutorial is going to show you how to install the Guest Additions in Ubuntu when Ubuntu is a guest machine. My current setup has VirtualBox virtualization software installed on a Windows 7 PC, which is my host machine. The host machine is the machine that you install VirtualBox software on. Then you use the VirtualBox software to install guest machines.
So, here’s the scenario in which this blog post applies – You installed VirtualBox software on a host machine which may be either Windows 7 / 8 or other Linux operating systems, including Ubuntu. After installing the software, you then installed a guest machine using VirtualBox software, in this case Ubuntu.
Now in order for Ubuntu guest machine to fully integrate with the host machine, you must install Guest Additions.
Some of the benefits of Guest Additions are:
- Better video support
- Share folders
- Seamless windows, generic host/guest communication channels
- time synchronization / automatic logins and share clipboard
To get started, turn on the Ubuntu guest machine and login. Next install all updates by running the commands below.
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
After updating your system which you may have to restart, click ‘Devices –> Install Guest Additions’ from VirtualBox guest tool bar to install Guest Additions.
When prompted, with the screen below, click ‘Run’ to begin the installation.
If everything goes well, all you’ll have to do is restart your computer. If not, find out what happened and fix it, then run the installer again.
The next thing you may want to do is install VirtualBox extension pack. The pack includes support for USB 2.0 devices, VirtualBox RDP and PXE boot for Intel cards. To install it, go to VirtualBox download page and select the latest version for all supported platform.
After downloading, go to the guest machine tool bar and click on ‘File –> Preferences’
Then scroll down to Extensions, then click the bottom on the right as shown below to browse for and install the pack you downloaded.