HOWTO: Using VirtualBox

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Installing Virtualbox

The installation of VirtualBox is straight forward, but you have to install the kernel modules before installing the binary: otherwise it's possible that another kernel will be installed

# sudo equo install virtualbox-modules#`uname -r`
# sudo equo install virtualbox-bin

After the installation load the necessary kernel modules:

# modprobe vboxdrv
# modprobe vboxnetadp
# modprobe vboxnetflt

Add the Linux user who wants to use Virtualbox to the group vboxusers

    # usermod -a -G vboxusers <user>

After this you must log out and log in, otherwise you'll get "Permission denied" error if you try to run "VirtualBox" command.

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Please note that, when starting VirtualBox in a terminal, the command is: VirtualBox (watch the Capitals), Without the Capitals, but just plain insert:"virtualbox", the command is not found......

Sometimes, for some reason after installation, the package isn't available, accessible, or missing in the Menus.

In this case, simply reinstall VirtualBox.

    # equo install virtualbox-bin

Now it should be available.....

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You do not need to install xf86-input-virtualbox and xf86-video-virtualbox. These are for installation in the guest OS, if it is Sabayon Linux, not in the host OS.

Autoload modules on boot

With systemd

On new installs systemd is default init system.

Create file with extension *.conf in directory /etc/modules-load.d/. In file write what modules should be loaded.

File:

 # sudo -e /etc/modules-load.d/virtualbox.conf

add to it:

 vboxdrv
 vboxnetadp
 vboxnetflt

With OpenRC

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Please note that OpenRC will be dropped in summer 2014.

To get virtualbox modules to load automatically:

 # nano -w /etc/conf.d/modules

add to it:

 modules="vboxdrv vboxnetflt vboxnetadp"

then save and exit, reboot.


Setup a Guest OS

Setting the Guest OS up, is a case of following the Wizard, which is very intuitive.

  1. Open VirtualBox
  2. Click on New
  3. Click on Next
  4. Add a name for your OS (Lets assume you are installing WinXP) so enter Windows XP
  5. Choose the OS Type from the drop down menu (Windows XP)
  6. Click Next
  7. Set your base memory size, (as a rule of thumb, never set this to more than half the host machines actual memory, otherwise the host grinds to a halt)
  8. Click Next
  9. This will take you to the hard disk allocation page, where on a new install you will need to click on New and launch another Wizard,
  10. Virtual Disk image type, set this to Dynamically expanding image
  11. Click Next
  12. Set the image name to WinXP and the Image size to something over 4Gb
  13. Click Next
  14. A Summary will display, click finish
  15. This will take you back to the Virtual Hard disk page, where you will be able to select the WinXP hard disk from the drop down menu
  16. Click Next
  17. Click on Finish
  18. This will take you back to the Main Virtualbox interface.

To Launch the New system click on it once, and click on start. and the Virtual system will start to load, however with no CD in the CD Rom the system will probably stop when it looks for an OS.

You can load the Guest OS either from the CD-ROM, or from an ISO image, which is setup via the Settings option, when the Virtual machine is powered down.

Guest Additions

Now if you are using Virtualbox to run Windows XP as the guest OS, it is worthwhile loading the Guest Additions

The Guest additions allow you to do some really funky stuff, like have the mouse pointer work across both guest and host applications: Better Video drivers, and Seamless integration.

In the “Devices” menu in the virtual machine’s menu bar, VirtualBox has a handy menu item named “Install guest additions”, which will automatically bring up the Additions in your VM window.

If you prefer to mount the additions manually, you can perform the following steps:

  1. Start the virtual machine where you have installed a Windows guest operating system.
  2. Select “Mount CD/DVD-ROM” from the “Devices” menu in the virtual machine’s menu bar and then “CD/DVD-ROM image”. This brings up the Virtual Disk Manager.
  3. In the Virtual Disk Manager, press the “Add” button and browse your host file system for the VBoxGuestAdditions.iso file:
    1. On a Linux host, you can find this file in the additions folder under where you installed VirtualBox (normally /opt/VirtualBox-1.5.0).
  4. Back in the Virtual Disk Manager, select that ISO file and press the “Select” button. This will mount the ISO file and present it to your Windows guest as a CD-ROM.

Once you have rebooted the Guest System, you can click on Machine -> Seamless mode and the apps you launch in the Guest OS, will behave no in a window, but actually on your desktop environment.