Package:VirtualBox

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VirtualBox

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VirtualBox is a free and open source virtualization 'hypervisor' for x86-based machines. VirtualBox can be installed and run on GNU/Linux and other Operating Systems.

The virtual machines provided by VirtualBox can be used to run a number of guest Operating Systems such as GNU/Linux, Windows, and others.

VirtualBox is available for Funtoo Linux on the arch profiles x86-32bit, x86-64bit and pure-64.

VirtualBox Homepage: https://www.virtualbox.org

Glossary of Terms

TermExplanation
Host OS An install of Funtoo Linux on physical hardware. VirtualBox will be installed to and run from here.
Guest OSThe Operating System that is run within a Virtual Machine provided by VirtualBox. The Guest OS could be Funtoo Linux, another GNU/Linux distribution, Windows, etc.
Guest AdditionsGuest Additions is a collection of applications, libraries and kernel modules/drivers that are installed in your Guest OS. These provide support for graphics, networking, and other features such as file transfer and Guest access to real physical devices such as a USB flash drive.

Host OS Installation

VirtualBox can be installed onto your Host OS - Funtoo Linux - using one of two packages: app-emulation/virtualbox or app-emulation/virtualbox-bin. The latter "-bin" package is a binary (precompiled) copy of VirtualBox. Installing this may be preferable on machines with low computing power.

For a typical install, run

root # emerge --ask app-emulation/virtualbox

Assign VirtualBox Users

Normal non-root users will not be able to use VirtualBox immediately after it has been installed. The Users that are to use VirtualBox must first become a member of the group vboxusers. For example, a user alice is added to vboxusers

root # gpasswd -a ''alice'' vboxusers

If currently logged in the User added to vboxusers must first log out before the changes will have an effect.

Load VirtualBox Kernel Modules

VirtualBox requires one or more Linux kernel modules to be loaded on the Host OS (Funtoo Linux) in order to function. As of VirtualBox version 5 these are provided by the package app-emulation/virtualbox-drivers which is installed automatically (as a dependency) when you install app-emulation/virtualbox.

As root load these modules in a terminal

root # modprobe vboxdrv
root # modprobe vboxnetadp
root # modprobe vboxnetflt

Each time the Host machine (Funtoo Linux) is rebooted the modules will be unloaded. The modules can be loaded automatically during system startup via OpenRC (sys-app/openrc). To achieve this, edit the file /etc/conf.d/modules to contain the following line

   /etc/conf.d/modules
modules="vboxdrv vboxnetadp vboxnetflt"

Starting VirtualBox

VirtualBox can be started from a terminal.

user $ virtualbox

In a Desktop Environment, VirtualBox may also be run from a menu entry. Look for the names "VirtualBox" or "Oracle xVM VirtualBox" under menu categories "System" and/or "Emulator".

Funtoo Linux (Host OS) kernel updates

The VirtualBox kernel modules are compiled for the kernel present on the Host, Funtoo Linux. Each time that the Host kernel is updated or changed, the VirtualBox kernel modules must also be rebuilt.

As is typical for most kernel changes or updates, please run

root # emerge --ask @module-rebuild

before running VirtualBox under the new kernel.

If you wish to check that the VirtualBox kernel drivers will be rebuilt in this way, please examine the file /var/lib/module-rebuild/moduledb. For example, using the command grep

user $ grep virtualbox /var/lib/module-rebuild/moduledb
a:1:app-emulation/virtualbox-modules-5.0.20



Guest OS Installation

   Warning

This section is currently under redevelopment.

Guest Additions

Make sure that user running X session belongs to vboxguest group. Create group when it does not exist. Add user to the group. That will enable :

  • Shared clipboard;
  • Display resizing;
  • Seamless mode;
  • Drag & Drop.
root # groupadd vboxguest
root # gpasswd -a ''user'' vboxguest

Windows Guests

   Important

This is new information.

VirtualBox versions less than 5.0

You must enable additions USE flag when you intend to install Windows as a guest O/S. That will also install the ISO image containing all necessary Windows guest drivers.

VirtualBox versions 5.0 and above

As of version 5.0 the USE flag additions has been removed from the package app-emulation/virtualbox. The guest additions ISO required for a Windows guest is now provided in a separate package, app-emulation/virtualbox-additions. Install this to access the guest additions ISO: /usr/share/virtualbox/VBoxGuestAdditions.iso.

Linux Guests

If you want to run Funtoo GNU/Linux as a guest O/S, emerge app-emulation/virtualbox-guest-additions in the Funtoo GNU/Linux guest O/S. For other GNU/Linux, please refer to VirtualBox documentation.

Tips and Tricks

Providing USB2, USB3, VRDP and/or PXE Boot ROM to Guest OS

   Important

This section is in need of updates.

Accept PUEL licence

emerge app-emulation/virtualbox-extpack-oracle

Troubleshooting

EFI case

latest releases of virtualbox have a volatile NVRAM and this makes an EFI guest boot troublesome. To workaround this following steps required:

  • remove any CD images (like systemrescuecd) from the VM settings
  • start the VM
  • wait for the countdown or press Esc immediately to reach the EFI shell
  • type edit startup.nsh to open the full-screen editor
  • enter "fs0:\EFI\Funtoo Linux [GRUB]\grubx64.efi" (including the double quotes, since the path contains spaces)
  • press CTRL-s (maybe twice) to save and confirm saving by pressing Enter
  • quit editor by pressing CTRL-q
  • type reset to reboot the machine (or kill the VM and boot it using the GUI)
  • wait for the countdown or press Enter to immediately run the startup.nsh script

EFI guests now should properly boot. reference reports: https://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/14279 and https://bugs.funtoo.org/browse/FL-2640