Home > Software Installation > Installing VirtualBox Guest Additions on Ubuntu Server 10.04

Installing VirtualBox Guest Additions on Ubuntu Server 10.04

Because Linux servers do not normally run with a Window Manager like KDE or GNOME, the only benefit of installing guest additions on a VirtualBox VM is so that you can share drives/ folders with the host.

A common misconception is that you can resize the window and being able to copy and paste between host and guest OS. However, you can’t do any of these as you are not running a window manager!

To install Guest Additions, do the following:

Sudo apt-get install dkms

sudo apt-get install build-essential

Reboot the server by entering the command

sudo reboot

Login in to the server.

Go to the Virtualbox Devices entry on the menu bar of the guest OS and select Install Guest Additions… , this will load the Guest Additions ISO CD image.

Change directory to media

cd /media

Create a directory called cdrom, this will become our mount point

sudo mkdir cdrom

Mount the Guest Additions ISO to the mount point

sudo mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom

Now change to the cdrom directory

cd /media/cdrom

Display the directory contents i.e. the ISO image


Depending on whether you are running a 32bit or 64bit OS, run the relevant installer. In this case 32bit so enter

sudo ./VBoxLinuxAdditions-x86.run


You will get an error saying “Could not find X.org or Xfree.86 on the guest system”. This is because we are running the server edition and have not got an window manager e.g. KDE or GNOME installed!

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  1. Jussi
    June 23, 2010 at 14:00

    Enjoyable blog you have here. One of those well mannered and behaved which serve proper, well formatted information in a benevolent manner.

    I also found http://www.tolaris.com/ to belong to the same cast. Good information.

    Keep up the good job and greetings from Finland!.

    t. jussi

  2. Kieron Robertson
    August 19, 2010 at 09:31

    Thank you so much – succinct, concise and works!

    • August 19, 2010 at 20:31

      You are very welcome, it’s the least I can do to try to contribute back to the open source community.

  3. Ninnell
    September 8, 2010 at 23:24


    Thanks for the tip! I’d just add this one though:

    sudo apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r`

    Looks like it needs the headers to build the GA…


  4. Bryan Ross
    November 22, 2010 at 01:16

    Thank you for instructions. It worked perfectly.

  5. August 20, 2011 at 05:04

    Just for the record, I just installed the guest additions in the Ubuntu server 11.04 x86 and there is not VBoxLinuxAdditions-x86.run, just VBoxLinuxAdditions.run. Anyway it seems to be the x86 version.

    And also you have to install the kernel headers as Ninnell pointed out

  6. September 7, 2011 at 21:46

    thank you very much… this post really helped me…

  7. Eric Suen
    September 15, 2011 at 19:28

    When I do “sudo mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom” I get the following error: “mount: /dev/sr0: unknown device”. Has anyone encountered this before?

    • Cam
      October 16, 2011 at 00:47

      I got same error but if you run “sudo mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom” twice and then it was mounted for me and it all worked

    • malkster
      May 16, 2013 at 19:06

      try writing /dev/cdrom1

  8. Girish
    October 16, 2011 at 03:58

    thank you very much….this article saved me a lot of time

  9. December 8, 2011 at 02:55

    Very useful. Guest additions help with sound too in case you need it.

  10. Anirudh T.
  11. Kyle
    January 30, 2012 at 01:02

    Thank you so much – I was beginning to forehead slap…

  12. toto
    July 20, 2012 at 18:57

    worked like a charm ! thanks :)

  13. Lukas H.
    November 30, 2012 at 14:57

    I know this is kind of late, but I got the same problem as Eric: “When I do “sudo mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom” I get the following error: “mount: /dev/sr0: unknown device”.”

    Running the command twice did not help. Can anyone help?

  14. Lukas H.
    November 30, 2012 at 14:59

    Lukas H. :
    I know this is kind of late, but I got the same problem as Eric: “When I do “sudo mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom” I get the following error: “mount: /dev/sr0: unknown device”.”
    Running the command twice did not help. Can anyone help?

    Got a mistake in it: my error actually is mount: “special device /dev/cdrom does not exist”

  15. ladquin
    January 15, 2013 at 14:24

    It worked like a charm in Ubuntu 12 as well, great post. Thanks a lot!

  16. July 1, 2013 at 17:55

    yes, you should update the title of this blog post, as this worked perfectly on Ubuntu 12.04 server x64!! (and maybe enumerate the steps)

    just a note: when selecting the Install Guest Additions option, I saw an alert asking if I wanted to force the unmounting. I may be the original ubuntu_server.iso but is worth mentioning this.

    Great tutorial!!

  1. May 29, 2011 at 15:04
  2. November 13, 2011 at 22:30
  3. June 15, 2012 at 11:49
  4. November 28, 2012 at 14:53
  5. November 30, 2012 at 14:52

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