Running Kubuntu 10.04 in Virtualbox as a guest OS

Before you Start!

First of all I don’t use the Virtualbox version supplied with the Ubuntu distribution, as this version is the open source version and does not support USB devices. Instead I download it from the Virtualbox website

When you create your virtual computer, do not set Display Settings in Virtualbox to used 3D video Acceleration until after you have installed Virtualbox additions, otherwise when you boot Kubuntu it will hang.

Furthermore, when you do set-up 3D Acceleration, make sure you have at least 24Mb of Video Memory (I use 64Mb), otherwise the Kubuntu splash screen will suffer video corruption.

Installing VirtualBox Guest Additions

Vitrtualbox Guest Additons provides improve performance and make integration much more seamless. Among the features provided by these Guest Additions are mouse pointer integration and arbitrary screen solutions (e.g. by resizing the guest window). There are also guest additions for OS/2 with somewhat reduced functionality.

Under Ubuntu 10.04 it does not install correctly, producing an error message “your system does not seem to be set up to build kernel modules”. The most noticeable problems are:

  • You do not get seamless integration between host and guest
  • Copy and paste between guest and host does not work.

However, some features do work like setting the correct screen resolution!

The fix is to install as follows:

1. From Terminal enter the following commands:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get upgrade

to make sure your guest Ubuntu OS is fully up to date.

2. Now install additional packages:

sudo apt-get install dkms

sudo apt-get install build-essential

Reboot the guest.

3. Once the guest OS has rebooted, 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. Mount the image in Kubuntu and then open Terminal and enter the following commands:

cd /media/VBOXADDITIONS_3.1.8_61349/

sudo ./

The Virtualbox guest additions will now install correctly.

Reboot the guest OS and you will now have a fully integrated Virtualbox guest OS.

One Additional Note:

You may notice that your Kubuntu guest is running relatively slowly (also noticeable on a “bare-metal” install), this is because the Nepomuk desktop Search feature is enabled by default. I’ve yet to understand why someone thought this was a good idea!

Anyway it can be easily disabled by clicking on the icon in System Settings and selecting disable. Instructions can be found at for those in need more complete instructions.

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5 thoughts on “Running Kubuntu 10.04 in Virtualbox as a guest OS

    1. This is correct nothing will appear to happen, this is because you need to mound the ISO. In the Kubuntu system tray (windows term, sorry!) click on the icon showing a monitor with a CD stuck in the top of it! You should have listed the virtual box guest additions ISO, click on it and select Dolphin to mount it. Browse the ISO to confirm it is mounted. Close Dolphin and then continue with the instructions.

  1. Thanks. This was bugging the hell out of me, I could only get 800×600 on my 1920×1080 monitor. Really great article. Took me a while to mount the guest additions though because disk manager ran off the screen so I had to learn to do it on the command 🙂

  2. Thanks for the quick writeup. One note though for other beginners is if your are running a 64bit version make sure you change that last command from -x86 to -amd64! It took me a sec to realize that was my problem and once changed all was well and good again.

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