Create virtual Machines Using Virtualbox in Debian

VirtualBox is a general-purpose full virtualizer for x86 hardware. Targeted at server, desktop and embedded use, it is now the only professional-quality virtualization solution that is also Open Source Software.

Install Virtualbox in Debian Etch

If you want to install Virtualbox in Debian Etch you need to download the latest .deb package from here.

Preparing Your system

First you need to install the following packages

apt-get install libqt3-mt libxalan110 libxerces27


Once you download the package you have VirtualBox_1.3.2_Debian_Etch_x86.deb file

Install.deb file using the following command

dpkg -i VirtualBox_1.3.2_Debian_Etch_x86.deb

At the time of installation if you have any dependency problems like the following errors

Selecting previously deselected package virtualbox.
(Reading database … 174459 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking virtualbox (from VirtualBox_1.3.2_Debian_Etch_x86.deb) …
dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of virtualbox:
virtualbox depends on libqt3-mt (>= 3:3.3.7); however:
Package libqt3-mt is not installed.
virtualbox depends on libxalan110; however:
Package libxalan110 is not installed.
virtualbox depends on libxerces27; however:
Package libxerces27 is not installed.
dpkg: error processing virtualbox (–install):
dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
Errors were encountered while processing:

If you see the above error message you can use the following command to install all the required dependencies

sudo apt-get -f install

This will complete the installation

Starting the VirtualBox Graphical User Interface

If you want to start Virtualbox GUI use the following command from your terminal(Applications—>Accessories—>Termianl)


Once it opens you should see the following screen

VirtualBox Version Details

Creating a Virtual machine

If you want to create a Virtual machine you need to click on “New” button in the user interface will guide you through the new virtual machine

Now the following wizard will appear click next

In the next screen You needs to select VMname and OS Type and click next

Now you need to select the memory for your VM

Here you need to select the Virtual hard disk details and click next

Summary of your Virtual Machine and click finish

This is virtualbox installation in Debian Etch and also explains how to create a new virtual machine now you can install whatever OS you want to test.If you want more information on virtualbox check User Manual

If you want to use GPLed version of VirtualBox (i.e. the version that will eventually make it into distro repos), you need to check out the code from svn with this command

svn co vbox

and build the binary via the instructions available from here

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14 thoughts on “Create virtual Machines Using Virtualbox in Debian

  1. Your precedure lacks some information, as my installation fails and I am somewhat a t a loss here. I use sid and a generic kernel. I installed
    the kernel module under /usr/src/modules/vbox. I copied vboxdrv.ko module to /lib/modules/
    I run depmod -ae. It appears that this did not take as the module does not show up upon reboot.
    But here is the message I get when I install the .deb package:
    Setting up virtualbox (1.3.2-17408_Debian_etch) …

    Creating group ‘vboxusers’. VM users must be member of that group!

    Starting VirtualBox kernel moduleFATAL: Error inserting vboxdrv (/lib/modules/ Invalid argument
    (modprobe vboxdrv failed)…fail!
    invoke-rc.d: initscript virtualbox, action “start” failed.
    dpkg: error processing virtualbox (–configure):
    subprocess post-installation script returned error exit status 1
    Errors were encountered while processing:
    E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

    any suggestions?

  2. here is the solution for this

    Debian packages: If the installation of the VirtualBox_*.deb package was not successful because the compilation of the kernel module fails, it might not be possible to remove the package nor to install other packages as the pre-remove (prerm) script of the package (which is executed prior to package removing or upgrading) aborts with an error “(Kernel module not found)…fail!”. In that case do the following:

    Edit /etc/init.d/virtualbox and change line 129 from ‘exit 1? to ‘exit 0?

    Reinstall the virtualbox package by ‘dpkg -i ‘. An installation failure of this package is expected.

    Edit /var/lib/dpkg/info/virtualbox.postinst and change line 39 from ‘exit 1? to ‘exit 0?

    Execute ‘dpkg --configure --pending

    The package should now be installed successfully. However, the kernel module is still not compiled. Before you will be able to execute VirtualBox you have to create a kernel module for your current kernel, as described in the User Manual(check the link provided at the end of the article)

  3. This is more of a question. Can any Linux variant be installed and accessed from windows while windows is running without creating a unix partition and installing some variant of it. It might be a simulator or something like that. The reason why I ask is I thought this was it and a friend mentioned something like that some years back which he claimed he was using.

    Any help and links to pages on learning shellscripts would be appreciated.


  4. Buenas, sabe alguien como habilitar el virtualbox para que lo puedan usar los usuarios?

  5. I installed 1.3.8_Debian_Etch_x86.deb on debian lenny but removed and purged every file I can…
    Sound is gone now. I did every thing possible to recover sound without any success.

  6. Hi again! I am back to tell you that Virtualbox had just remove every host user from the audio group so I won’t have to print my crown for today !
    By the way… it removed every user from every group !

  7. You should update this to read

    First you need to install the following packages

    sudo apt-get install bcc iasl xsltproc xalan libxalan110-dev uuid-dev zlib1g-dev libidl-dev libsdl1.2-dev libxcursor-dev libqt3-headers libqt3-mt-dev libasound2-dev libstdc++5 linux-headers-`uname -r` build-essential libcucul-dev libqt3-mt libxalan110 libxerces27


    Install.deb file using the following command

    sudo dpkg -i virtualbox-2.2_2.2.4-47978_Debian_lenny_i386.deb

    But thanks for the tutorial 🙂

  8. One small issue I ran into with my suggested updates .

    when I ran

    it saved


    renamed to virtualbox-2.2_2.2.4-47978_Debian_lenny_i386.deb

    I had to rename it with out the Hash .and then the rest of it worked fine

    this could of been an error on my end but just thought id put this out there. 8) thanks again.

  9. On Debian-based systems, the following command should install the required packages:

    for VBox version >= 2.2:

    apt-get install gcc g++ bcc iasl xsltproc uuid-dev zlib1g-dev libidl-dev \
    libsdl1.2-dev libxcursor-dev libasound2-dev libstdc++5 \
    libhal-dev libpulse-dev libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev \
    python2.5-dev libqt4-dev qt4-dev-tools libcap-dev \
    libxmu-dev mesa-common-dev libglu1-mesa-dev \


  10. salve io avrei un paio di prbl il primo è un errore ke mi da questo
    Opening /proc/modules: No such file or directory
    il secondo è che sto installando il virtualbox su un server senza lettore cd 🙁 quindi come faccio a fagli leggere la iso???

  11. How do you ensure no network conflict bwteen host and VM?
    Using Ububnutu 12.04 as host

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