Install VirtualBox and Extension Pack in Arch Linux

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This is a guide on How to install latest VirtualBox, VirtualBox Guest Additions and  Extension Pack on Arch Linux. Arch Linux is one of the most customizable, if not the best customizable Linux Distribution. On Arch Linux, you can easily get latest VirtualBox from either Pacman mirrors or pull it directly from AUR.

I started using Arch Linux in 2015 and I have enjoyed the experience so far. It’s super fast, stable, easy to customize and many bells and whistles you can enjoy with this Linux distro. Without further ado, let’s get into the installation of VirtualBox on Arch Linux.

What is VirtualBox?

As you all know, VirtualBox is a free, cross-platform consumer virtualization product. It’s one of most used Hypervisor for home/personal use. It allows you to run more than one operating system on top of existing Operating system.it’s free to use, Can run on Windows, Linux and Unix systems.

One major advantage of VirtualBox over free VMware Player is that vagrant tool for managing Virtual Machines is free for use with VirtualBox. But, withVMware, you’ll have to use the paid version of Vagrant that integrate withVMware.

Update your packages list from the sources configured:

$ sudo pacman -Syy
:: Synchronizing package databases...
 core                                                                                      136.8 KiB   251 KiB/s 00:01 [########################################################################] 100%
 extra                                                                                    1601.0 KiB  2.86 MiB/s 00:01 [########################################################################] 100%
 community                                                                                   5.8 MiB  7.04 MiB/s 00:01 [########################################################################] 100%

Update GPG keys

sudo  pacman -Sy archlinux-keyring
sudo pacman-key --populate archlinux

Perform an upgrade and install linux headers, then reboot the system

sudo pacman -Syu
sudo pacman -S linux-headers 
sudo reboot

Installing VirtualBox on Arch Linux

It’s easy to install VirtualBox on Arch Linux, just issue the following command on the terminal, and boom!, VirtualBox is installed.

$ sudo  pacman -S virtualbox virtualbox-guest-iso
resolving dependencies...
:: There are 2 providers available for VIRTUALBOX-HOST-MODULES:
:: Repository community
   1) virtualbox-host-dkms  2) virtualbox-host-modules-arch

Enter a number (default=1): 1
looking for conflicting packages...
.........
Total Download Size:    205.20 MiB
Total Installed Size:  801.17 MiB

:: Proceed with installation? [Y/n] y

After installing, we’ll have to make the current system user a member of the vboxusers group. This will grant the user permissions to manage Virtual machines.

$ sudo gpasswd -a $USER vboxusers
Adding user arch to group vboxusers

Next step is to enable VirtualBox kernel modules to load automatically at boot time.

$ sudo systemctl enable vboxweb.service  
Created symlink /etc/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants/vboxweb.service → /usr/lib/systemd/system/vboxweb.service.

Installing VirtualBox Extension Pack on Arch Linux

Up to this step, we’ve installed VirtualBox,Virtualbox-guest-iso,utils,dkms.The only remaining part is the installation of Extension pack which provides support for USB 2.0 devices, VirtualBox RDP and PXE boot for Intel cards. Install it using steps below:

  1. Install yay:
sudo pacman -S --needed git base-devel
git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/yay-bin.git
cd yay-bin
makepkg -si
  1. Installing VirtualBox Extension Pack:
yay -Syu
yay -S rdesktop 

Make sure you’re running below command as a non-root user.

$ yay -S virtualbox-ext-oracle --noconfirm
:: Checking for conflicts...
:: Checking for inner conflicts...
[Aur:1]  virtualbox-ext-oracle-6.1.38-1
.........
loading packages...
resolving dependencies...
looking for conflicting packages...

Packages (1) virtualbox-ext-oracle-6.1.38-1

Total Installed Size:  1.65 MiB

:: Proceed with installation? [Y/n]
(1/1) checking keys in keyring                                                                                         [########################################################################] 100%
(1/1) checking package integrity                                                                                       [########################################################################] 100%
(1/1) loading package files                                                                                            [########################################################################] 100%
(1/1) checking for file conflicts                                                                                      [########################################################################] 100%
(1/1) checking available disk space                                                                                    [########################################################################] 100%
:: Processing package changes...
(1/1) installing virtualbox-ext-oracle                                                                                 [########################################################################] 100%
0%...10%...20%...30%...40%...50%...60%...70%...80%...90%...100%
Optional dependencies for virtualbox-ext-oracle
    rdesktop: client to connect vm via RDP [installed]
:: Running post-transaction hooks...
(1/1) Arming ConditionNeedsUpdate...

In case you downloaded Extension pack manually from Oracle VirtualBox’s web site, you may use below command to install:

VBoxManage extpack install <.vbox-extpack>

If you’ll be using vboxweb, you can enable it to start on boot up.

sudo systemctl enable vboxweb.service 
sudo systemctl start vboxweb.service  

Manually invoke start of VirtualBox modules by

sudo /sbin/rcvboxdrv setup

Then check:

$ ps ax | grep -i vbox

vbox-grep-vbox

If you’re running Debian or Debian Derivative distributions like Kali Linux, Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Kubuntu, Linux Mint, Elementary OS e.t.c. Check out this tutorial on installing Latest VirtualBox on such systems:

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A systems engineer with excellent skills in systems administration, cloud computing, systems deployment, virtualization, containers, and a certified ethical hacker.