Linux Vm On Mac

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We’ve made every attempt to make this as straightforward as possible, but there’s a lot more ground to cover here than in the first part of the guide. If you find glaring errors or have suggestions to make the process easier, let us know on our discord.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about what you need to get 3D acceleration up and running:

If you’ve arrived here without context, check out part one of the guide here.


Create an SSH connection with the VM. If you are on a Mac or Linux machine, open a Bash prompt. If you are on a Windows machine, open a PowerShell prompt. At your prompt, open an SSH connection to your virtual machine. Replace the IP address with the one from your VM, and replace the path to the.pem with the path to where the key file was. Create a Linux virtual machine with the Azure CLI Create a Linux VM using an Azure template If you're not familiar with the format of an SSH public key, you can display your public key with the following cat command, replacing /.ssh/ with the path and filename of your own public key file if needed. Parallels, also known as Parallels Desktop for Mac, is a software that was developed by Parallels Inc. This software uses hypervisor technology, which allows the creation of a virtual machine (VM). The VM will then be able to act in precisely the same way as a stand-alone device does.

  • A Desktop. The vast majority of laptops are completely incompatible with passthrough on Mac OS.
  • A working install from part 1 of this guide, set up to use virt-manager
  • A motherboard that supports IOMMU (most AMD chipsets since 990FX, most mainstream and HEDT chipsets on Intel since Sandy Bridge)
  • A CPU that fully supports virtualization extensions (most modern CPUs barring the odd exception, like the i7-4770K and i5-4670K. Haswell refresh K chips e.g. ‘4X90K’ work fine.)
  • 2 GPUs with different PCI device IDs. One of them can be an integrated GPU. Usually this means just 2 different models of GPU, but there are some exceptions, like the AMD HD 7970/R9 280X or the R9 290X and 390X. You can check here (or here for AMD) to confirm you have 2 different device IDs. You can work around this problem if you already have 2 of the same GPU, but it isn’t ideal. If you plan on passing multiple USB controllers or NVMe devices it may also be necessary to check those with a tool like lspci.
  • The guest GPU also needs to support UEFI boot. Check here to see if your model does.
  • Recent versions of Qemu (3.0-4.0) and Libvirt.


  • The most recent mainline linux kernel (all platforms)
  • Bios prior to AGESA or a patched kernel with the workaround applied (Ryzen)
  • Most recent available bios (ThreadRipper)
  • GPU isolation fixes applied, e.g. CSM toggle and/or efifb:off (Ryzen)
  • ACS patch (lower end chipsets or highly populated pcie slots)
  • A second discrete GPU (most AMD CPUs do not ship with an igpu)

Intel CPUs

  • ACS patch (only needed if you have many expansion cards installed in most cases. Mainstream and budget chipsets only, HEDT unaffected.)
  • A second discrete GPU (HEDT and F-sku CPUs only)

Nvidia GPUs

  • A 700 Series Card. High Sierra works up to 10 series cards, but Mojave ends support for 9, 10, 20 and all future Nvidia GPUs. Cards older than the 700 series may not have UEFI support, making them incompatible.
  • A google search to make sure your card is compatible with Mac OS on Macs/hackintoshes without patching or flashing.


  • A UEFI compatible Card. AMD’s refresh cycle makes this a bit more complicated to work out, but generally pitcairn chips and newer work fine — check your card’s bios for “UEFI Support” on techpowerup to confirm.
  • A card without the Reset Bug (Anything older than Hawaii is bug free but it’s a total crap-shoot on any newer card. 300 series cards may also have Mac OS specific compatibility issues. Vega and Fiji seem especially susceptible)
  • A google search to make sure your card is compatible with Mac OS on Macs/hackintoshes without patching or flashing.

Getting Started with VFIO-PCI

Provided you have hardware that supports this process, it should be relatively straightforward.

First, you want to enable virtualization extensions and IOMMU in your uefi. The exact name and locations varies by vendor and motherboard. These features are usually titled something like “virtualization support” “VT-x” or “SVM” — IOMMU is usually labelled “VT-d” or “AMD-Vi” if not just “IOMMU support.”

Once you’ve enabled these features, you need to tell Linux to use them, as well as what PCI devices to reserve for your vm. The best way of going about this is changing your kernel commandline boot options, which you do by editing your bootloader’s configuration files. We’ll be covering Grub 2 here because it’s the most common. Systemd-boot distributions like Pop!OS will have to do things differently.

run lspci -nnk grep 'VGA Audio' — this will output a list of installed devices relevant to your GPU. You can also just run lspci -nnk to get all attached devices, in case you want to pass through something else, like an NVMe drive or a usb controller. Look for the device ids for each device you intend to pass through, for example, my GTX 1070 is listed as [10de:1b81] and [10de:10f0] for the HDMI audio. You need to use every device ID associated with your device, and most GPUs have both an audio controller and VGA. Some cards, in particular VR-ready nvidia GPUs and the new 20 series GPUs will have more devices you’ll need to pass, so refer to the full output to make sure you got all of them.

If two devices you intend to pass through have the same ID, you will have to use a workaround to make them functional. Check the troubleshooting section for more information.

Once you have the IDs of all the devices you intend to pass through taken down, it’s time to edit your grub config:

It should look something like this:

In the line GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX= add these arguments, separated by spaces: intel_iommu=on OR amd_iommu=on, iommu=pt and vfio-pci.ids= followed by the device IDs you want to use on the VM separated by commas. For example, if I wanted to pass through my GTX 1070, I’d add vfio-pci.ids=10de:1b81,10de:10f0. Save and exit your editor.

Run grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg. This path may be different for you on different distros, so make sure to check that this is the location of your grub.cfg prior to running this and change it as necessary. The tool to do this may also be different on certain distributions, e.g. update-grub.


Verifying Changes

Now that you have your devices isolated and the relevant features enabled, it’s time to check that your machine is registering them properly.

grab from our companion repo, make it executable with chmod +x and run it with ./ to see your iommu groups. No output means you didn’t enable one of the relevant UEFI features, or didn’t revise your kernel commandline options correctly. If the GPU and your other devices you want to pass to the host are in their own groups, move on to the next section. If not, refer to the troubleshooting section.

Run dmesg grep vfio to ensure that your devices are being isolated. No output means that the vfio-pci module isn’t loading and/or you did not enter the correct values in your kernel commandline options.

From here the process is straightforward. Start virt-manager (conversion from raw qemu covered in part one) and make sure the native resolution of both the config.plist and the OVMF options match each other and the display resolution you intend to use on the GPU. if you aren’t sure, just use 1080p.

Click Add Hardware in the VM details, select PCI host device, select a device you’ve isolated with vfio-pci, and hit OK. Repeat for each device you want to pass through. Remove all spice and Qxl devices (including spice:channel), attach a monitor to the gpu and boot into the VM. Install 3d drivers, and you’re ready to go. Note that you’ll need to add your mouse and keyboard to the VM as usb devices, pass through a usb controller, or set up evdev to get input in the host at this point as well.

If all goes well, you just need to install drivers and you’re ready to use 3d on your OSX VM.

Mac OS VM Networking

Fixing What Ain’t Broke:

NAT is fine for most people, but if you use SMB shares or need to access a NAS or other networked device, it can make that difficult. You can switch your network device to macvtap, but that isolates your VM from the host machine, which can also present problems.

If you want access to other networked devices on your guest machine without stopping guest-host communication, you’ll have to set up a bridged network for it. There are several ways to do this, but we’ll be covering the methods that use NetworkManager, since that’s the most common backend. If you use wicd or systemd-networkd, refer to documentation on those packages for bridge creation and configuration.

Via Network GUI:

This process can be done completely in the GUI on modern desktop environment by going to the network settings dialog, by adding a connection, selecting bridge as the type, adding your network interface as the slave device, and then activating the bridge (sometimes you need to restart network manager if the changes don’t take effect immediately.) From there all you need to do is add the bridge as a network device in virt-manager.


Not everyone uses a full desktop environment, but you can do this with nmcli as well:

Run ifconfig or nmcli to get the names of your devices, they’ll be relevant in the next steps. take down or copy the name of the adapter you use to connect to the internet.

Next, run these commands, substituting the placeholders with the device name of the network adapter you want to bridge to the guest. They create a bridge device, connect the bridge to your network adapter, and create a tap for the guest system, respectively:

From here, remove the NAT device in virt-manager, and add a new network device with the connection set to br1: host device tap0. You may need to restart network manager for the device to activate properly.

NOTE: Wireless adapters may not work with this method. The ones that do need to support AP/Mesh Point mode and have multiple channels available. Check for these by running iw list. From there you can set up a virtual AP with hostapd and connect to that with the bridge. We won’t be covering the details of this process here because it’s very involved and requires a lot of prior knowledge about linux networking to set up correctly.

Other Options:

You can also pass through a PCIe NIC to the device if you happen to have a Mac OS compatible model laying around, and you’re comfortable with adding kexts to clover. This is also the best way to get AirDrop working if you need it.

If all else fails, you can manually specify routes between the host and guest using macvtap and ip, or set up a macvlan. Both are complex and require networking knowledge.

Input Tweaks

Emulated input might be laggy, or give you problems with certain input combinations. This can be fixed using several methods.

Attach HIDs as USB Host devices

This method is the easiest, but has a few drawbacks. Chiefly, you can’t switch your keyboard and mouse back to the host system if the VM crashes. It may also need to be adjusted if you change where your devices are plugged in on the host. Just click the add hardware button, select usb host device, and then select your keyboard and mouse. When you start your VM, the devices will be handed off.

Use Evdev

This method uses a technique that allows both good performance and switchable inputs. We have a guide on how to set it up here. Note that because OS X does not support PS2 Input out of the box, you need to replace your ps/2 devices as follows in your xml:

If you can’t get usb devices working for whatever reason (usually due to an outdated qemu version) you can add the VoodooPS2 Kext to your ESP to enable ps2 input. This may limit compatibility with new releases, so make sure to check that you have an alternative before committing.

Use Barrier/Synergy

Synergy and barrier are networked input packages that allow you to control your host and/or guest on the same machine, or remotely. They offer convenient input, but will not work with certain networking configurations. Synergy is paid software, but Barrier is free, and isn’t hard to set up. with one caveat on MacOS. You either want to stick with a version prior to 1.3.6 or install the binary manually like so:

After that, just follow a synergy configuration guide (barrier is just an open source fork of synergy) to set up your merged input. It’s usually as simple as opening the app, setting one as server, entering the network address of the other, and then arranging the virtual merged screens accordingly. Note that if you experience bad performance on your guest with synergy/barrier, you can make the guest the server and pass usb devices as described above, but this will make your input devices unavailable on the host if the VM crashes.

Use a USB Controller and Hardware KVM Switch

Probably the most elegant solution. You need $20-60 in hardware to do it, but it allows switching your inputs without prior configuration or problems if the guest VM crashes. Simply isolate and pass through a usb controller (as you would a gpu in the section above) and plug a usb kvm switch into a port on that controller as well as a usb controller on the host. Plug your keyboard and mouse into the kvm switch, and press the button to switch your inputs from one to the other.

Some USB3 controllers are temperamental and don’t like being passed through, so stick to usb2 or experiment with the ones you have. Typically newer Asmedia and Intel ones work best. If your built-in USB controller has issues it may still be possible to get it working using a 3rd party script, but this will heavily depend on how your kvm switch operates as well. Your best bet is just to buy a PCIe controller if the one you have doesn’t work.


By default, audio quality isn’t the best on OS X guest VMs. There are a few ways around it, but we suggest a hardware-based approach for the best reliability.

Hardware-Based Audio Passthrough

This method is fairly simple. Just buy a class compliant USB audio interface advertised as working in Mac OS, and plug it into a USB controller that you’ve passed through to the VM as described in the KVM switch section. If you need seamless audio between host and guest systems, we have a guide on how to get that working as well. We regard this option as the best solution if you plan on using both the host and guest system regularly.

HDMI Audio Extraction

If you’re already passing through a GPU, you can just use that as your audio output for the VM. Just use your monitor’s line out, or grab an audio extractor as described in the linked article above.

Pulseaudio/ALSA passthrough

You can pass through your VM audio via the ich9 device to your host systems’ audio server. We have a guide that goes into detail on this process here.

CoreAudio to Jack

CoreAudio supports sending system sound through Jack, a versatile and powerful unix sound system. Jack supports networking, so it’s possible to connect the guest to the host over the network via Jack. Because Jack is fairly complex and this method requires a specific network setup to get it working, we’ll be saving the specifics of it for a future article. On Linux host systems, tools like Carla can make initial Jack setup easier.

Quality of Life

If you find yourself doing a lot of workarounds or want to customize things even further, these are some tools and resources that can make your life easier.

Clover Configurator

This is a tool that automates some aspects of managing clover and your ESP configuration. It can make things like adding kexts and defining hardware details (needed to get iMessage and other things working) easier. It may change your config.plist in a way that reduces compatibility, so be careful if you elect to use it.

InsanelyMac and AMD-OSX

Forums where people discuss hackintosh installation and maintenance. Many things that work in baremetal hackintoshes will work in a VM, so if you’re looking for tweaks that are only relevant to your software configuration, this is a good place to start.


As always, first steps when running into issues should be to read through dmesg output on the host after starting the VM and searching for common problems.

No output after passing through my GPU

Make sure you have a compatible version of Mac OS, most Nvidia cards will only work on High Sierra and earlier, and 20 series cards will not work at all. Make sure you don’t have spice or QXL devices attached, and follow the steps in the verification section to make sure that your vfio-pci configuration works. If it doesn’t you may have to load the driver manually, but this isn’t the case on most modern linux distributions.

Make sure that your config.plist and OVMF resolution match your monitor’s native resolution. How to edit these settings is covered in Part 1.

If all else fails, you can try passing a vbios to the card by downloading the relevant files from techpowerup and adding the path to them in your XML, usually something like <rom bar='on' file='/var/lib/libvirt/vbios/vbios.rom'/> in the pci device section that corresponds to the GPU.

Can’t Connect to SMB shares or see other networked devices

Change to a different networking setup as described in the networking section

iMessage/AirDrop/Apple Services not working

You have to configure these just like any other hackintosh. Consult online guides for procedure specifics.

Multiple PCI devices in the same IOMMU group

You need to install the ACS patch. Arch, fedora and Ubuntu all have prepatched kernel repos. Systemd-boot based ubuntu distributions like Pop!OS will need further work to get an installed kernel working. Refer to your distro documentation for exact procedure needed to switch or patch kernels otherwise. You’ll also need to add

2 identical PCI IDs

You’re going to have to add a script that isolates only 1 card early in the boot process. There’s several ways to do this, and our method may not work for you, but this is the methodology we suggest:

open up a text editor as root and and copy/paste this script:

Save it as /usr/bin/

from there run these commands as root:

On Arch, as root, make a new file called pci-isolate.conf in /etc/modprobe.d, open it in an editor and add the line install/usr/bin/init-top/ to it. Save it. Make sure modconf is listed in the HOOKS=( array section of your initrd config file, mkinitcpio.conf.

If you’re on fedora or RHEL, you can simply add the install line to install_items+= array and modconf/vfio-pci to the add_drivers+= array.

And update your initial ramdisk using mkinitcpio, dracut, or update-initramfs depending on your distribution (Arch, RHEL/Fedora and *Buntu respectively.)

NOTE: script installation methodology varies from distro to distro. You may have to add initramfs hooks for the script to take effect, or force graphics drivers to load later to prevent the card from being captured before it can be isolated. refer to the Arch Wiki article for a different installation methodology if this one fails. You may also have to add the vfio-pci modules to initramfs hooks if your kernel doesn’t load the vfio-pci module automatically.

Reboot and verify your devices are isolated by checking lspci for them (if they’re missing you’re good to go.)

If not, set vfio-pci to load early with hooks and try again. If it still doesn’t work, you may need to compile a kernel that does not load the module and follow the archwiki guide on traditional setup.

The best preventative measure for this problem is to buy different cards in the first place.

I did everything instructed but the GPU still won’t isolate/VM crashes or hardlocks system on startup

Your Graphics drivers are probably set to load earlier in the boot process than vfio-pci. You can fix this one of 2 ways:

  • blacklisting the graphics driver early
  • tell your initial ramdisk to load vfio-pci earlier than your graphics drivers

The first option can be achieved by adding amdgpu,radeon or nouveau to module_blacklist= in your kernel command line options (same way you added vfio device IDs in the first section of this tutorial.)

The second is done by adding vfio_pci vfio vfio_iommu_type1 vfio_virqfdto your initramfs early modules list, and removing any graphics drivers set to load at the same time. This process varies depending on your distro.

Onmkinitcpio systems (Arch,) you add these to the MODULES=section of /etc/mkinitcpio.conf and then rebuild your initramfs by running mkinitcpio -P.

On dracut systems (Fedora, RHEL, Centos, Arch in future releases,) you add these to a .conf file in the /etc/modules-load.d/ folder.

Images Courtesy Foxlet, PixabayChrome for ios catalina.

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Table of Contents

2.1. Installing on Windows Hosts
2.1.1. Prerequisites
2.1.2. Performing the Installation
2.1.3. Uninstallation
2.1.4. Unattended Installation
2.1.5. Public Properties
2.2. Installing on Mac OS X Hosts
2.2.1. Performing the Installation
2.2.2. Uninstallation
2.2.3. Unattended Installation
2.3. Installing on Linux Hosts
2.3.1. Prerequisites
2.3.2. The Oracle VM VirtualBox Kernel Modules
2.3.3. Performing the Installation
2.3.4. The vboxusers Group
2.3.5. Starting Oracle VM VirtualBox on Linux
2.4. Installing on Oracle Solaris Hosts
2.4.1. Performing the Installation
2.4.2. The vboxuser Group
2.4.3. Starting Oracle VM VirtualBox on Oracle Solaris
2.4.4. Uninstallation
2.4.5. Unattended Installation
2.4.6. Configuring a Zone for Running Oracle VM VirtualBox

As installation of Oracle VM VirtualBox varies depending on your host operating system, the following sections provide installation instructions for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Oracle Solaris.

For the various versions of Windows that are supported as host operating systems, please refer to Section 1.4, “Supported Host Operating Systems”.

In addition, Windows Installer must be present on your system. This should be the case for all supported Windows platforms.

The Oracle VM VirtualBox installation can be started in either of the following ways:

  • By double-clicking on the executable file.

  • By entering the following command:

    This will extract the installer into a temporary directory, along with the .MSI file. Run the following command to perform the installation:

Using either way displays the installation Welcome dialog and enables you to choose where to install Oracle VM VirtualBox, and which components to install. In addition to the Oracle VM VirtualBox application, the following components are available:

  • USB support. This package contains special drivers for your Windows host that Oracle VM VirtualBox requires to fully support USB devices inside your virtual machines.

  • Networking. This package contains extra networking drivers for your Windows host that Oracle VM VirtualBox needs to support Bridged Networking. This enables your VM's virtual network cards to be accessed from other machines on your physical network.

  • Python support. This package contains Python scripting support for the Oracle VM VirtualBox API, see Chapter 11, Oracle VM VirtualBox Programming Interfaces. For this to work, an already working Windows Python installation on the system is required.

    See, for example:


    Python version at least 2.6 is required. Python 3 is also supported.

Run Linux Vm On Mac

Depending on your Windows configuration, you may see warnings about unsigned drivers, or similar. Click Continue for these warnings, as otherwise Oracle VM VirtualBox might not function correctly after installation.

The installer will create an Oracle VM VirtualBox group in the Windows Start menu, which enables you to launch the application and access its documentation.

With standard settings, Oracle VM VirtualBox will be installed for all users on the local system. If this is not wanted, you must invoke the installer by first extracting as follows:

Then, run either of the following commands on the extracted .MSI file. This will install Oracle VM VirtualBox only for the current user.

If you do not want to install all features of Oracle VM VirtualBox, you can set the optional ADDLOCAL parameter to explicitly name the features to be installed. The following features are available:


Main binaries of Oracle VM VirtualBox.


This feature must not be absent, since it contains the minimum set of files to have working Oracle VM VirtualBox installation.


USB support.


All networking support. This includes the VBoxNetworkFlt and VBoxNetworkAdp features.


Bridged networking support.


Host-only networking support


Python support

For example, to only install USB support along with the main binaries, run either of the following commands:

The user is able to choose between NDIS5 and NDIS6 host network filter drivers during the installation. This is done using a command line parameter, NETWORKTYPE. The NDIS6 driver is the default for most supported Windows hosts. For some legacy Windows versions, the installer will automatically select the NDIS5 driver and this cannot be changed.


You can force an install of the legacy NDIS5 host network filter driver by specifying NETWORKTYPE=NDIS5. For example, to install the NDIS5 driver on Windows 7 use either of the following commands:

As Oracle VM VirtualBox uses the standard Microsoft Windows installer, Oracle VM VirtualBox can be safely uninstalled at any time. Click the program entry in the Add/Remove Programs list in the Windows Control Panel.

Unattended installations can be performed using the standard MSI support.

Public properties can be specified with the MSI API, to control additional behavior and features of the Windows host installer. Use either of the following commands:


The following public properties are available.


    Specifies whether or not an Oracle VM VirtualBox icon on the desktop should be created.

    Set to 1 to enable, 0 to disable. Default is 1.


    Specifies whether or not an Oracle VM VirtualBox icon in the Quick Launch Bar should be created.

    Set to 1 to enable, 0 to disable. Default is 1.


    Specifies whether or not the file extensions .vbox, .vbox-extpack, .ovf, .ova, .vdi, .vmdk, .vhd and .vdd should be associated with Oracle VM VirtualBox. Files of these types then will be opened with Oracle VM VirtualBox.

    Set to 1 to enable, 0 to disable. Default is 1.


    Specifies whether to start Oracle VM VirtualBox right after successful installation.

    Set to 1 to enable, 0 to disable. Default is 1.

For Mac OS X hosts, Oracle VM VirtualBox ships in a dmg disk image file. Perform the following steps to install on a Mac OS X host:

  1. Double-click on the dmg file, to mount the contents.

  2. A window opens, prompting you to double-click on the VirtualBox.pkg installer file displayed in that window.

  3. This starts the installer, which enables you to select where to install Oracle VM VirtualBox.

  4. An Oracle VM VirtualBox icon is added to the Applications folder in the Finder.

To uninstall Oracle VM VirtualBox, open the disk image dmg file and double-click on the uninstall icon shown.

To perform a non-interactive installation of Oracle VM VirtualBox you can use the command line version of the installer application.

Mount the dmg disk image file, as described in the installation procedure, or use the following command line:

Open a terminal session and run the following command:

For the various versions of Linux that are supported as host operating systems, see Section 1.4, “Supported Host Operating Systems”.

You may need to install the following packages on your Linux system before starting the installation. Some systems will do this for you automatically when you install Oracle VM VirtualBox.

  • Qt 5.3.2 or later. Qt 5.6.2 or later is recommended.

  • SDL 1.2.7 or later. This graphics library is typically called libsdl or similar.


These packages are only required if you want to run the Oracle VM VirtualBox graphical user interfaces. In particular, VirtualBox, the graphical VirtualBox Manager, requires both Qt and SDL. If you only want to run VBoxHeadless, neither Qt nor SDL are required.

In order to run other operating systems in virtual machines alongside your main operating system, Oracle VM VirtualBox needs to integrate very tightly with your system. To do this it installs a driver module called vboxdrv into the system kernel. The kernel is the part of the operating system which controls your processor and physical hardware. Without this kernel module, you can still use the VirtualBox Manager to configure virtual machines, but they will not start.

Network drivers called vboxnetflt and vboxnetadp are also installed. They enable virtual machines to make more use of your computer's network capabilities and are needed for any virtual machine networking beyond the basic NAT mode.

Since distributing driver modules separately from the kernel is not something which Linux supports well, the Oracle VM VirtualBox install process creates the modules on the system where they will be used. This means that you may need to install some software packages from the distribution which are needed for the build process. Required packages may include the following:

  • GNU compiler (GCC)

  • GNU Make (make)

  • Kernel header files

Also ensure that all system updates have been installed and that your system is running the most up-to-date kernel for the distribution.


The running kernel and the kernel header files must be updated to matching versions.

The following list includes some details of the required files for some common distributions. Start by finding the version name of your kernel, using the command uname -r in a terminal. The list assumes that you have not changed too much from the original installation, in particular that you have not installed a different kernel type.

  • With Debian and Ubuntu-based distributions, you must install the correct version of the linux-headers, usually whichever of linux-headers-generic, linux-headers-amd64, linux-headers-i686 or linux-headers-i686-pae best matches the kernel version name. Also, the linux-kbuild package if it exists. Basic Ubuntu releases should have the correct packages installed by default.

  • On Fedora, Red Hat, Oracle Linux and many other RPM-based systems, the kernel version sometimes has a code of letters or a word close to the end of the version name. For example 'uek' for the Oracle Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel or 'default' or 'desktop' for the standard kernels. In this case, the package name is kernel-uek-devel or equivalent. If there is no such code, it is usually kernel-devel.

  • On some SUSE and openSUSE Linux versions, you may need to install the kernel-source and kernel-syms packages.

If you suspect that something has gone wrong with module installation, check that your system is set up as described above and try running the following command, as root:

If you are running on a system using UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) Secure Boot, you may need to sign the following kernel modules before you can load them:

  • vboxdrv

  • vboxnetadp

  • vboxnetflt

  • vboxpci

See your system documentation for details of the kernel module signing process.

Oracle VM VirtualBox is available in a number of package formats native to various common Linux distributions. See Section 1.4, “Supported Host Operating Systems”. In addition, there is an alternative generic installer (.run) which you can use on supported Linux distributions.

Run Linux On Mac Installing Oracle VM VirtualBox from a Debian or Ubuntu Package

Download the appropriate package for your distribution. The following example assumes that you are installing to a 64-bit Ubuntu Xenial system. Use dpkg to install the Debian package,as follows:

The installer will also try to build kernel modules suitable for the current running kernel. If the build process is not successful you will be shown a warning and the package will be left unconfigured. Look at /var/log/vbox-install.log to find out why the compilation failed. You may have to install the appropriate Linux kernel headers, see Section 2.3.2, “The Oracle VM VirtualBox Kernel Modules”. After correcting any problems, run the following command:

This will start a second attempt to build the module.

If a suitable kernel module was found in the package or the module was successfully built, the installation script will attempt to load that module. If this fails, please see Section 12.7.1, “Linux Kernel Module Refuses to Load” for further information.

Once Oracle VM VirtualBox has been successfully installed and configured, you can start it by clicking VirtualBox in your Start menu or from the command line. See Section 2.3.5, “Starting Oracle VM VirtualBox on Linux”. Using the Alternative Generic Installer (

The alternative generic installer performs the following steps:

  • Unpacks the application files to the target directory /opt/VirtualBox/, which cannot be changed.

  • Builds and installs the Oracle VM VirtualBox kernel modules: vboxdrv, vboxnetflt, and vboxnetadp.

  • Creates /sbin/rcvboxdrv, an init script to start the Oracle VM VirtualBox kernel module.

  • Creates a new system group called vboxusers.

  • Creates symbolic links in /usr/bin to a shell script /opt/VirtualBox/VBox which does some sanity checks and dispatches to the actual executables: VirtualBox, VBoxVRDP, VBoxHeadless and VBoxManage.

  • Creates /etc/udev/rules.d/60-vboxdrv.rules, a description file for udev, if that is present, which makes the USB devices accessible to all users in the vboxusers group.

  • Writes the installation directory to /etc/vbox/vbox.cfg.

The installer must be executed as root with either install or uninstall as the first parameter. For example:

Or if you do not have the sudo command available, run the following as root instead:

Add every user who needs to access USB devices from a VirtualBox guests to the group vboxusers. Either use the OS user management tools or run the following command as root:


The usermod command of some older Linux distributions does not support the -a option, which adds the user to the given group without affecting membership of other groups. In this case, find out the current group memberships with the groups command and add all these groups in a comma-separated list to the command line after the -G option. For example: usermod -G group1,group2,vboxusers username.

Can Vmware Fusion Run Linux

If you cannot use the shell script installer described in Section, “Using the Alternative Generic Installer (”, you can perform a manual installation. Run the installer as follows:

This will unpack all the files needed for installation in the directory install under the current directory. The Oracle VM VirtualBox application files are contained in VirtualBox.tar.bz2 which you can unpack to any directory on your system. For example:

To run the same example as root, use the following commands:

The sources for Oracle VM VirtualBox's kernel module are provided in the src directory. To build the module, change to the directory and use the following command:

If everything builds correctly, run the following command to install the module to the appropriate module directory:

In case you do not have sudo, switch the user account to root and run the following command:

The Oracle VM VirtualBox kernel module needs a device node to operate. The above make command will tell you how to create the device node, depending on your Linux system. The procedure is slightly different for a classical Linux setup with a /dev directory, a system with the now deprecated devfs and a modern Linux system with udev.

On certain Linux distributions, you might experience difficulties building the module. You will have to analyze the error messages from the build system to diagnose the cause of the problems. In general, make sure that the correct Linux kernel sources are used for the build process.

Note that the /dev/vboxdrv kernel module device node must be owned by root:root and must be read/writable only for the user.

Next, you install the system initialization script for the kernel module and activate the initialization script using the right method for your distribution, as follows:

This example assumes you installed Oracle VM VirtualBox to the /opt/VirtualBox directory.

Create a configuration file for Oracle VM VirtualBox, as follows:

Create the following symbolic links: Updating and Uninstalling Oracle VM VirtualBox

Before updating or uninstalling Oracle VM VirtualBox, you must terminate any virtual machines which are currently running and exit the Oracle VM VirtualBox or VBoxSVC applications. To update Oracle VM VirtualBox, simply run the installer of the updated version. To uninstall Oracle VM VirtualBox, run the installer as follows:

As root, you can use the following command:

You can uninstall the .run package as follows:

To manually uninstall Oracle VM VirtualBox, perform the manual installation steps in reverse order. Automatic Installation of Debian Packages

The Debian packages will request some user feedback when installed for the first time. The debconf system is used to perform this task. To prevent any user interaction during installation, default values can be defined. A file vboxconf can contain the following debconf settings:

The first line enables compilation of the vboxdrv kernel module if no module was found for the current kernel. The second line enables the package to delete any old vboxdrv kernel modules compiled by previous installations.

These default settings can be applied prior to the installation of the Oracle VM VirtualBox Debian package, as follows:

In addition there are some common configuration options that can be set prior to the installation. See Section, “Automatic Installation Options”.

The RPM format does not provide a configuration system comparable to the debconf system. See Section, “Automatic Installation Options” for how to set some common installation options provided by Oracle VM VirtualBox.

To configure the installation process for .deb and .rpm packages, you can create a response file named /etc/default/virtualbox. The automatic generation of the udev rule can be prevented with the following setting:

Linux Vm On Mac M1

The creation of the group vboxusers can be prevented as follows:

If the following line is specified, the package installer will not try to build the vboxdrv kernel module if no module fitting the current kernel was found.

The Linux installers create the system user group vboxusers during installation. Any system user who is going to use USB devices from Oracle VM VirtualBox guests must be a member of that group. A user can be made a member of the group vboxusers either by using the desktop user and group tools, or with the following command:

The easiest way to start an Oracle VM VirtualBox program is by running the program of your choice (VirtualBox, VBoxManage, or VBoxHeadless) from a terminal. These are symbolic links to that start the required program for you.

The following detailed instructions should only be of interest if you wish to execute Oracle VM VirtualBox without installing it first. You should start by compiling the vboxdrv kernel module and inserting it into the Linux kernel. Oracle VM VirtualBox consists of a service daemon, VBoxSVC, and several application programs. The daemon is automatically started if necessary. All Oracle VM VirtualBox applications will communicate with the daemon through UNIX local domain sockets. There can be multiple daemon instances under different user accounts and applications can only communicate with the daemon running under the user account as the application. The local domain socket resides in a subdirectory of your system's directory for temporary files called .vbox-<username>-ipc. In case of communication problems or server startup problems, you may try to remove this directory.

All Oracle VM VirtualBox applications (VirtualBox, VBoxManage, and VBoxHeadless) require the Oracle VM VirtualBox directory to be in the library path, as follows:

For the specific versions of Oracle Solaris that are supported as host operating systems, see Section 1.4, “Supported Host Operating Systems”.

If you have a previously installed instance of Oracle VM VirtualBox on your Oracle Solaris host, please uninstall it first before installing a new instance. See Section 2.4.4, “Uninstallation” for uninstall instructions.

Oracle VM VirtualBox is available as a standard Oracle Solaris package. Download the Oracle VM VirtualBox SunOS package, which includes the 64-bit version of Oracle VM VirtualBox. The installation must be performed as root and from the global zone. This is because the Oracle VM VirtualBox installer loads kernel drivers, which cannot be done from non-global zones. To verify which zone you are currently in, execute the zonename command.

To start installation, run the following commands:

The Oracle VM VirtualBox kernel package is integrated into the main package. Install the Oracle VM VirtualBox package as follows:

The installer will then prompt you to enter the package you wish to install. Choose 1 or all and proceed. Next the installer will ask you if you want to allow the postinstall script to be executed. Choose y and proceed, as it is essential to execute this script which installs the Oracle VM VirtualBox kernel module. Following this confirmation the installer will install Oracle VM VirtualBox and execute the postinstall setup script.

Once the postinstall script has been executed your installation is now complete. You may now safely delete the uncompressed package and autoresponse files from your system. Oracle VM VirtualBox is installed in /opt/VirtualBox.


If you need to use Oracle VM VirtualBox from non-global zones, see Section 2.4.6, “Configuring a Zone for Running Oracle VM VirtualBox”.

The installer creates the system user group vboxuser during installation for Oracle Solaris hosts that support the USB features required by Oracle VM VirtualBox. Any system user who is going to use USB devices from Oracle VM VirtualBox guests must be a member of this group. A user can be made a member of this group either by using the desktop user and group tools or by running the following command as root:

Note that adding an active user to the vboxuser group will require the user to log out and then log in again. This should be done manually after successful installation of the package.

2.4.3. Starting Oracle VM VirtualBox on Oracle Solaris

The easiest way to start an Oracle VM VirtualBox program is by running the program of your choice (VirtualBox, VBoxManage, or VBoxHeadless) from a terminal. These are symbolic links to that start the required program for you.

Alternatively, you can directly invoke the required programs from /opt/VirtualBox. Using the links provided is easier as you do not have to enter the full path.

You can configure some elements of the VirtualBox Qt GUI, such as fonts and colours, by running VBoxQtconfig from the terminal.

Uninstallation of Oracle VM VirtualBox on Oracle Solaris requires root permissions. To perform the uninstallation, start a root terminal session and run the following command:

After confirmation, this will remove Oracle VM VirtualBox from your system.

To perform a non-interactive installation of Oracle VM VirtualBox there is a response file named autoresponse. The installer uses this for responses to inputs, rather than prompting the user.

Extract the tar.gz package as described in Section 2.4.1, “Performing the Installation”. Then open a root terminal session and run the following command:

To perform a non-interactive uninstallation, open a root terminal session and run the following command:

2.4.6. Configuring a Zone for Running Oracle VM VirtualBox

Assuming that Oracle VM VirtualBox has already been installed into your zone, you need to give the zone access to Oracle VM VirtualBox's device node. This is done by performing the following steps. Start a root terminal and run the following command:

Replace vboxzone with the name of the zone where you intend to run Oracle VM VirtualBox.

Use zonecfg to add the device resource and match properties to the zone, as follows:

On Oracle Solaris 11 or later, you may also add a device for /dev/vboxusbmon, similar to that shown above.

If you are not using sparse root zones, you will need to loopback mount /opt/VirtualBox from the global zone into the non-global zone at the same path. This is specified below using the dir attribute and the special attribute. For example:

Reboot the zone using zoneadm and you should be able to run Oracle VM VirtualBox from within the configured zone.