Virtualbox, Debian Sid and my AMD64

1 minute read

There are a lot of virtualization solutions around and a played around with VMware a bit. It’s quite comfortable to use the VMware converter to convert your local Windows installation to a virtual machine.

There are some apps that don’t really run on Wine or I’m not skilled enough. However some of these apps I really need from time to time. It runs fine with the VMware player, but with this one you can’t create new machine. I know that there are workarounds and a lot of so called applicances around but anyway…

So I started to look at Virtualbox which seems to work quite fine. On my Ubuntu machine in the office all packages are available, so no problems at all. But when I wanted to install it at home it was a bit more complicated…

I’m running:

  • Debian/Sid
  • Kernel 2.6.24-1-amd64 (64bit apparently)

So I installed the needed packages:

apt-get install virtualbox-ose virtualbox-ose-source

The suggested package virtualbox-ose-modules was not available. OK, I had the sources, so I could easily build the modules myself. I tried it in the customary manner (using dpkg-buildpackage without success.

So I search the net a bit and found a very helpful VirtualBox OSE Debian install howto. Honestly I didn’t know the module-assistent that helps to build the modules. I’ll describe it a bin in more detail here:

# apt-get install module-assistant
# m-a prepare
# m-a a-i virtualbox-ose
# modprobe vboxdrv
# adduser myusername vboxusers
  • So prepare sets your environment up, meaning installing the right kernel-headers, build-essentials, creating the /usr/src/linux symlink if needed and so on.
  • a-i (auto-install) runs prepare, get the package source of the specified module, try to build it for the current kernel and install it. Wow :)
  • load the kernel module vboxdrv to be able to start virtual machines in general
  • and don't forget to add your user to group vboxusers

That’s it, so have fun with your new virtual machines.