VirtualBox and Linux

As with Windows, it is recommended that you get the VirtualBox guest additions installed on a Linux guest, this does make a number of things much easier, specifically: mouse integration, shared folder use and clipboard exchange.

Guest Additions

Well worth getting this installed on a Linux guest. With my minimal CentOS install I did find a number of dependencies missing for the install, including gcc, so just keep trying until you have met all the pre-requsisites, which are best installed with the standard package installer.

Sometimes you might find the Guest Additions stop working, you will either notice the mouse integration stops working or the clipboard exchange. Sometimes a reboot fixes this. However this problem can also be caused by updates. For example I had an update to glibc and a number of other packages, Guest Additions stopped working but simply re-installing the Guest Additions fixed the problem. This was simple a case of executing having first mounted the Guest Additions CD image.

If you are using openSUSE then check out my page on openSUSE.

Shared Folders

However I did struggle with the shared folders in a Linux guest at first, however there are a couple of things to note.

  • Guest Additions: get this installed before using Shared Folders
  • Configuring a Shared Folder: this is best done in Settings when the guest is properly powered off, do set it to "Auto Mount"
  • Finding the Share: the shared will be prefixed with sf_ and mounted in /media, so if it is called Common then you will find it at /media/sf_Common
  • Share Permissions: if you can't get into the share then you need your user to be in the vboxsf group, this can be done as follows: usermod -a -G vboxsf <username>, or see Linux Useful Commands for help with this