Installing VirtualBox Guest Additions in Ubuntu

What, you might be wondering, is a post about VirtualBox and Ubuntu doing on a blog that is primarily about SAS® platform administration and metadata?

The answer to that question is that VirtualBox and Ubuntu are both platforms where I run SAS for the purposes of development, testing and exploration/learning. So, whilst not specifically related to SAS platform administration itself, these topics are related to the administration of a platform that underpins a SAS installation I use, plus this blog is a place for me to put things so I don’t forget them later. I guess it’s also possible these posts might be of use to a small niche out there that might be trying to install SAS on Ubuntu in a VirtualBox environment for non-production purposes?

I’m a big fan of VirtualBox for desktop virtualization on Linux hosts and my primary desktop/notebook operating system has been Ubuntu for a few years. Whilst I have been a VMware Workstation user for many years, I find that VirtualBox works better for me on Linux desktop hosts at the moment. VMware is definitely my virtualization application of choice on Windows and Mac OS X desktops, but when it comes to running VMware Workstation on Linux I found there were just enough annoyances (you could use the term paper cut too) when using VMware on a Linux desktop that I was prompted to look elsewhere. VirtualBox ticked most of the boxes for me.

So, down the the subject of the post, I needed to install the VirtualBox Guest Additions in a brand new Ubuntu 10.04 Server guest installation and these were the steps I needed to take.

The installation of the guest additions requires a compilation/build environment which was not present on a fresh Ubuntu server installation.

sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-`uname -r`

With the build tools now available I could load the Guest Additions software CD via the VirtualBox menu items Devices > Install Guest Additions…, mount the CD and then run the installer for 64-bit Linux platforms:

sudo mount /dev/sr0 /mnt/cdrom
cd /mnt/cdrom
sudo ./

2 thoughts on “Installing VirtualBox Guest Additions in Ubuntu”

  1. Small niche is right, but I’ve been trying to do just that. Did you ever get SAS to install on a Windows guest? I got VBox with guest additions on my ubuntu 10.04, have Win2003 Std as a guest, but can’t get SAS 9.2 installed. The installation splash screen comes up for 1 second then disappears. It’s either an issue with SAS not liking Vbox or that my windows 2003 is an MSDN license.

  2. Hi Jared,

    I have previously installed SAS 9.2 in an MSDN based Windows 2003 installation running inside VirtualBox on Linux, so I doubt it is a direct VirtualBox or MSDN limitation, unless things have changed since then. I would look into other reasons for the installer failing.

    I vaguely remember seeing something similar a long time ago that had me stumped for a while. In my case it turned out I had some left over installation temporary files from previous installation attempts. When I cleared them out the installation proceeded as normal.

    If you haven’t already, you could contact SAS technical support to see if they can help you track down the underlying cause.

    You might be interested in SAS Installation Note 40012: An error message relating to Java heap space might occur when you are installing SAS® 9.2 or SAS® 9.3

    Whilst this doesn’t quite sound like the problem you are getting, the note does contain some info about tracking down a log file which might contain more clues.

    I hope you get it resolved.


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