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 ./