Installing VirtualBox Guest Additions on Ubuntu 18.04 Desktop

I have started to test Ubuntu 18.04 version… so, I installed it on my Windows 10 test machine with VirtualBox installed on it. For those wanting to test Ubuntu 18.04 , the steps below will show you how to install it properly, since Guest Additions software isn’t working out of the box.

VirtualBox Guest Addition Software is a suite of utilities that enhances the virtual machine’s operating systems and improves the management of the machine. When you install a new operating system on a VirtualBox virtual machine, your first task should be to install the Guest Addition Software.

Also, the tool provides tight integration between the host and virtual machine operating systems, improvement to the VM graphics performance, Shared folder between the host and guest machines, copying and pasting of text, images and files between the host and guest machine as well as mouse improvement.

So, VirtualBox Guest Additions tool is pretty important to have on the guest operating system.

Before installing VirtualBox guest additions tool, run the commands below on the Ubuntu guest machine first.

sudo apt install linux-headers-$(uname -r) build-essential dkms

After installing the packages above, restart and continue installing the Guest Additions Tool…

To install VirtualBox Guest Additions software on Ubuntu virtual machine operating systems, select the Devices from VirtualBox host application menu and click Insert Guest Additions CD image…

VirtualBox guest additions

This should mount a virtual CD/DVD drive inside the Ubuntu guest machine. When that happens, you should get a prompt to run the software. Click Run to begin the installation.

virtualbox guest addition

You will have to type your password to install the software. If your account is not an administrative account, the installation will fail..

The Guest Additions suite of utilities is the official tools for VirtualBox virtual guest machines…

Restart the guest machine and you’re set.

To enable copying and pasting between the guest machine and the host, go to the guest machines settings page (General –> Advanced) and enable it as shown below


Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed VirtualBox guest additions software on Ubuntu guest machine.

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7 Replies to “Installing VirtualBox Guest Additions on Ubuntu 18.04 Desktop

  1. A couple of months ago I was reading that VirtualBox Guest Additions were included in kernel 4.15 but evidently not. I’ve had to install it manually exactly like the instructions in the article above on the 10 Linux Guests (Windows 10 Host) I have installed in VirtualBox (Version 5.2.8 r121009)

    So am I missing something or does 4.15 NOT include Guest Additions? I was so happy about that now it seems to not be true. I can’t remember which right now but manually installing Guest Additions WILL for some reason break the distro. (Boots to black screen or other catastrophic desktop problems, such as opening a terminal or LibreOffice Writer will freeze the system). This is definitely not a package problem because it works just fine, then install Guest Additions, reboot, now it won’t work.

    Anyway, it’s looking like I’m going to use Ubuntu 18.04 as my production system for a while and it seems fine after manually installing Guest Additions. (again I say: using the instructions above) All the other distros are cute to play with but they’re just not a Windows replacement. Yes, bash me if you please but if you’re honest you’ll agree that other distros just simply don’t cut it to be absolutely stable. Even the legendary, ultra-stable Debian has problems.

  2. For all those who have problems with the boot of Ubuntu 18.04 after the installation of the Guest Additions, it has worked for me to deactivate the 3D acceleration.

  3. sudo usermod -a -G vboxsf userName

    Also neccessary step always for me. Maybe becuase I run the as sudo

  4. I have been a Windows slave since 1988 with my first PC being a 286. After retiring, I am learning Linux and have selected Ubuntu. Currently running VirtualBox (5.2.18 r124319) with Ubuntu 18.04 as my first Linux system. This URL is awesome. I have been trying all the diverse how-to vids via YouTube and about half seem to be questionable. This tutorial worked for me!

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