How to resolve VirtualBox "Kernel Driver Not Installed" using desktop environment....

Newbie here. Not very experienced with CLI. I've run into this problem twice, now, and I can't help but suspect some other folks have struggled with it and finally just given up. There are one or two things I do only in Windows and I'd rather do it in a VM in Linux (where it actually seems to behave better than it does on its own literal install???).

Anyway, I thought maybe it would make someone's day a little less unbearable (assuming you're having one of those--if not, maybe it'll make your good day better) if they had a lickety-split guide on how to do this smoothly through the GUI.

There appears to be different problems and solutions with regard to this error. I don't know the exact origin of the problem, but I pretty much tried everything I could find on it and in the end it worked so, hopefully, others will have, at worst, the same outcome.

On the face of it, it seems like a conflict between the existing host system kernel and driver or module needed to get VirtualBox emulating the guest system.

The first thing I did was to find out exactly which version of the Linux kernel my Manjaro (Xfce, btw) system was running on, which is as easy as: System Main Menu - Settings - Manjaro Settings Manager - Kernel

You will then see a list of available kernels. Some will be installed, some won't be, but only one should be running. You will need the version number of the running (active) kernel available for reference later on, so make a note of this if you're not a number rememberer person.

Next, install the needed files by going back to the Main Menu, then System - Add/Remove Software (PAMAC), then typ "virt" into the search field. You'll see quite a few options, many may already be installed, but you should only need to check 4 boxes--the ones beside "virtualbox-guest-dkms," "virtualbox-host-dkms," and the virtualbox host and guest modules that most closely match your active kernel version number. NOTE: Do not choose modules that specify RT (real-time) operating kernels. You will be asked to choose kernel version numbers again, and optional dependencies. Check only the ones that specify the Manjaro distribution. Then proceed as usual with the installation. You may or may not need to restart your system for the changes to take affect.

Some of this may be overkill, but again, it worked for me in the end, and I'm of a mind to stick with the old "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" axiom.

Happy Trails To You :cowboy_hat_face: :nerd_face:

  1. You don't need the dkms packages if you already have the host/guest modules packages.
  2. Guest modules are only for guest, host modules only for host, you don't have to install both on a host/guest.
  3. To find the version of the currently running kernel, issue uname -r in a terminal.
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I've used the uname command before. Like I say, I've had this problem twice. I guess I'm just too old and/or lazy-minded to recall it when I need it. Shouldn't VirtualBox just work out-of-the-box with any top-shelf Linux distro. I know it always did for me on another one. Or could it be a hardware driver-related thing that happens during the install of VB? I sure appreciate the way you guys respond to questions so quickly. Ubuntu forums are dead and filled with 2 to 3+ year-old stuff. And i could never get the screen-tearing thing fixed. Manjaro drives my little Intel 620 chip like they were made for each other. I'm gonna call this solved. Thanks again, folks!

It works out of the box - if you install the correct modules for your kernel (version extraction is courtesy of @tbg) the version you find from uname -r command.

$ KERNEL=linux$(uname -r| grep -o -E '[0-9]+' | head -n 2 | sed 'N;s/\n//')

$ sudo pacman -Syu virtualbox $KERNEL-virtualbox-host-modules

$ sudo vboxreload

What can be tricky to get working is folder sharing between host and guest which is covered in above linked post.

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How would I know to do that?

Because when installing VirtualBox you will be queried which kernel modules to install.

Barely followed a word in the OP.

To find which kernels you have installed

mhwd-kernel -li

Just make sure you have virtualbox host module packages installed for these.

Or even better just read @linux-aarhus above tutorial (or the Manjaro virtualbox wiki article) and understand the process before blindly fumbling and bumbling through what should be a very straight forward installation.


Wrong command corrected.

Sorry to bother you. After having installed a fully-functioning VirtualBox a dozen times or so on Xubuntu by simply downloading the .deb installer from the Oracle web site and clicking "Install" in the Software Center, I assumed that the "process" would be at least similar in a distro as polished as Manjaro. What was I thinking?

In any case the condescension and disrespect in your remarks say more about yourself than they do about me. Please feel free to not respond to any of my posts moving forward.


[bubbchubb@tHEmACHINE ~]$ mhwd -li

Installed PCI configs:

              NAME               VERSION          FREEDRIVER           TYPE

       video-linux            2018.05.04                true            PCI

Warning: No installed USB configs!
[bubbchubb@tHEmACHINE ~]$

The difference is that Manjaro doesn't proscribe a kernel version but allows you to pick the kernel you want to run. That additional flexibility means you have to make additional choices when installing packages with kernel modules.(which is not that many).

The good news is that once you install the right kernel module for your current kernels, Manjaro will automatically add the modules for any new kernels you install after that.

And therein lies a flaw if you want the uninitiated to use your distro. Why not assign a kernel version that is stable, current and recommended along with it's module by default, since the ability to switch kernels is given considerable attention in the very first paragraph of the very first item (Read me) in the Manjaro Hello Welcome screen.

New users are not likely to understand the concept of kernels and modules. I think it goes without saying that things which may be considered elementary or self-evident by super-geek forum moderators may seem obscure or glossed over completely by newbies. I believe Manjaro had the top spot at Distrowatch for several weeks and has now relinquished the title to MX. This cannot be allowed to become a trend if we truly want end users to come over from Windows and Mac. In my opinion, no other project is more likely to succeed in this endeavor than Manjaro. Spit and polish, speed and stability may attract new users but it won't necessarily hold onto them if usability becomes more troublesome as they begin to explore. As for me, I'll probably never switch back to (X)Ubuntu now that I've verified (as thoroughly as is possible for me) that screen tearing is a non-issue in Manjaro. For a while there, I thought I might have to re-install Windoze on my Dell Laptop. Display problems that remain unfixed and practically impossible to remedy are a deal-breaker for me. I do a lot of multimedia tinkering. Speaking for myself only, the problems I encounter using Manjaro are more challenging than those I experienced with Ubuntu, but much, much fewer and farther between. Thanks so much for your courteous reply.

The truth is, Manjaro might not be right for absolutely everyone. Manjaro provides near bleeding edge package versions with nicely integrated DEs in a format that is easy to install and get started with. However, it isn't the ideal distro for someone who just wants a desktop to use and never have to think about it. Along with the flexibility and long-term maintainability that Manjaro inherits from Arch it also inherits some complexity that may not be for everyone.

People who are successful with Manjaro tend to be those who want to learn and/or deal with the challenges of having the latest software. This doesn't mean you have to be a Linux expert or a super-geek, you just need to be willing to learn how some things work and troubleshoot the occasional issue.

Manjaro had the top spot for a long time but the truth is it has no meaning. Distrowatch measures the interest in a distribution that distrowatch users have. There is very little correlation between that and anything meaningful. It is still a cool place to get a list of distros if you are looking for something new to try.

Of course, Manjaro provides a kernel version believed to be stable with each release. However, Manjaro is rolling so that means, given the choice to have multiple kernels, not everyone will be on the same kernel at the point they decide to install virtualbox. That it why you get a list of host-modules to install to choose from when installing it.

I certainly acknowledge that this adds some complexity but the reality is that there are very few packages that have this issue since needing a kernel module isn't very common.

Good luck and Welcome!

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