Popped Kernel on Ubuntu with VirtualBox

Popped Kernel on Ubuntu with VirtualBox by David Whelan Virtualization is my key to being able to do Windows on my Ubuntu systems. I am working on an Ubuntu install on a netbook and was having problems getting Sun’s Virtualbox to run. It would start but, once you’d created an instance, it would error out. While I saw a lot of tips on the Web, I ended up solving this by helping Virtualbox find the “missing” kernel using the directions it offered.

The first step was to download Virtualbox.  I’m using 2.1.2 on Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron).  There is a different version for Ibex.

The install stopped first because it didn’t find dkms.  I used apt-get to install it.

Virtualbox then installed but I got an error, the upshot of which was that I needed to recompile vboxdrv and it could not find my kernel.  This is where I could have saved myself some time, because my GDebi Package Installer popped up a short error message saying that I probably needed to install linux-headers after I figured out what kernel I was using:

uname -r

which returned my kernel version.  I then installed my linux-headers file:

apt-get install linux-headers-version_number

and it downloaded two files and I was ready to go.  I returned to the Package installer and installed the Virtualbox package.  After it was successfully installed, I opened up a terminal and went back to /etc/init.d and recompiled Virtualbox

/etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup

It completed without an error this time.

Now when Virtualbox starts up, it fires up a Windows instance without a problem.  Now I can run my Windows apps in a native environment.

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David Whelan

I improve information access and lead information teams. My books on finding information and managing it and practicing law using cloud computing reflect my interest in information management, technology, law practice, and legal research. I've been a library director in Canada and the US, as well as directing the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center. I speak and write frequently on information, technology, law library, and law practice issues.