VirtualBox Installer for Linux

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The VirtualBox Linux Installer offers a user-friendly method to install VirtualBox on Linux systems.

It supports Debian, Fedora, and their derivatives such as Ubuntu (starting from version: Ubuntu Jammy (22.04) (LTS)), Linux Mint, RedHat, and Kicksecure.

Designed by Kicksecure developers, not Oracle (virtualbox.org).

Info Choose Your Installation:

Opt for either A) or B).

  • A) VirtualBox Only: The virtualbox-installer on this page installs only VirtualBox. It does not include the installation of Kicksecure.
  • B) VirtualBox with Kicksecure: To install both VirtualBox and the Kicksecure VMs, visit the Kicksecure Linux Installer wiki page.

1. Download.

curl --tlsv1.3 --output virtualbox-installer --url https://www.kicksecure.com/dist-installer-cli

Optional: Digital signature verification.

  • Digital signatures: A tool enhancing download security. Commonly used across the internet.
  • Learn more: Curious? Learn more about digital software signatures.
  • Optional: Digital signatures are optional. If you've never used them before, there might be no need to start now.
  • No worries: New to digital software signatures? It's okay, no need to worry.
  • Not a requirement: Not mandatory for using Kicksecure, but an extra security measure for advanced users.

Choose either Option A), Option B) or Option C).

Option A) Install the installer from the from the Kicksecure APT repository

By installing from the Kicksecure APT repository, no additional verification of the installer is required because APT automatically does that.

1. Add the Kicksecure APT repository.

See Kicksecure Packages for Debian Hosts The Web Archive Onion Version .

2. Install package usability-misc.

Because it contains the Kicksecure Linux Installer.

Install usability-misc. To accomplish that, the following steps A. to D. need to be done.

A. Update the package lists.

sudo apt update

B. Upgrade the system.

sudo apt full-upgrade

C. Install the usability-misc package.

Using apt command line parameter --no-install-recommends is in most cases optional.

sudo apt install --no-install-recommends usability-misc

D. Done.

The procedure of installing usability-misc is complete.

3. Run the Kicksecure Linux Installer.

virtualbox-installer

4. Done.

Option B) Verify the Installer

The Linux Installer is signed by Kicksecure developer Patrick Schleizer using OpenPGP and signify.

Do you already how to perform digital software verification using an OpenPGP and/or signify key?

signify:

signify-openbsd -Vp keyname.pub -m dist-installer-cli

Option C) Manual Installation without the Installer

1. There is no need to use the Kicksecure Linux Installer.

The user is not forced to use the Kicksecure Linux Installer.

2. Manually install Kicksecure for VirtualBox.

Use the manual Kicksecure for VirtualBox instructions instead of the Kicksecure Linux Installer.

3. Done

2. Run the installer.

bash ./virtualbox-installer

onion

1. System Tor Setup.

Downloading via an onion service requires a functional system Tor. This aspect is not specific to Kicksecure and is undocumented.

2. Download.

torsocks curl --output virtualbox-installer --url http://www.w5j6stm77zs6652pgsij4awcjeel3eco7kvipheu6mtr623eyyehj4yd.onion/dist-installer-cli

3. Run the installer.

bash ./virtualbox-installer --onion

Optional: Digital signature verification.

  • Digital signatures: A tool enhancing download security. Commonly used across the internet.
  • Learn more: Curious? Learn more about digital software signatures.
  • Optional: Digital signatures are optional. If you've never used them before, there might be no need to start now.
  • No worries: New to digital software signatures? It's okay, no need to worry.
  • Not a requirement: Not mandatory for using Kicksecure, but an extra security measure for advanced users.

Choose either Option A), Option B) or Option C).

Option A) Install the installer from the from the Kicksecure APT repository

By installing from the Kicksecure APT repository, no additional verification of the installer is required because APT automatically does that.

1. Add the Kicksecure APT repository.

See Kicksecure Packages for Debian Hosts The Web Archive Onion Version .

2. Install package usability-misc.

Because it contains the Kicksecure Linux Installer.

Install usability-misc. To accomplish that, the following steps A. to D. need to be done.

A. Update the package lists.

sudo apt update

B. Upgrade the system.

sudo apt full-upgrade

C. Install the usability-misc package.

Using apt command line parameter --no-install-recommends is in most cases optional.

sudo apt install --no-install-recommends usability-misc

D. Done.

The procedure of installing usability-misc is complete.

3. Run the Kicksecure Linux Installer.

virtualbox-installer

4. Done.

Option B) Verify the Installer

The Linux Installer is signed by Kicksecure developer Patrick Schleizer using OpenPGP and signify.

Do you already how to perform digital software verification using an OpenPGP and/or signify key?

signify:

signify-openbsd -Vp keyname.pub -m dist-installer-cli

Option C) Manual Installation without the Installer

1. There is no need to use the Kicksecure Linux Installer.

The user is not forced to use the Kicksecure Linux Installer.

2. Manually install Kicksecure for VirtualBox.

Use the manual Kicksecure for VirtualBox instructions instead of the Kicksecure Linux Installer.

3. Done

More About the VirtualBox Linux Installer:

The VirtualBox Linux Installer is designed to simplify the installation of VirtualBox. Let's explore its features:

  • Script Name Verification: The installer checks for valid script names, such as dist-installer-cli, virtualbox-installer The Web Archive Onion Version , kicksecure-cli-installer-cli, kicksecure-xfce-installer-cli.
  • Command-Line Parsing: It parses any command-line options provided.
  • System Requirements Check: The installer assesses if the system meets prerequisites like adequate disk space, RAM, and virtualization support. Users are informed if any of these criteria aren't met.
  • Package Installation: Necessary packages for the script's operation, like signify, curl, rsync, and vboxmanage (for VirtualBox users) are installed using the distribution's package manager (APT or DNF).
  • Repository Settings:
    • Debian and Derivatives:
      • For bullseye (oldstable): Enables the Debian backports and fasttrack repositories.
      • For bookworm (stable): Same as above.
      • For trixie (testing): Enables the Debian unstable repository and configures APT pinning to prefer packages from testing over unstable so only VirtualBox gets installed from unstable and no other dependency packages are unnecessarily pulled from unstable.
      • For sid (unstable): Installs from Debian unstable repository.
    • Fedora and Derivatives: Enables the virtualbox.org (Oracle) repository.
    • Updates: The preferred repository for VirtualBox installation may vary in the future based on availability. Updated installers might fetch VirtualBox from the Debian fasttrack repository, virtualbox.org (Oracle) repository, or the Kicksecure repository. (Kicksecure development discussion: VirtualBox Integration and Upgradesarchive.org)
  • Version Querying: If no version is specified via command line, the Kicksecure version number is fetched using the API.
  • Virtual Machine Handling:
    • For previously imported VMs, users are prompted to boot the virtual system(s).
    • For previously downloaded VM files, authenticity and integrity checks are run.
    • For first-time users, the installer downloads the required files, conducts authenticity and integrity checks, imports the system(s), and then attempts to start the Virtual Machine(s).
  • Inform user if VMs are already running and abort installation.

Additional Features:

  • Download Resumption: Utilizes rsync internally to enable download resumption capabilities.
  • Integrity Checking: Offers a streamlined integrity verification process, facilitated by rsync.
  • Onion Support: Allows for downloads from onion sources with the --onion command line option.
  • Default Download Directory: Files are saved in the ~/dist-installer-cli-download folder.
  • Logging Mechanics: For transparency, every command executed is logged in the download directory, accompanied by the specific script version used at the time.
  • Transparent System Modifications: The installer’s operations are evident to the user. All persistent system alterations, especially those executed with administrative ("root") privileges, are prominently detailed in the installer's output.
  • Documentation: Comprehensive details can be found in the dist-installer-cli man pagearchive.org.
  • Checks: Nested Virtualization, secure boot enabled check.

Developer Information:


Intended User Groups:

VirtualBox Installer for Linux only automates things which could, in principle, be done manually by the user. Advanced users will not see many advantages.

If the user can manage to install VirtualBox according to the instructions of their operating system, following Oracle's instructions on virtualbox.org/wiki/Linux_Downloadsarchive.org, using prebuilt packages for their operating system, Oracle's virtualbox.org provided packages, or even compiling VirtualBox from source code, there is little additional benefit to using this installer. The main benefit of the installer is that it resolves many usability issues users might experience during the installation of VirtualBox, which are as follows:

  • Following provided instructions requires skills that many laymen users do not possess, such as:
    • Locating the installation instructions
    • Knowing what to download (whether to download prebuilt packages directly or add a package repository)
    • Understanding the requirements for dependency installations, such as kernel headers (which have different names depending on the distribution)
    • Knowing about packages like apt-transport-https and ca-certificates when using Debian and TLS
    • Installation of undocumented dependencies:
      • (udev)archive.org
      • kernel-devel (Fedora)
      • dkms (Fedora)
    • Editing files with root permissions, such as /etc/apt/sources.list
    • Recognizing the codename of their distribution and replacing <mydist> with it. Example: deb [arch=amd64 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/oracle-virtualbox-2016.gpg] https://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debianarchive.org <mydist> contrib
    • Avoiding the simple copying and pasting of outdated commands, like sudo apt-get install virtualbox-6.1, and replacing virtualbox-6.1 with virtualbox-7.0
    • Being aware of the existence of Debian backports or fasttrack
    • Adding a Linux user account to the Linux user group vboxusersarchive.org (otherwise, using USB devices from VirtualBox VMs won't work)
  • As of September 2023, when Debian 12 ("bookworm") was released as Debian stable, virtualbox.org does not provide packages or instructions on how to install VirtualBox on Debian testing, Debian unstable ("sid"), or Linux Mint.
    • Installing VirtualBox on Debian unstable is relatively straightforward since VirtualBox is available in Debian unstable. However, it's not in the main component but only in the contrib component.
    • Installing VirtualBox on Debian testing is not as straightforward. However, it can be done using APT pinning to download only VirtualBox from Debian sid and not install any other packages from sid. Only relatively advanced users are typically aware of APT pinning. The author of this text couldn't even find third-party instructions on search engines on how to achieve this.
  • Users often encounter numerous package manager unmet dependency issues. For a demonstration, try the following search engine query: site:https://unix.stackexchange.com/archive.org virtualbox unmet dependencies
  • After Debian 12 ("bookworm") was released as Debian stable, VirtualBox was unavailable as prebuilt packagesarchive.org for approximately 6 months. (The ticket was created on Feb 27, 2023, and closed on Aug 16, 2023.)
    • Simultaneously, Debian did not provide prebuilt packagesarchive.org for roughly 3 months. However, this installer managed to install VirtualBox during that period. This was achieved by Kicksecure maintainers downloading VirtualBox from Debian testing, uploading it to the Kicksecure (Debian-based) stable repository, and the installer then installed VirtualBox from the Kicksecure repository.
  • Sometimes, prebuilt packages from virtualbox.org fail to install. For reference, see this VirtualBox on Fedora bug reportarchive.org which also affected Debianarchive.org.
    • This installer did not face this issue since it prioritizes packages from the user's distribution (like Debian) over prebuilt packages from virtualbox.org.
  • Using distribution packages offers the added advantage of allowing users to install VirtualBox guest additions from the same source. This ensures version compatibility and increases the likelihood that features such as virtual screen size adjustment and seamless VM copy/paste will function as expected.
  • A VirtualBox guest additions installer is not yet provided by Kicksecure developers, but it might be in the future.
  • Installing VirtualBox on Debian is complex because VirtualBox is unavailable from both the Debian stable and backports (repository) and it's also unavailable from the Debian main (component).
    • It's preferable to avoid adding foreign sources (extra package repositories) from third parties if possible. In the case of Debian and VirtualBox, this is achievable by using Debian's lesser-known fasttrack repository.

Related Tools:

  • vbox-guest-installer (A utility that enhances usability by facilitating the installation of VirtualBox guest additions from Debian's (packages.debian.org) package virtualbox-guest-additions-iso.)

Disclaimer:

The VirtualBox Installer for Linux is a product of the Kicksecure developers. It is not associated with VirtualBox.org or Oracle.


Unfinished: This wiki is a work in progress. Please do not report broken links until this notice is removed, use Search Engines First and contribute improving this wiki.

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