VirtualBox in Fedora Linux

I have no problem installing VirtualBox and the related tools and extensions in Ubuntu and Arch. In Fedora, things are a little bit harder.

First, I think it’s better NOT to download binaries distributed by VirtualBox: I’m using Fedora packages that are available from RPM Fusion Free. Thus, first of all, you have to enable such a repository.

Then you run

It’s also best to add your user to the VirtualBox group:

And reboot, of course.

Then, to have additional features, you should install the VirtualBox extension pack. That’s where Fedora gets complicated. Differently from Ubuntu (package virtualbox-ext-pack) and Arch (package virtualbox-ext-oracle), you will not find a corresponding package in the RPM Fusion repositories.

You need to download the file from the VirtualBox website manually, You must download a file of the shape Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-<VERSION>.vbox-extpack where <VERSION> must match the version of VirtualBox you installed. Then, you install it inside VirtualBox with File => Preferences => Extensions.

If the versions don’t match, you will have trouble starting your virtual machines with errors of the shape:

I experienced such a problem and asked on the Fedora forum.

Then, I realized that VirtualBox had been upgraded during a system update, but I forgot to download and install the updated extension pack. You can see the versions don’t match:

I then downloaded the corresponding file And added it to the “Extensions” preference (selecting “Upgrade”):

That was enough to go back to running my VirtualBox machines.

However, I must admit that the whole procedure for using VirtualBox in Fedora is much more cumbersome and error-prone than in other distributions 🙁 It’s far too easy in Fedora to forget about package upgrades that require manual interventions. In general, I’d like to avoid manual interventions at all 😉

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