Installing VirtualBox Guest Additions on Ubuntu 24.04

VirtualBox Guest Additions are a collection of device drivers and system applications designed to achieve closer integration between the host and guest operating systems. They help to enhance the interactive performance of guest systems, including improved video, mouse, and shared folder support. This tutorial focuses on installing Guest Additions on Ubuntu 24.04, providing detailed steps and insights into each part of the process.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to update package indexes in Ubuntu
  • Installing the necessary prerequisites for Guest Additions
  • Inserting the Guest Additions CD image
  • Executing the autorun script for installation
  • Rebooting the virtual machine after installation
Installing VirtualBox Guest Additions on Ubuntu 24.04
Installing VirtualBox Guest Additions on Ubuntu 24.04

Benefits of Installing VirtualBox Guest Additions

Installing Guest Additions offers several key advantages:

  • Improved Graphics Performance: It enhances the graphical performance of the virtual machine, providing smoother video playback, faster graphics rendering, and overall improved system responsiveness.
  • Better Mouse Integration: Guest Additions allow for seamless mouse transition between the host and guest operating systems, eliminating the need to capture and uncapture the mouse pointer.
  • Shared Clipboard and Drag-and-Drop: Enables the sharing of clipboard contents and drag-and-drop functionality between the host and guest operating systems, simplifying file transfer and data sharing.
  • Shared Folders: Makes it possible to easily share folders between the host and the guest, providing convenient access to files without network transfers.
  • Automatic Window Resizing: Guest Additions enable dynamic resizing of the guest OS display resolution to match the size of the VirtualBox window or the fullscreen mode of the host system.
  • Improved Time Synchronization: Helps in maintaining consistent time settings between the host and the guest systems.
  • Efficient Network Performance: Offers optimized network drivers to enhance network performance of the virtual machine.

Installing VirtualBox Guest Additions Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these detailed steps to successfully install the Guest Additions on your Ubuntu 24.04 virtual machine.

  1. Update Package IndexesStart by updating your package indexes to ensure you have access to the latest versions of packages and their dependencies.
    $ sudo apt update

    This command fetches the list of available updates from configured sources. It’s a good practice to run this command before installing new software to ensure you are getting the latest versions.

  2. Install Prerequisites: Before installing Guest Additions, certain prerequisite packages must be installed.
    $ sudo apt install build-essential dkms linux-headers-$(uname -r)

    This command installs the required packages for building kernel modules, including the headers for your current kernel version. ‘dkms’ ensures that the Guest Additions kernel modules are properly updated when the kernel is updated.

  3. Insert Guest Additions CD Image: Next, you need to insert the VirtualBox Guest Additions CD image into your virtual machine.
    Insert Guest Additions CD Image
    Insert Guest Additions CD Image
    Click on the CD icon to open VirtualBox guest installation pack
    Click on the CD icon to open VirtualBox guest installation pack

    This step usually involves selecting the ‘Insert Guest Additions CD image’ option from the VirtualBox menu. Once inserted, the CD image will appear on your Ubuntu desktop.

  4. Run Autorun Script: Navigate to the CD image and run the autorun script by right click on > Run as a program
    Run Autorun Script
    Run Autorun Script

    This will start the Guest Additions installation process. You might need to enter your administrative password to proceed.

    Enter your sudo password
    Enter your sudo password

  5. Reboot the Virtual Machine: : Once the installation is complete, you should reboot your virtual machine to apply the changes.
    Installation Complete
    Installation Complete

    Restart your system now:

    $ sudo reboot

    After rebooting, your system should be fully equipped with the VirtualBox Guest Additions, improving its performance and usability within the VirtualBox environment.

  6. Confirm Guest addition installation:
    $ VBoxService --version
    $ lsmod | grep vboxguest


Installing Guest Additions on Ubuntu 24.04 is a straightforward process that significantly improves the interaction between your host and guest system. By following these steps, you can ensure a smoother, more integrated experience while working with your Ubuntu virtual machine in VirtualBox.

FAQs: Installing Guest Additions on Ubuntu 24.04

  1. What are VirtualBox Guest Additions?

    VirtualBox Guest Additions are software packages that enhance the functionality and user experience of virtual machines in VirtualBox, offering improved graphics, mouse integration, and other features.

  2. Why should I install Guest Additions on Ubuntu 24.04?

    Installing Guest Additions improves the performance and usability of the virtual machine, including better video performance, seamless mouse integration, and convenient file sharing options.

  3. Are Guest Additions required to run Ubuntu 24.04 on VirtualBox?

    While not required, installing Guest Additions is highly recommended for a better and more efficient virtualization experience.

  4. How do I update package indexes in Ubuntu?

    Package indexes can be updated by running the command ‘sudo apt update’ in the terminal. This ensures you have the latest available software versions.

  5. What prerequisites are needed for installing Guest Additions?

    The prerequisites include build-essential, dkms, and the Linux headers matching your current kernel version.

  6. How do I insert the Guest Additions CD image in VirtualBox?

    This can be done by selecting the ‘Insert Guest Additions CD image’ option from the VirtualBox menu within the virtual machine.

  7. What command is used to run the autorun script for Guest Additions?

    The autorun script can be executed by right-clicking on ‘’ and selecting ‘Run as a program’.

  8. Is it necessary to reboot the virtual machine after installing Guest Additions?

    Yes, rebooting is necessary to apply and activate all the new features and enhancements provided by the Guest Additions.

  9. Can Guest Additions be installed on other Linux distributions?

    Yes, Guest Additions can be installed on various Linux distributions, though the installation steps might slightly differ.

  10. What if I encounter errors during the installation?

    If errors occur, ensure that all prerequisites are correctly installed and that your VirtualBox version is compatible with your Ubuntu version.

  11. How do I uninstall Guest Additions if needed?

    Guest Additions can be uninstalled by running the uninstall script from the Guest Additions CD image or removing the installed packages.

  12. Can I use Guest Additions with a headless VirtualBox setup?

    Yes, Guest Additions can be used in a headless setup, although some features like improved graphics may not be applicable.

  13. Do Guest Additions need to be updated?

    It’s a good practice to update Guest Additions whenever you update VirtualBox or the guest operating system to ensure compatibility and functionality.

  14. Are there any alternatives to VirtualBox Guest Additions?

    While Guest Additions are specific to VirtualBox, other virtualization platforms have their own equivalent tools, like VMware Tools for VMware.