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Why does VirtualBox from the Ubuntu repositories not support USB?

(While the official release does support it?)

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

The USB code in VirtualBox is not open-source.The ubuntu repository is the open version,so the open source edition of VirtualBox doesn't have USB function.It's easy enough to install the full one from virtualbox's website.

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As an update: since version 4, they re-architected VirtualBox so that the standard distribution is fully open-source, and the proprietary features have been moved off into an extension pack. So you can install the Ubuntu package, and download the extension pack from Oracle.

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