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I'm trying to start virtualbox without success, please give some advice on how to fix it:

The GUI opens up successfully and I can add existing images but when I try to start a virtual machine, I get the message:

Kernel driver not installed (rc=-1908)

The VirtualBox Linux kernel driver (vboxdrv) is either not loaded or there is a permission problem with /dev/vboxdrv. Please reinstall the kernel module by executing

'/etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup'

as root. If it is available in your distribution, you should install the DKMS package first. This package keeps track of Linux kernel changes and recompiles the vboxdrv kernel module if necessary.

I have installed virtualbox-dkms, the version from apt-get and from the oracle website, I've tried to run /etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup, /etc/init.d/virtualbox/start, modprobe vboxdrv but my system always complaints about not being able to load the kernel module:

FATAL: Error inserting vboxdrv (/lib/modules/3.2.0-23-realtime/updates/dkms/vboxdrv.ko): Unknown symbol in module, or unknown parameter (see dmesg)

Here's the output of sudo dpkg-reconfigure virtualbox-dkms:

-------- Uninstall Beginning --------
Module:  virtualbox
Version: 4.1.12
Kernel:  3.2.0-23-realtime (x86_64)
-------------------------------------

Status: Before uninstall, this module version was ACTIVE on this kernel.

vboxdrv.ko:
 - Uninstallation
   - Deleting from: /lib/modules/3.2.0-23-realtime/updates/dkms/
 - Original module
   - No original module was found for this module on this kernel.
   - Use the dkms install command to reinstall any previous module version.


vboxnetadp.ko:
 - Uninstallation
   - Deleting from: /lib/modules/3.2.0-23-realtime/updates/dkms/
 - Original module
   - No original module was found for this module on this kernel.
   - Use the dkms install command to reinstall any previous module version.


vboxnetflt.ko:
 - Uninstallation
   - Deleting from: /lib/modules/3.2.0-23-realtime/updates/dkms/
 - Original module
   - No original module was found for this module on this kernel.
   - Use the dkms install command to reinstall any previous module version.


vboxpci.ko:
 - Uninstallation
   - Deleting from: /lib/modules/3.2.0-23-realtime/updates/dkms/
 - Original module
   - No original module was found for this module on this kernel.
   - Use the dkms install command to reinstall any previous module version.

depmod....

DKMS: uninstall completed.

-------- Uninstall Beginning --------
Module:  virtualbox
Version: 4.1.12
Kernel:  3.2.0-24-generic (x86_64)
-------------------------------------

Status: Before uninstall, this module version was ACTIVE on this kernel.

vboxdrv.ko:
 - Uninstallation
   - Deleting from: /lib/modules/3.2.0-24-generic/updates/dkms/
 - Original module
   - No original module was found for this module on this kernel.
   - Use the dkms install command to reinstall any previous module version.


vboxnetadp.ko:
 - Uninstallation
   - Deleting from: /lib/modules/3.2.0-24-generic/updates/dkms/
 - Original module
   - No original module was found for this module on this kernel.
   - Use the dkms install command to reinstall any previous module version.


vboxnetflt.ko:
 - Uninstallation
   - Deleting from: /lib/modules/3.2.0-24-generic/updates/dkms/
 - Original module
   - No original module was found for this module on this kernel.
   - Use the dkms install command to reinstall any previous module version.


vboxpci.ko:
 - Uninstallation
   - Deleting from: /lib/modules/3.2.0-24-generic/updates/dkms/
 - Original module
   - No original module was found for this module on this kernel.
   - Use the dkms install command to reinstall any previous module version.

depmod....

DKMS: uninstall completed.

------------------------------
Deleting module version: 4.1.12
completely from the DKMS tree.
------------------------------
Done.
Loading new virtualbox-4.1.12 DKMS files...
Building for 3.2.0-23-realtime and 3.2.0-24-generic
Building initial module for 3.2.0-23-realtime
^[[A^[[ADone.

vboxdrv:
Running module version sanity check.
 - Original module
   - No original module exists within this kernel
 - Installation
   - Installing to /lib/modules/3.2.0-23-realtime/updates/dkms/

vboxnetadp.ko:
Running module version sanity check.
 - Original module
   - No original module exists within this kernel
 - Installation
   - Installing to /lib/modules/3.2.0-23-realtime/updates/dkms/

vboxnetflt.ko:
Running module version sanity check.
 - Original module
   - No original module exists within this kernel
 - Installation
   - Installing to /lib/modules/3.2.0-23-realtime/updates/dkms/

vboxpci.ko:
Running module version sanity check.
 - Original module
   - No original module exists within this kernel
 - Installation
   - Installing to /lib/modules/3.2.0-23-realtime/updates/dkms/

depmod....

DKMS: install completed.
Building initial module for 3.2.0-24-generic
Done.

vboxdrv:
Running module version sanity check.
 - Original module
   - No original module exists within this kernel
 - Installation
   - Installing to /lib/modules/3.2.0-24-generic/updates/dkms/

vboxnetadp.ko:
Running module version sanity check.
 - Original module
   - No original module exists within this kernel
 - Installation
   - Installing to /lib/modules/3.2.0-24-generic/updates/dkms/

vboxnetflt.ko:
Running module version sanity check.
 - Original module
   - No original module exists within this kernel
 - Installation
   - Installing to /lib/modules/3.2.0-24-generic/updates/dkms/

vboxpci.ko:
Running module version sanity check.
 - Original module
   - No original module exists within this kernel
 - Installation
   - Installing to /lib/modules/3.2.0-24-generic/updates/dkms/

depmod....

DKMS: install completed.
 * Stopping VirtualBox kernel modules                                                                          [ OK ] 
 * Starting VirtualBox kernel modules                                                                                  * modprobe vboxdrv failed. Please use 'dmesg' to find out why

And also the output of dmesg after I try sudo modbrobe vboxdrv:

[ 1764.425935] vboxdrv: Unknown symbol down_write (err 0)
[ 1764.425968] vboxdrv: Unknown symbol up_write (err 0)
[ 1764.426096] vboxdrv: Unknown symbol down_read (err 0)
[ 1764.426169] vboxdrv: Unknown symbol up_read (err 0)
[ 1774.383081] vboxdrv: Unknown symbol down_write (err 0)
[ 1774.383096] vboxdrv: Unknown symbol up_write (err 0)
[ 1774.383131] vboxdrv: Unknown symbol down_read (err 0)
[ 1774.383157] vboxdrv: Unknown symbol up_read (err 0)
[ 1913.247363] vboxdrv: Unknown symbol down_write (err 0)
[ 1913.247430] vboxdrv: Unknown symbol up_write (err 0)
[ 1913.247526] vboxdrv: Unknown symbol down_read (err 0)
[ 1913.247594] vboxdrv: Unknown symbol up_read (err 0)
[ 2121.744210] applesmc: FS! : read arg fail
[ 2234.558172] vboxdrv: Unknown symbol down_write (err 0)
[ 2234.558183] vboxdrv: Unknown symbol up_write (err 0)
[ 2234.558207] vboxdrv: Unknown symbol down_read (err 0)
[ 2234.558227] vboxdrv: Unknown symbol up_read (err 0)
[ 2600.875176] vboxdrv: Unknown symbol down_write (err 0)
[ 2600.875208] vboxdrv: Unknown symbol up_write (err 0)
[ 2600.875303] vboxdrv: Unknown symbol down_read (err 0)
[ 2600.875373] vboxdrv: Unknown symbol up_read (err 0)

I did install the kernel headers: sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)

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3 Answers 3

kxstudio is not in the repositories, you have to get it from http://kxstudio.sourceforge.net/KXStudio:Repositories

https://launchpad.net/~kxstudio-team/+archive/ppa | ppa:kxstudio-team/ppa

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Yep, the link is in my answer. –  Rafael Vega May 22 '12 at 0:02
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The vboxdrv module simply does not work with a host real time kernel. Switching to a low latency kernel "fixed" the issue for me. I have filed the following ticket: https://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/10580

I use the KXStudio repositories so installing the low latency kernel was really easy: sudo apt-get install kxstudio-kernel-lowlatency and then I used Grub Customizer to set it as my default kernel. After a reboot, virtualbox worked fine.

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Be sure you already installed the package linux-headers. It is necessary to compile the kernel module to virtualbox.

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