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I want to install Guest Additions in a virtual Windows 7 running inside Ubuntu. The VirtualBox instructions are:

In the "Devices" menu in the virtual machine's menu bar, VirtualBox has a handy menu item named "Install guest additions", which mounts the Guest Additions ISO file inside your virtual machine. A Windows guest should then automatically start the Guest Additions installer, which installs the Guest Additions into your Windows guest.

How do I get to the "Devices" menu in the virtual machine's menu bar?

virtual Win 7

virtual box manager

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It's the third menu, can't you see the menus? – Javier Rivera Aug 24 '12 at 10:53
A virtual Windows 7 looks like a real Windows 7. I've never seen a Devices menu in Window 7. – H2ONaCl Aug 24 '12 at 10:54
Are you running in seamless mode? – Javier Rivera Aug 24 '12 at 10:57
I have a Windows 7 window and some Virtual Box indicators along the bottom of the window. I also have a Virtual Box Manager. I don't know what seamless mode is but my cursor works inside and outside the virtual machine window. – H2ONaCl Aug 24 '12 at 10:59
Having 517 rep, I'm sure that you know how unity menu works. Just in case, hover over the top bar to see the app menu, while VirtualBox window is selected. If there is no VBox menu there, you have found a bug. – Javier Rivera Aug 24 '12 at 11:09
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Right There, Third Menu option.Click it a drop down menu will appear, the last Option is to Install Guest Additions.

  • When you boot into Windows Press Host+D (Host is usually the right Control key). That will mount the Vbox Guest Additions ISO into Windows and the autorun prompt will appear.

enter image description here

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My virtual machine just has a Windows task bar at the bottom and the usual contents in the Windows Start menu. – H2ONaCl Aug 24 '12 at 10:56
I don't see that menu bar. Right clicking doesn't offer any way to enable a menu bar either. Stretching the Ubuntu window that surrounds the virtual Win7 does not reveal anything, just whitespace borders around Windows blue wallpaper. – H2ONaCl Aug 24 '12 at 11:07
If you're using Unity which i suppose you're since you don't have the menubar hover the mouse over the top panel to reveal it. – Uri Herrera Aug 24 '12 at 11:12
I'm sorry. I'm running Lucid and for the last hour I've tried to get out of seamless mode or get into a mode where the Windows guest is running inside as shown in the illustration above. I've pressed Host+D, screamed, beat my chest, etc. Nothing will get me what I see illustrated here. Would you answer the second comment above (I don't see that menu bar)? – Russ Bateman Feb 16 '13 at 17:43

You have Scale Mode enabled. Disable it (CTRL C) and you will see the Devices Menu for your VM. You can then install the Guest Additions

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My host is Windows 8.1 x64, my guest is Ubuntu 14.04 x 64. It's amazing how tricky and hidden this issue can be. Numerous other pages recommended using the Device menu to insert the Guest Additions virtual CD image but I still couldn't find the Device menu until I found this information about getting out of Scale mode. All of that would have really been just ignorance or failing to think, on my part, except I have an ultra high DPI monitor where I need Scale mode to even read the text on my VM, so I had never considered leaving Scale mode. Thanks! – cdaddr Jan 9 '15 at 18:43

There are a couple of ways to run a VirtualBox VM in Ubuntu, the most used is windowed mode, when using it the Virtual Machine is inside a window, it looks like this:

enter image description here

The menu should be in the same place that other windows. Bellow the title, or if you are using unity, it will appear when you hover over the bar that is located at the top of the screen.

I believe that you could be running it on seamless mode. In this mode the virtual machine will try to mend with the Ubuntu desktop and it doesn't has its own window.

If this is your situation you have two options:

  1. Move the mouse to the middle bottom of the windows taskbar, try to put it as low as possible. Let it hold there for a second or two. A new menu bar should appear.
  2. Hit CTRL+L while you have windows selected, this should change it to above mode (in a window), you should then be able to access the menu in the normal way.
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The OP's screenshot shows the windows background so it's not seamless mode. I use it occasionally and the windows menu bar gets displayed at the bottom of the screen. – StarNamer Aug 24 '12 at 12:39
Yes I know, there was no screenshot when I wrote the answer. I left it there, it could be useful to someone else. – Javier Rivera Aug 24 '12 at 14:11

When you boot into Windows press Host+Home (Host is usually the right Control key).

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I had the same issue....beating my head against the wall. Once the Win7 device is and you log in, go to My Computer and open the CDROM...the iso will be there. Run the installer and reboot. You'll be good to go.

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I had exactly the same problem when I tried to install the guest additions. My case is installing a win& virtual machine in OS. Finally I realized, at least in my case, you have to make the virtual machine window to be full screen, then move your cursor to the top of the screen, then the hidden menu bar appeared!!!! Then Device is there, you can just install the guest additions as other tutorials said.

Hops this can help!

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