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I tried to use my Virtual Box and this is the error I received - (I just updated to the new Ubuntu also) and I am VERY new at this Linux OS.

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. Users of Ubuntu, Fedora or Mandriva should install the DKMS package first. This package keeps track of Linux kernel changes and recompiles the vboxdrv kernel module if necessary.

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13 Answers 13

Most probably all you have to do is run

sudo apt-get install dkms

(or install dkms from the software center)

and then run

sudo /etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup

and write your password.

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vboxdrv doesn't exist. –  weberc2 Jan 10 '13 at 23:01
@weberc2 VirtualBox OSE from Ubuntu repo doesn't have it, the virtualbox.org version does have it. $ dpkg -S /etc/init.d/vboxdrv virtualbox-4.2: /etc/init.d/vboxdrv –  gertvdijk Jan 10 '13 at 23:19
@gertvdijk gotcha. I'm going to try some of the other answers in this question first, but failing that I'll use the one from virtualbox.org. Why are so many of the apps in the Ubuntu repo are crippled when the generic versions are not? /rant –  weberc2 Jan 10 '13 at 23:44

here is solution which works for me on 12.10:

  1. Install the latest version of virtualbox according your architecture and distribution version from https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Linux_Downloads

  2. run sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-`uname -r`

  3. run sudo /etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup

Last two steps quoted from one of the comments to the bug on the same theme - https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/virtualbox/+bug/1016165

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Re-install virtualbox-dkms package first

sudo apt-get remove virtualbox-dkms
sudo apt-get install virtualbox-dkms

After that You can enable it manually

sudo modprobe vboxdrv
sudo modprobe vboxnetflt
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sudo modprobe vboxnetflt results in FATAL: Module vboxnetflt not found. same for vboxdrv –  weberc2 Jan 10 '13 at 23:38
Also, when installing virtualbox-dkms, I get non-error output like this: Module build for the currently running kernel was skipped since the kernel source for this kernel does not seem to be installed. –  weberc2 Jan 10 '13 at 23:39
Thanks just doing this solved it for me: sudo apt-get remove virtualbox-dkms / sudo apt-get install virtualbox-dkms –  David Sep 18 '13 at 20:15
On 13.10, with virtualbox-qt package installed this was the best solution for me, but with sudo apt-get install dkms virtualbox-dkms. Those packages installed the modules automatically, no other command was necessary. –  Nathan Kidd Mar 8 '14 at 15:55
On 14.04 this also worked for me. It's important to make sure you install the headers for your kernel (see @Husni's answer) before reinstalling virtualbox-dkms, or the modules will not be built. –  adelphus Mar 19 at 16:17

On 12.10, these solutions all failed for me. However the following worked:

  1. Run command:

    sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list.d/vbox.list and paste in this line, then save:

    deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian quantal contrib

  2. Run:

    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get -y upgrade to update your machine to the latest

  3. Run: sudo apt-get remove virtualbox* Then install Oracle's version:

    sudo apt-get install virtualbox-4.3

Should work now. Don't forget to download the extension pack from http://www.virtualbox.org as well.

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I'm running 12.10 64bit and this worked for me. –  greg Apr 1 '13 at 6:59
13.04 and works! –  asymptotically Jul 15 '13 at 18:09
14.04 - works fine. –  0x8BADF00D Oct 24 '14 at 1:31
14.10 - Worked for me, I just had to write deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian trusty contrib instead. –  Mahdi Jan 18 at 14:46

I have the same issue and solved by these two steps:

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r`


/etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup
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Did you install Virtualbox by downloading it from some web site?

If so, I'd recommend you to install it using the Ubuntu Software Center instead (type Virtualbox and click on install and you're set).

If you have some terminal skills, type this into the console:

sudo apt-get install virtualbox-ose

If you still want to do weird stuff to you computer/OS, then install the dependencies by hand: virtualbox-ose-dkms, libgl1-mesa-glx

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Thanks, I have no terminal skills but am going to try and learn some :) and I did not install it, but am heading to try the software center. I was getting an error when I tried to update the new Virtualbox so maybe that will help also. I have the Oracle Virtualbox will go into it and see what it has... –  Cyndi May 8 '11 at 20:35

In Ubuntu 14.04, 64 bit, what worked for me is

sudo dpkg-reconfigure virtualbox-dkms
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I found this works for me (quoted from virtualbox.org forum):

sudo apt-get install dkms build-essential linux-headers-generic

If you want further granularity you can install the headers as such:

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)

After this step reinstall the virtualbox related packages.

Some people in the forum said that only the second version worked for them.

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I think Chriskin provided the answer, but you also want to make sure you have the proper Linux headers installed, as husni pointed out:

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r`


sudo apt-get install dkms
sudo /etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup
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This doesn't work. The /etc/init.d/vboxdrv file still doesn't exist. It was a nice try though. –  weberc2 Jan 10 '13 at 23:47

I had exactly the same problem. My solution was to totally reinstall VirtualBox, with the following commands:

1) Delete (backup) the hidden VirutalBox directory in your home directory

mv ~/.VirtualBox ~/.VirtualBox-backup

2) Reinstall VirtualBox

sudo apt-get purge virtualbox
sudo apt-get install virtualbox

3) Run VirtualBox and set it (Virtual Images) up again.

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This worked for me:

wget -O /tmp/virtualbox.patch 'http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?msg=99;filename=vbox-wheezy.patch;att=1;bug=696011'
cd /usr/src/virtualbox-4.1.12/
patch -p4 < /tmp/virtualbox.patch
dkms autoinstall
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This question has answers already, This is to refer if some one else have and how I fix it. I also faced the same issue. My OS Ubuntu 14.04 and downloaded from the latest from https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Linux_Downloads (for my case 64 bit). I updated the linux headers.

 sudo apt-get install --reinstall linux-headers-$(uname -r)   

Then I reboot PC. That is all. :)

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I had this problem. I had virtual box 4.2

After upgrading to virtual box 4.3 the normal steps worked. Since my last ubuntu install was 'dirty' with trying all the advice I followed from this thread, it might be several things that worked, so please edit my answer if just updating vitualbox does the trick.

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