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I downloaded VirtualBox OSE from the Ubuntu Software Center but it seems that that version is limited. I prefer to have the complete version and don't really care if it's closed source or not.

Can I install it via a terminal or do I have to download something from a website?

I don't know how to install software I download from the web. So far I've only used the Software Center.

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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Prior to version 4.0, there were two versions of VirtualBox -- one was open source, and the one that most Linux distributions shipped with was not. At this point, there should no longer be two separate editions, so I'm not quite sure why Ubuntu still labels theirs 'OSE' unless they're shipping a modified version.

As far as downloading software from the Internet, you'll want to find .deb files whenever possible. .tar.gz is simply a compressed folder (like .zip), so it can contain all sorts of files. .deb files will install onto your computer, and Oracle provides debs for Ubuntu for both the official VirtualBox as well as the extension pack.

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and even better than a deb is a deb repository where you can get updates without having to remember to look for them –  Jeremy Bicha May 9 '11 at 12:48
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The recommended way to install and maintain the Open Source (GPL v2) Virtual Box >= 4.0 in Ubuntu would be to add the following repository to your sources list:

deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian <ubuntu-release> contrib

(replace <ubuntu-release by your Ubuntu version, e.g. oneiric). Then download and install the signature key:

wget -q http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian/oracle_vbox.asc -O- | sudo apt-key add -

After updating your sources list with

sudo apt-get update

You can install Virtual Box via the Software Center or by typing

sudo apt-get install virtual-box-4.1

(replace -4.1 by the current Virtual Box release). If you don't want to compile the kernel driver every time your kernel updates it is also recommended to install dkms by:

sudo apt-get install dkms

To gain extended functionality such as USB 2.0 support or support for Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) you can make your Virtual Box installation closed source (see the Personal Use and Evaluation License) by downloading the Oracle Virtual Box Extension Pack and installing this by double click or with the Virtual Box Manager GUI under File -> Preferences -> Extensions:

enter image description here

To install an extension pack from command line we run the following command

VBoxManage extpack install [--replace] <tarball>

Replace <tarball> with the path to your downloaded extension pack and use the option --replace in case you have an older version of the extension pack already installed.

3D support (to run Unity), better desktop integration, changing the virtual screen geometry, and more can be achieved by installing the Guest Additions.

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Before version 4.0, there were two editions of VirtualBox: 
a full binary containing all features and an "Open Source Edition" (OSE)
 with source code. With version 4.0, there is only one version any more, 
which is open source, and the closed-source components have been moved 
to a separate extension pack. 

From virtualbox

So you will need to find a version prior to 4.0 or find the extension pack (I'll edit it in when I find it ;) )

edit: Here we go: Extension pack how to and download

From the 2nd link: You can install the Extension Pack from the command line using VBoxManage.

VBoxManage extpack install  |
                   uninstall [--force]  |
                   cleanup
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Where exactly can we find the extension pack? –  Oxwivi May 9 '11 at 11:38
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