I installed Ubuntu 11.04 on Virtual Box. It had poor performance (had low max resolution, cursor was choppy when going across the screen, none of the unity stuff was there), until I installed the Virtual Box Guest additions. After installing the guest additions, everything worked beautifully until I an update through the update manager. Everything looked like crap again (the unity stuff is gone, and the mouse cursor lags when going across the screen, overall just doesn't look nearly as nice as it did pre-update).

I reran the guest additions installer and everything is almost back to normal (the mouse cursor is one cm off target and there is an inch at the bottom of the screen which you can't use), but I would like to mitigate this for future updates. Is there a way to mitigate this issue when installing updates?

  • Some update may have removed parts of the guest additions. If DKMS is not able take care of this peculiar (and hopefully singular) situation than there is no way other than to reinstall the GA. It would be very interesting what applications were updated before you lost your GA. – Takkat Aug 21 '11 at 20:24

This should have been taken care of by dkms - this builds kernel support each time the kernel is updated.

Ensure dkms is installed before the next time you run the VBoxGuestAdditions module


sudo apt-get install dkms
cd /cdrom
sudo sh ./VBoxLinuxAdditions-x86.run
  • DKMS should be installed by default in 11.04 – Takkat Aug 21 '11 at 20:18
  • Takkat - agreed - still scratching my head on this one - I cant think why guest additions doesnt autoupdate if dkms is already installed. – fossfreedom Aug 21 '11 at 20:24
  • I never saw this here, hopefully it's "only" a one-time bug. – Takkat Aug 21 '11 at 21:27
  • dkms didn't look like it was installed (even though in retrospect I didn't pay too much attention to the install, so it could've been an upgrade). I installed and reran the virtualbox additions. The next time I run the update manager I'll mark as an answer if everything looks cool. – Dave Aug 21 '11 at 22:09
  • 1
    I just ran into the same problem Dave, I can confirm that dkms wasn't installed. – bluekeys Sep 7 '11 at 14:39

[Solved it] It was the same problem. It's suddenly occurred after Ubuntu update

  1. sudo apt-get install dkms
  2. sudo /etc/init.d/vboxadd setup
  3. Insert CD VBoxGuestAdditions.iso
  4. sudo sh ./VBoxLinuxAdditions.run after do it anything not occur.
  5. very important: Turn off the machine and reboot it.

Ref: http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch04.html#idp11306688


You should re-install the guest additions every time you update virtualbox. For the latest guest additions I think they update the kernel modules automatically if you update the kernel with apt.

Just make sure you have the build-essential and current kernel-headers packages installed.

  • They don't have an update of host Virtual Box application but rather an update of the guest OS. – Takkat Aug 21 '11 at 20:20

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