After the 14.10 update to VirtualBox, I can no longer run my boxes. Of note, running sudo service virtualbox status returns VirtualBox kernel module is not loaded and running sudo service virtualbox restart shows:

 * Stopping VirtualBox kernel modules                                    [ OK ] 
 * Starting VirtualBox kernel modules                                            
 * No suitable module for running kernel found

The VirtualBox GUI, when I try to run a box, pops up a dialog saying that I should run sudo /etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup, but there is no /etc/init.d/vboxdrv on my 14.10 installation.

This is reminiscent of this question. Per some of the answers, I tried uninstalling (with purge) and reinstalling VirtualBox. This did not help. However, I was unable to install:

linux-headers-`uname -r`

because there is no package named linux-headers-3.13.0-30-generic. I do have linux-headers-generic and linux-source installed, as well as dkms, but the reinstall still fails:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Suggested packages:
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  virtualbox virtualbox-dkms virtualbox-qt
0 upgraded, 3 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 0 B/21.1 MB of archives.
After this operation, 87.6 MB of additional disk space will be used.
Selecting previously unselected package virtualbox.
(Reading database ... 253183 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack .../virtualbox_4.3.18-dfsg-2ubuntu1_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking virtualbox (4.3.18-dfsg-2ubuntu1) ...
Selecting previously unselected package virtualbox-dkms.
Preparing to unpack .../virtualbox-dkms_4.3.18-dfsg-2ubuntu1_all.deb ...
Unpacking virtualbox-dkms (4.3.18-dfsg-2ubuntu1) ...
Selecting previously unselected package virtualbox-qt.
Preparing to unpack .../virtualbox-qt_4.3.18-dfsg-2ubuntu1_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking virtualbox-qt (4.3.18-dfsg-2ubuntu1) ...
Processing triggers for man-db ( ...
Processing triggers for ureadahead (0.100.0-16) ...
Processing triggers for hicolor-icon-theme (0.13-1) ...
Processing triggers for shared-mime-info (1.2-0ubuntu3) ...
Processing triggers for menu (2.1.47ubuntu1) ...
Processing triggers for bamfdaemon (0.5.1+14.10.20140925-0ubuntu1) ...
Rebuilding /usr/share/applications/bamf-2.index...
Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils (0.22-1ubuntu2) ...
Processing triggers for mime-support (3.55ubuntu1.1) ...
Processing triggers for gnome-menus (3.10.1-0ubuntu2) ...
Setting up virtualbox (4.3.18-dfsg-2ubuntu1) ...
 * Stopping VirtualBox kernel modules                                    [ OK ] 
 * Starting VirtualBox kernel modules                                            
 * No suitable module for running kernel found
invoke-rc.d: initscript virtualbox, action "restart" failed.
Processing triggers for ureadahead (0.100.0-16) ...
Setting up virtualbox-dkms (4.3.18-dfsg-2ubuntu1) ...
Loading new virtualbox-4.3.18 DKMS files...
First Installation: checking all kernels...
Building only for 3.13.0-30-generic
Module build for the currently running kernel was skipped since the
kernel source for this kernel does not seem to be installed.
 * Stopping VirtualBox kernel modules                                    [ OK ] 
 * Starting VirtualBox kernel modules                                            
 * No suitable module for running kernel found
invoke-rc.d: initscript virtualbox, action "restart" failed.
Setting up virtualbox-qt (4.3.18-dfsg-2ubuntu1) ...
Processing triggers for menu (2.1.47ubuntu1) ...

So... how do I get "kernel source for this kernel" (3.13.0-30-generic) or otherwise get VirtualBox to install properly?

  • Wait, that doesn't sound right. You say Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) and Kernel 3.13.0-30? I run 14.04 and got 3.13.0-45. Could you please post the output of lsb_release -a and uname -r? Also, have you done a sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get dist-ugprade? -- Edit: 3.16.0-30 should be current – Benjamin Maurer Feb 5 '15 at 19:00
  • @BenjaminMaurer: lsb_release -a says "No LSB modules are available", then has information from 14.10. uname -r reports 3.13.0-30-generic. I just did a sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get upgrade as part of trying to work this out. sudo apt-get dist-upgrade reports nothing to do. Note that this machine had 14.04 on it until a week or so ago, when I upgraded to 14.10. I saw the 3.16.0-30 when I poked around the Ubuntu site, but I'm not sure why I'm not seeing it with apt-get. Thanks! – CommonsWare Feb 5 '15 at 19:08
  • That's weird... Please check /etc/apt/sources.list It shouldn't say "trusty" anywhere, but "utopic" – Benjamin Maurer Feb 5 '15 at 19:17
  • @BenjaminMaurer: The only two trusty references are commented-out references to the nginx-devel PPA. Bizzarely, Synaptic reports that linux-image-generic is not installed, and that installing it would install linux-image- My guess is that I need to do that, as it didn't take effect in Trusty->Utopic upgrade for some reason. Thoughts? Thanks! – CommonsWare Feb 5 '15 at 19:22
  • Hm. To be honest, I've never done an upgrade, always fresh install out of fear of broken packages... Upgrades are a nightmare... I can only tell you, that I've got linux-generic, linux-image-generic, linux-headers-generic` and linux-signed-generic all installed on my system. – Benjamin Maurer Feb 5 '15 at 19:26

It seems like your upgrade from Ubuntu 14.04 to 14.10 broke something. You should have kernel version 3.16.0-30

Make sure that your /etc/apt/sources.list only contains entries with 'utopic' and not 'trusty'. Then make sure that following packages are installed, or install them if necessary:

apt-get install linux-generic linux-image-generic linux-headers-generic linux-signed-generic

After that you should be able to remove and re-install virtualbox and rebuild the kernel module.

  • didn't work for me :( mint cinnamon 17.2 64bit kernel 3.16.0-38-generic. any idea? – Sepehr Behroozi Sep 5 '15 at 13:01
  • 2
    Well, do you have the same issue at all? Have you done everything that OP has done? Is the service running, i.e. sudo service virtualbox status ? Have you tried rebuilding the module with sudo dkms autoinstall ? – Benjamin Maurer Sep 5 '15 at 18:16
  • Worked like a charm.... – vaibhav jain Oct 8 '15 at 7:52
  • 1
    Yep --- another case of askubuntu.com/questions/449905/… --- sometime the upgrade "lags" the kernel version. – Rmano Oct 8 '15 at 7:59

For those who might have same problem:

My system is Linux Mint 17.1 (which uses Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty repos).

I've tried to install VirtualBox with:

sudo apt-get install virtualbox

And eccountered same error.


Uninstall bad version of VirtualBox with:

sudo apt-get purge virtualbox

Then get installer from https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Linux_Downloads and install deb package. Is says same version is in your repositories... but that way it works.

  • 1
    I couldn't get the apt packaged version to work with Mint 17.2 but this worked - thanks. – Richard Hollis Sep 19 '15 at 11:13
  • Thanks for this, it worked for me. FWIW, at this moment the version on the virtualbox site is newer than the one in the repos, so a warning will be displayed. I think it is safe to ignore it, and the installation indeed works. I'm quite sure that the package in the repo is broken. – Tamás Szelei Jan 2 '16 at 15:04

I always found that "remove & reinstall" so windows-esque... I solved with sudo dpkg-reconfigure virtualbox-dkms (of course, if you didn't install it yet, you can use sudo apt install virtualbox-dkms)


I just upgraded an old Ubuntu LTS system from 12.04 Precise Pangolin to 14.04 Trusty Tahr, and a combination of hints in the comments here were required to get virtualbox working.

Step 0: Try and install virtualbox via sudo apt-get install virtualbox. It mostly worked, but at the end I got the "No suitable module for running kernel" error. sudo modprobe vboxdrv failed because there was no such module.

So, the fix:

Step 1: sudo apt-get install linux-generic linux-image-generic linux-headers-generic linux-signed-generic. apt-get said that the first two were already installed, and installed the 3rd and 4th.

Step 2: uninstall and reinstall virtualbox. sudo apt-get purge virtualbox and then sudo apt-get install virtualbox. This time, the virtualbox installer compiled a kernel module for the generic kernel. Woo hoo!

At this point, virtualbox still didn't work.

Step 3: Reboot.

Now, sudo modprobe vboxdrv works, and I can start a VM.

  • 1
    This did not work for me on Ubuntu 12.04.5 LTS. sudo modprobe vboxdrv returns "FATAL: Module vboxdrv not found." – Luke Jul 22 '16 at 20:18

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