I had installed VirtualBox but it started giving me problems. So I uninstalled it using:-

sudo apt-get remove virtualbox-\*
sudo apt-get purge virtualbox-\*

But when I reinstalled VirtualBox it again resumed to previous settings and started giving same problems. How can i completely remove VirtualBox from my laptop and then reinstall it such that it wont give same problem again?

  • 2
    You say it was giving you problems. You might wanna explain what exactly were the problems. That will help others help you Nov 29, 2015 at 4:04
  • 1
    It said: failed to boot fedora owner not root Nov 29, 2015 at 4:06
  • This will get your work done--> askubuntu.com/questions/711793/… Aug 27, 2016 at 15:24
  • 1
    Did you try with sudo apt-get -f install?
    – Takkat
    Sep 19, 2017 at 9:18

6 Answers 6


Your problem : Virtual Box keeps its folder and settings in your home folder. Delete everything inside the folder.

Uninstall VirtualBox first.

sudo apt-get remove --purge virtualbox 

Run these commands to delete all virtual machines and settings and Virtual Hard Drives:

sudo rm ~/"VirtualBox VMs" -Rf
sudo rm ~/.config/VirtualBox/ -Rf

If you want to install it again. Run this command:

sudo apt-get install virtualbox

Additionally, check:

sudo ps aux | grep -i "vbox"

Kill any "ghost" processes you may think are relevant.

sudo pkill VBox*
  • After reinstalling virtual box by following your procedure it said that fedora was inaccesible so i just removed it. Has it been successfuly removed? Nov 29, 2015 at 5:30
  • @Manishsakpal yes it has.
    – Neil
    Nov 29, 2015 at 8:52
  • it is giving error to . ? Nov 29, 2015 at 8:57
  • @Manishsakpal What error. you may want to try my answer again.
    – Neil
    Nov 29, 2015 at 8:58
  • 1
    Don't put commands with sudo rm online! Someone can mess up their system badly with that.
    – TetraDev
    Jul 14, 2020 at 16:33
sudo apt-get remove virtualbox* --purge

Just try one command for remove all VM. Or perticulary one VM

sudo apt remove virtualbox virtualbox-5.0 virtualbox-4.*

After that, you maybe get some instruction which will already give there you just need to type on the command line. Then again run same above command.

  • 1
    why didn't you add this to your other answer instead of posting a new one?
    – Zanna
    Mar 10, 2017 at 9:33
  • Sorry @Zanna I just forgot. I will update.
    – jsingh
    Mar 10, 2017 at 9:35
  • 7
    And it was never updated.
    – KhoPhi
    Jan 30, 2018 at 6:47
  • I already did @Rexford, but I haven't deleted below one, Now it's also done. :)
    – jsingh
    Aug 21, 2019 at 4:38
  • 1
    This work in ubuntu 20.04 Oct 18, 2020 at 8:49

First find installed package using below command :

sudo dpkg -l | grep virtualbox 

Then copy packages and remove using dpkg or apt-get as below :

sudo dpkg --purge <Packages>

--force-all optional

And also manually remove folder on home directory (~/"VirtualBox VMs").

  • 3
    Honestly I thought apt would remove packages installed with dpkg, but it doesn't even show virtualbox as being installed. Surprised that in 18.04.1 this is not linked up properly.
    – pbhj
    May 19, 2019 at 16:56

If you installed VirtualBox through the installer script, you can find the directory where it is installed by running

cat /etc/vbox/vbox.cfg

You can then run the uninstall script located in the install directory. Assuming it's installed to /opt/VirtualBox, run

sudo /opt/VirtualBox/uninstall.sh
sudo rm -rf /opt/VirtualBox/

Open the terminal and type:

sudo apt remove virtualbox unity-scope-virtualbox ^virtualbox-

How to uninstall Oracle VirtualBox

If you installed VirtualBox from the Oracle website find your VirtualBox version as follows:

sudo apt install aptitude
aptitude search virtualbox\*

The latest version of VirtualBox that has Oracle VM VirtualBox on the same line with it is the package you have installed. If you have the latest version of Oracle VirtualBox installed, it is named virtualbox-5.1.

Verify that this version of Oracle VirtualBox is currently installed.

dpkg-query -s virtualbox-5.1    

Uninstall Oracle VirtualBox using a command that looks like this:

sudo apt remove VirtualBox-5.1  

If you have a different version of Oracle VirtualBox installed replace VirtualBox-5.1 in the above command with your VirtualBox version.

  • In my case just the first line did everything. No further commands were necessary. The package shown in dpkg-query isn't installed locally. Jan 5, 2020 at 3:00

Your problem is not with VirtualBox, it is with your kernel. You appear to have somehow run into an issue which caused a mismatch.

Simply run sudo apt update && sudo apt install -f as you've been instructed by the system, and it should install the correct packages.

Once this is completed, I recommend rebooting (just to be safe, though it is not absolutely necessary), and then running sudo apt remove --purge *virtualbox* to remove VirtualBox and any related packages.


If you don't run sudo apt install -f, you're going to keep running into this problem with pretty much any package, as the package management system is left in a broken state until that issue is resolved.

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