So I upgraded my system but since after that I cannot use virtualbox I am getting the following error -

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. If it is available in your distribution, you should install the DKMS package first. This package keeps track of Linux kernel changes and recompiles the vboxdrv kernel module if necessary.

After this I followed on terminal and ran this command after which I got this result

enter image description here

please help as I am new to ubuntu and not very open with command system please let me know whats the problem. thanks in advance .....I need to run my windows 7 professional over virtual box

  • 1
    Did you get a prompt about disabling secure boot during the upgrade? You may need to turn off secure boot if you didn't already. See this question askubuntu.com/questions/760671/… Jul 30, 2016 at 15:46
  • I would suspect that parts of Vbox were not installed when you upgraded. That error looks like Vbox is missing files. I would try to reinstall vbox and see if that fixes the problem. If it works you will need to reinstall the extension packs as well most likely to get full functionality.
    – TrailRider
    Jul 30, 2016 at 16:18
  • i m unable to uninstall it properly even i remove the settings remain the same and i get the same error while installing or removing it so it is not happening. help me.
    – Tulika
    Jul 31, 2016 at 11:11

1 Answer 1


The answer to your problem lies here under "Note 4":

Running DKMS in the guest OS will keep Guest Additions installed after a guest kernel update.

I believe your host machine suffers of the same problem!

I'll divide my instructions in two parts: part one for installing virtualbox and part two for installing guest additions.

PART ONE: Installing virtualbox from debian package

I just did this in a fresh Ubuntu Mate installation (much better than the basic distribution!) because Ubuntu Software Center didn't give me the latest version which is 5.1.2.

Next steps in host's terminal:

I followed this link

  1. sudo apt-get update

  2. sudo apt-get install dkms

  3. Download virtualbox-5.1_5.1.2-108956~Ubuntu~xenial_amd64.deb from link (amd64 in filename is NOT for AMD only)

  4. sudo dpkg -i Downloads/virtualbox-5.1_5.1.2-108956~Ubuntu~xenial_amd64.deb

Errors appear so, rebuild

  1. sudo apt-get -f install


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

sudo rcvboxdrv setup

  1. run virtualbox

if message about errors, reconfigure with sudo /sbin/vboxconfig

Finally, add a Virtualbox menu item with this superb tool that only Ubuntu Mate offers(!)-the all mighty alacarte command of previous decade and broken in newer versions of Ubuntu!: System->Preferences->Look and Feel->Main Menu enter image description here

PART TWO: Installing guest additions

A proper installation is described here although, the writer forget to mention that everything is being executed in the guest!!!

Even so, problems existed in my case so I mixed previous link with this and here the final steps:

  1. Create a Ubuntu guest server graphically or use an existing one with a name, e.g. My Ubuntu Server

  2. copy *.iso to your guest folder My Ubuntu Server

cp /usr/share/virtualbox/VBoxGuestAdditions.iso ~/'VirtualBox VMs'/'My Ubuntu Server'

  1. on Virtual Box Manager (main window) select the just copied file enter image description here

In the picture it's obvious that I already did it!

Next steps in the guest's terminal:

  1. sudo apt-get update

  2. you should have dkms:

dpkg-query -s dkms | grep -i status Status: install ok installed


sudo apt-get install dkms

  1. now it's time to rebuild guest additions:

sudo mount /dev/cdrom /mnt

cd /mnt

sudo ./VBoxLinuxAdditions.run


  1. when logged again run sudo mount | grep vbox and in my case the shared folder is in /media/sf_shared
  • As I mentioned during Part One and in this link (virtualbox.org/manual/ch02.html#install-linux-host) at '2.3.2. The VirtualBox kernel module: VirtualBox uses a special kernel module called vboxdrv to perform physical memory allocation and to gain control of the processor for guest system execution...The modules will be built automatically during installation or after kernel updates if your Linux system is prepared for building external kernel modules.' In simple words you need dkms package!
    – centurian
    Aug 2, 2016 at 17:26
  • I re-tested the above steps in a Ubuntu guest trying to install virtualbox (in the guest)
    – centurian
    Aug 3, 2016 at 7:20

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