Oracle Virtual Box installation problems

I'm trying to upgrade to 18.04 and am hitting brick walls everywhere I turn.

I tried to use Synaptic Package Manager to find the package and the search feature can't find it, even though it is present and accounted for.

So I gave up and went to Terminal and it crashed out on an error.

fred@fred-Lenovo-G780:~$ sudo dpkg -i /home/fred/Downloads/VirtualBoxExtension/Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-5.2.18.vbox-extpack
dpkg-deb: error: '/home/fred/Downloads/VirtualBoxExtension/Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-5.2.18.vbox-extpack' is not a Debian format archive
dpkg: error processing archive /home/fred/Downloads/VirtualBoxExtension/Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-5.2.18.vbox-extpack (--install):
dpkg-deb --control subprocess returned error exit status 2
Errors were encountered while processing:

Also tried this in Terminal:

fred@fred-Lenovo-G780:~$ sudo apt-get install virtual-ext-pack
[sudo] password for fred:
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
E: Unable to locate package virtual-ext-pack

I don't know what program to use to install the extension pack.
Where oh where have I gone astray?
Oracle doesn't make this easy.
Thanks, Fred

Fred, I think that you should open VirtualBox and install the extension pack there. I haven’t used Vbox in years and years but I recall the installation of the extension pack. Good luck Fred

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Hallo fey42

I’ve also just upgraded from 16.04 to 18.04. There were more problems to work around than I remember in previous Ubuntu / Ubuntu-Mate upgrades - or that might just be my memory being selective.

Anyway, back to your imediate concern - Virtual Box.

I have just installed this and it works fine.

  • Install Virtual Box from the software boutique.
  • Install your “guest” operating system, then shut it down.
  • In the Virtual Box main window select the menu “Help” and the item “Virtualbox Website…”
  • From the Downloads section download the “Virtualbox Guest Additions” and install them directly.

Want to add a “shared” folder? This post should help you:

Does that help? :slight_smile:

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Please note that installation of extension pack is someway buggy.
Follow this Q&A from AskUbuntu to install it correctly:

LatestVirtualBoxVersion=$(wget -qO - && wget "${LatestVirtualBoxVersion}/Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-${LatestVirtualBoxVersion}.vbox-extpack"${LatestVirtualBoxVersion}/SHA256SUMS
sudo VBoxManage extpack install --replace Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-${LatestVirtualBoxVersion}.vbox-extpack
VBoxManage list extpacks

@alpinejohn I just tried your suggestion and ended up here:

When I click on OK nothing happens.
Does this look familiar?

Thanks, Fred


I followed everything and it seemed like it did nothing the second time I did the install as a normal user. But more importantly I learned that you can't use USB 3.0.

I dropped back to USB 2 and when I brought up W7 pro 64bit it claimed my software had in stalled successfully. Yet when I went to the devices toolbar at the very bottom it shows "No USB Devices Attached". Here is a screen shot showing BB found it, but W7 doesn't.

Any further clues?
Thanks, Fred


I can confirm your issue with my Windows 7 VM (UM 16.04 LTS as host with VirtualBox 5.1.38).
It does not see host’s USB thumb drive while using USB 3 controller in VM.

But when guest is Ubuntu, then thumb drive is visible on both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 virtual adapters.

So for Windows we should use USB 2.0 virtual controller.

Sorry I was supposed to tell you I dropped back to 2.0 and the problem is still there.
Any other thoughts?

Thanks, Fred

I can add my screenshots for comparison:

Also ensure that you have installed Guest Additions into VM.

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Above is the line that solved it.
But it doesn’t automatically find it, I have to go to Devices and force it.

We are running two different versions, I have VB 5.2.18… so our screens are a little different.
But more importantly if I remember right under 16.04 and your version it found the USB drives just fine.
I have either missed something else or they have a bug in the VB software.

Are you running 18.04 or 16.04, just curious?
I don’t remember it being this hard in 16.04 and VB 5.1.38

Thanks so much for hanging in there with me, Fred

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Currently I'm running Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS with VirtualBox 5.1.38 and some guests in it - Windows 7 and UM 18.04 LTS.

You can create USB device filter to force USB-flash connection to the guest:

  1. Open machine settings with <Ctrl+S>, select USB tab

  2. Click on USB add button

  3. Select your USB flash from drop-down menu:

  4. Ensure that it is added to the list:

    and click OK.

  5. As the result you will not need to go to Devices to check flash manually. It will be connected automatically on VM start.

Note: you can always remove USB filter with corresponding button () in the settings.


Just tried that and from what I can tell if you plug in a new USB device you have to do the device setting trick.
No that anything is wrong with that, but am I correct?
I like to understand how things work.

Thanks, Fred

Hallo fey 42

No, it does not look familiar.

My options did not include "Software Boutique (default)" - see below:

Good luck...


Ah, ah the options are different.
You are running 18.04, right?
What version of VB are you running?
I have 5.2.18, maybe this is the problem.

Thanks, Fred


I just woke up :slight_smile: you are downloading the same version as me.
You are using 18.04 and pulling down 5.2.18.

I accepted the default instead of checking to see what else was available. Duh (forehead slap).
I worked through the hard way and have it solved now.

Thanks, Fred


To install Guest Sdditions inside a Windows VM, just “insert” the guest additions ISO from the “Devices” menu. Then install in the manner you would normally install in Windows. Then reboot the VM.

The most efficient way I have found to install Guest Additions inside any Debian based VM is the following:

  1. Boot and log-in to the vm

  2. Open a terminal and type

sudo apt-get install dkms

(If it is already installed, you will get a message telling you so. In which case, fine).

  1. Insert the guest additions ISO via the “devices” menu

  2. Ignore/close any device dialog boxes/menus that come up on screen

  3. Open the file manager and navigate to the guest additions iso. Once, there, copy the address out of the address bar.

  4. Open a terminal and type “cd” followed by the pasted contents (to paste into a terminal, press CTRL/SHIFT/v) of the clipboard and then press “Enter”. You will now be inside the guest additions folder. Type “ls” and you will see the contents of the folder. You will note one of the files is called “”.

  5. Type the following:

sudo sh ./

and follow any instructions

  1. Reboot the VM


I only have Caja and I don't see an address bar.
Also you talk about an ISO, don't have that either.
I'm probably being dense.

My main problem now is that the VB doesn't really resize quite right. Windows only offers 4:3 settings.
I might be to picky, but I thought the older VB sized properly. I didn't use it that much so I might be mistaken.

Thanks to everybody for getting me to this point.
I am trying very hard to convert.


Hallo fey42

You may not know this… so I will assume that you don’t.

Caja can display the “path” to the open directory (folder) in two ways. The first is often called “breadcrumbs” - this is what your screenshot shows [fred] [Downloads] [OracleVB].

The second shows the path as you would see it in a terminal e.g. /fred/Downloads/OracleVB. To make this second style visible simply click on the “pencil” icon at the left hand side of the “breadcrumbs”-style path. In fact by repeatedly clicking on the pencil icon you can toggle back and forth between the two display styles.

If you already knew this my appologies, otherwise I hope it has helped you.

If you want to find out more about Caja you may find this resource useful:

Hope it helps. :slight_smile:


Fred. I was referring to the file manager inside the running VM.

See Alpine John’s explanation of how to show the address bar.

The way to “insert” the guest additions ISO into the VM virtual CD drive is by going to the virtual box menu of the running VM and selecting Devices/Insert Guest Additions CD Image

You were absolutely correct. I searched every menu item, didn’t click on the obscure Pencil.

Thanks again for saving this old man.

Cheers, Fred