Install virtualbox on debian 8

I've installed virtualbox via apt-get install, but am running into errors when I try to start the program

vnc@duawg:~$ sudo apt-get install virtualbox-dkms
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
virtualbox-dkms is already the newest version.
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 1 not upgraded.
vnc@duawg:~$ virtualbox
WARNING: The character device /dev/vboxdrv does not exist.
Please install the virtualbox-dkms package and the appropriate
headers, most likely linux-headers-linode116.

You will not be able to start VMs until this problem is fixed.

I think I've taken care of the first part making sure the virtualbox-dkms package is installed, but I am unsure how to take care of the linux-headers-linode116. Would really appreciate any help!


2 Replies

It looks like you need to install a kernel module or extension to get the virtualbox-dkms package up and running. If so, I'd recommend using the distro-supplied kernel. We have a guide on changing your kernel that may help. You may be able to select 'Grub 2' and reboot your Linode with no other changes needed. However, if Grub 2 is not yet configured within your Linode you'll need to configure it manually.

Just to add onto to this one a bit more, if you deploy a fresh Debian 8 it should default to Grub 2. As for installing VirtualBox, it can be difficult to setup so you may want to consider checking out some container applications such as Docker. We also have some great Docs how how to install and configure containers.

I was doing some testing and I found a guide that worked successfully, however, it is for Ubuntu 18.04 and running a headless(No GUI) VM.

Here is a link that should help you navigate VirtualBox running headless:


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