Since Kali Linux 2016 came out (also known as Kali Rolling), it seems that Official VirtualBox guest addition doesn’t work well anymore. It also created lots of confusion and debate as when someone asks for help, they don’t always specify which version of Kali they are using and that leads to more issues. So, irrespective of all the debates and advises let me clearly say this: “In Kali Linux 2016.2, Official VirtualBox Guest Additions doesn’t work well”. Yes, you can install Official VirtualBox guest additions as released by Oracle VirtualBox, but it will create more issues.
VirtualBox Guest Additions in Kali Rolling / Kali Linux 2016.2 / Kali 2017
This posts tends to fix the following issues with VirtualBox Guest additions and other issues such as:
- Can’t make Kali Linux run in full screen on VirtualBox
- Can’t enable shared folder on Kali Linux running on VirtualBox.
- Shared clipboard not working on Kali Linux on VirtualBox.
- Kali Linux on VirtualBox is slow and not responding after installing Official VirtualBox guest Additions. It freezes!
- Mouse integration is not working on Kali Linux on VirtualBox.
- Kali Linux on VirtualBox doesn’t detect your display resolution properly.
- Screen doesn’t scale when I maximize or minimize VirtualBox window.
In short, this article will help you to successfully install the “Guest Addition” tools if you run Kali Linux as a “Guest” within VirtualBox. You must use version 4.2.xx or higher of VirtualBox in order to take advantage of the improvements, including compatibility updates, and enhanced stability of both the core application and the Guest Additions.
Correct way of installing VirtualBox Guest Additions in Kali Linux 2016.2/2017 (Kali Rolling)
The VirtualBox Guest Additions provide proper mouse and screen integration, as well as folder sharing, with your host operating system. To install them, proceed as follows.
Step 1: Update & Upgrade and Dist-Upgrade
Start up your Kali Linux virtual machine, open a terminal window and issue the following commands.
root@kali:~# apt update & apt -y dist-upgrade
Once done, reboot your VirtualBox to ensure you’re booting into the new kernel/updates.
Step 2: Double-checking version
After reboot, I checked my version/lsb_release to ensure I am running the latest and greatest.
Step 3: Install VirtualBox Guest Addition
Since I am running the latest version and there’s no more update pending, I went in an installed
virtualbox-guest-x11 tools. This
virtualbox-guest-x11 package provides the X11 guest utilities for VirtualBox. These utilities are meant to be run inside the virtual machine. They provide closer integration and improve the interactive performance.
root@kali:~# apt -y install virtualbox-guest-x11
Again, when it’s finished, I rebooted my Virtual Guest.
After reboot, my screen and shared drive worked including drag/drop and clipboard. Scroll down for step by step instructions on how to create Shared folders on VirtualBox.
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Installing VirtualBox Guest Additions in Older Kali Versions
Following are the exact steps you need to follow to install VirtualBox guest additions packages on Kali Linux and fix these issue.
Step 1: Install dependencies
One thing to note is that you need to have the correct repositories added before any of these would work. Once you’ve added the correct and official repositories, just update your package manager.
root@kali:~# apt-get update && apt-get upgrade -y && apt-get dist-upgrade -y
It’s better off doing update, upgrade and dist-upgrade before installing headers because if you’ve installed an older Kali Linux version, correct Linux headers might not be available in the repo anymore.
Install all the dependencies by running the following command:
root@kali:~# apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r) -y
Step 2: Mount VirtualBox Guest Additions drive
From device menu on your VirtualBox, click on Install VirtualBox guest additions option (while you’re running Kali Linux) and you’ll see a CD/DVD drive is mounted.
Step 3: Copy and install the package
Copy the VBoxLinuxAdditions.run file from the drive to the root directory using following command
root@kali:~# cp /media/cdrom/VBoxLinuxAdditions.run /root/Desktop/
root@kali:~# cd /root/Desktop/
Make it executable:
root@kali:~/Desktop# chmod 755 VBoxLinuxAdditions.run
Once you’ve installed VirtualBox Guest Additions package, reboot Kali Linux.
In the screenshot above, note all the …done. messages. When you see these, you know it was a successful installation.
Now you will have Kali Linux running on full screen on your VirtualBox.
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Creating Shared Folders with the Host System
This section explains how to share folders on your host system with your Kali Linux VirtualBox “guest”. In order to share folders on your host system with your Kali Linux VirtualBox, there are a few short steps that needs to be completed.
Step 1: Add a folder/drive to Shared Folder Settings
From the VirtualBox Manager, select your Kali Linux VirtualBox instance and click on the ‘Shared Folders Settings’ link in the right window pane. This will launch a pop up window for adding shared folders. Within this window click the icon to add a folder.
Step 2: Auto-mount and Make permanent your shared folder
In the Folder Path text box, provide the path to the folder you would like to share, or click the drop-down arrow to browse your host system for the path. Select the check boxes that allow for ‘Auto-mount’ and ‘Make Permanent’ and click the OK button both times when prompted.
Your shared folders will now be available in the media directory. You can create a bookmark or link for easier access to the directory.
An obvious debate to this post would be: “Why not use the official VirtualBox Guest additions?” The answer is simple, it works but not well enough and the random freezing makes your machine almost impossible to use. So we’ve decided to stick to the Open Source VirtualBox Guest Additions. Why use something that’s broken!
Thanks for reading. If you’ve found it useful, please share. Comment if you need help or discuss options.