Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

Fixing VirtualBox Kernel Module Loading Error

Ubuntu 13

VirtualBox is a powerful tool that allows you to run multiple operating systems simultaneously on your machine. However, sometimes you might encounter an error that prevents VirtualBox from loading the kernel module. In this article, we will guide you through several solutions to fix the VirtualBox kernel module loading error.

Understanding the Issue

The VirtualBox kernel module loading error typically occurs due to missing packages, broken dependencies, incorrect BIOS settings, or an unsigned kernel. The error messages may vary, but they generally indicate that the VirtualBox kernel module is not loaded.

Solution 1: Install Necessary Packages

The first solution involves installing necessary packages that may be missing from your system. Open a terminal and run the following command:

$ sudo apt-get install dkms build-essential linux-headers-`uname -r`

This command installs the Dynamic Kernel Module Support (DKMS), a framework that allows kernel modules to be updated without changing the entire kernel. It also installs other essential software for compiling and building software from source code. The linux-headers-uname -r“ part of the command installs the header files for your current Linux kernel, which are necessary for building new kernel modules.

Solution 2: Fix Broken Dependencies

If the first solution doesn’t work, you may have broken dependencies. You can fix these by running the following command:

$ sudo apt install -f

This command attempts to correct a system with broken dependencies in place. It does this by downloading and installing any missing packages that are needed.

Solution 3: Reinstall VirtualBox

Sometimes, reinstalling VirtualBox can fix the issue. To do this, run the following command:

$ sudo apt-get install --reinstall virtualbox

This command will uninstall the current version of VirtualBox on your system and then reinstall it.

Solution 4: Set Up VirtualBox Kernel Modules

Another solution is to set up the VirtualBox kernel modules by running the following command:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup

This command sets up the VirtualBox kernel modules, which are necessary for VirtualBox to function properly.

Solution 5: Install Linux Headers

If none of the above solutions work, you might need to install the Linux headers. Run the following command:

$ sudo apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r`

After installing the Linux headers, run the following command to configure VirtualBox:

$ sudo /sbin/vboxconfig

Solution 6: Sign the Kernel Module

If all else fails, you might have an unsigned kernel. You can follow the instructions in this post to sign the kernel module.


Remember to reboot your system after trying each solution to ensure that the changes take effect. If none of the solutions work, consider providing more information about your system and the specific error messages you are encountering in a forum or community dedicated to VirtualBox. The more information you provide, the easier it will be for others to help you troubleshoot the issue.

We hope this guide has been helpful in resolving your VirtualBox kernel module loading error. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask in the comments section below.

What is a kernel module?

A kernel module is a piece of code that can be dynamically loaded and unloaded into the kernel of an operating system. It extends the functionality of the kernel by providing additional features or device drivers.

How do I open a terminal?

To open a terminal, you can usually find it in the applications menu of your operating system. In Ubuntu, you can press Ctrl + Alt + T to open a terminal.

What is DKMS?

DKMS stands for Dynamic Kernel Module Support. It is a framework that allows kernel modules to be automatically rebuilt and installed when a new kernel version is installed on your system. It helps ensure that kernel modules stay compatible with the latest kernel updates.

How do I check my Linux kernel version?

You can check your Linux kernel version by opening a terminal and running the command uname -r. It will display the kernel version in the output.

Why do I need to reinstall VirtualBox?

Reinstalling VirtualBox can help fix any corrupted or missing files that may be causing the kernel module loading error. It essentially gives you a fresh installation of VirtualBox, which can resolve any software-related issues.

What are Linux headers?

Linux headers are header files that contain function prototypes and definitions necessary for building and compiling kernel modules. They provide the necessary interface between the kernel and the modules.

How do I sign a kernel module?

Signing a kernel module involves generating a cryptographic signature for the module to ensure its integrity and authenticity. The process can vary depending on your specific Linux distribution and version. You can refer to the instructions provided in this post for signing a kernel module in Ubuntu 18.04.

What should I do if none of the solutions work?

If none of the solutions mentioned in this article work for you, it is recommended to seek help in forums or communities dedicated to VirtualBox. Provide as much information as possible about your system and the specific error messages you are encountering. Others may be able to offer more tailored assistance based on the details you provide.

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