How to Install VirtualBox on Ubuntu 20.04

VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers.

It is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2.

Presently, VirtualBox runs on Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and Solaris hosts and supports a large number of guest operating systems including but not limited to Windows (NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10), DOS/Windows 3.x, Linux (2.4, 2.6, 3.x and 4.x), Solaris and OpenSolaris, OS/2, and OpenBSD.

Compared with the subscription-based Parallels Desktop and the buy-once use-forever VMware Fusion, Oracle’s VirtualBox offers fewer automated conveniences, uses less elegant menus, and lacks as many deep integration features.

That said, this free utility makes up for these shortcomings with speedy performance, access to a vast third-party library of prebuilt VirtualBox emulated systems, and all the flexibility that advanced users could want.

VirtualBox is being actively developed with frequent releases and has an ever growing list of features, supported guest operating systems and platforms it runs on.

VirtualBox is a community effort backed by a dedicated company, everyone is encouraged to contribute while Oracle ensures the product always meets professional quality criteria.

Key Features of VirtualBox:

  • Cross-Platform Virtualization
  • Guest Additions
  • Guest Multiprocessing
  • USB Device Support
  • ACPI Support
  • Multiscreen Resolutions
  • Built-In iSCSI Support
  • PXE Network Boot
  • Branched Snapshots
  • VM Groups
  • Remote Machine Display
  • Extensible RDP Authentication

Advantages and Disadvantages

Every application has some advantages and disadvantages. Here we have listed our observations on Tor Browser.

Pros:

  • Free and open-source.
  • Creates emulated machines for almost any Windows, Linux, OS/2, Solaris, and Unix-based system.
  • Highly customizable, but without excessive default integrations of commercial services.

Cons:

  • Simple integration features like printing require advanced-user skills.
  • Some viewing options don’t yet work with Windows 10.
  • No easy support for macOS or OS X guest systems.
  • Less powerful graphics than Parallels or VMware.

Technical Details:

  • Operating Supported: Windows, Linux, Mac
  • Language Support: English, Chinese, German, Japanese, Spanish, Portugese
  • Pricing Model: Free
  • Customer Types: Small Business, Medium Business, Large Enterprises

This article explains two methods of installing VirtualBox on Ubuntu 20.04.

Choose the installation method that is most appropriate for your environment.

Method 1: Installing VirtualBox from Ubuntu repositories

Step #1

Installing VirtualBox from Ubuntu repositories is a relatively easy process and takes only a few minutes to complete.

Open a terminal (CTRL+ALT+T) and execute the below commands to update packages.

$ sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Note: The user must have sudo privileges to run all these commands.

Step #2

Now execute the following command to install the VirtualBox package.

$ sudo apt install virtualbox virtualbox-ext-pack
  • virtualbox: Base binaries
  • virtualbox-ext-pack: Enable capabilities for VirtualBox

That’s it! You have successfully installed VirtualBox on your Ubuntu machine, and you can start using it.

Method 2: Installing VirtualBox from Oracle repositories

In this method, we will install VirtualBox from the Oracle repositories.

The benefit of installing VirtualBox using this method is that, it will automatically update when a new updated version of VirtualBox is released.

Step #1

Type the following command to import the Oracle public keys(GPG keys).

$ wget -q https://www.virtualbox.org/download/oracle_vbox_2016.asc -O- | sudo apt-key add -

$ wget -q https://www.virtualbox.org/download/oracle_vbox.asc -O- | sudo apt-key add -

Step #2

Once the GPG keys are imported type the following command to add the VirtualBox APT repository to your system.

$ echo "deb [arch=amd64] http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian $(lsb_release -cs) contrib" | \ sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/virtualbox.list

Step #3

Finally, run the following command to update the package list and install the latest version of VirtualBox.

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install virtualbox-6.1

How to install VirtualBox Extension Pack

Oracle VM VirtualBox is split into the following components:

  • Base package: The base package consists of all open source components and is licensed under the GNU General Public License V2.
  • Extension packs: Additional extension packs can be downloaded which extend the functionality of the Oracle VM VirtualBox base package.

The extension pack provides the following added functionality:

  • The virtual USB 2.0 (EHCI) device. See Section 3.11.1, “USB Settings”.
  • The virtual USB 3.0 (xHCI) device. See Section 3.11.1, “USB Settings”.
  • VirtualBox Remote Desktop Protocol (VRDP) support. See Section 7.1, “Remote Display (VRDP Support)”.
  • Host webcam passthrough. See Section 9.5, “Webcam Passthrough”.
  • Intel PXE boot ROM.
  • Disk image encryption with AES algorithm. See Section 9.28, “Encryption of Disk Images”.
  • Cloud integration features. See Section 1.14, “Importing and Exporting Virtual Machines”.

Steps to install the Exnension Packs:

Step # 1

Type the following command to download the extension pack file.

$ wget https://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/6.1.8/Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-6.1.8.vbox-extpack

Step # 2

Once the downloading is completed, import the extension pack using the following command.

$ sudo VBoxManage extpack install Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-6.1.8.vbox-extpack

Note: You have to accept the license agreement during the installation. So enter y and hit ENTER to complete the installation process.

Output:

0%...10%...20%...30%...40%...50%...60%...70%...80%...90%...100%
Successfully installed "Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack".

Note: Make sure the version of the Extension Pack matches with the VirtualBox version.

Starting Oracle VirtualBox

In the Activities search bar type “VirtualBox” and click on the icon to launch the application.

OR type the following command to start the application.

$ virtualbox

How to Uninstall VirtualBox from Ubuntu 20.04

For some reason, If you want to uninstall VirtualBox application, type the following command.

$ sudo apt remove virtualbox-6.1

Bottom Line

VirtualBox is free, open-source, and works well for developers and hobbyists, but it’s less ideal for anyone who wants to seamlessly run Windows and Linux apps on a Mac.

Conclusion

I hope that now you have a good understanding of How to Install VirtualBox on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa.

If anyone does have any questions about what we covered in this guide then feel free to ask in the comment section below and I will do my best to answer those.

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