How to install VirtualBox on Ubuntu 20.04 Linux LTS

How do I install VirtualBox application on Ubuntu 20.04 Linux LTS system?

VirtualBox is an opensource and free full virtualization software for AMD64/Intel64/x86. The software is available under the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2. Hence, we can directly install VirtualBox using an apt repository on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. This application supports many guests operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, Linux distros, FreeBSD/OpenBSD/NetBSD, Solaris Unix, and much more.
Tutorial requirements
Operating system/appUbuntu Linux
Root privileges required Yes
Difficulty Easy (rss)
Estimated completion time 5m
Table of contents

Installing VirtualBox on Ubuntu 20.04 Linux LTS system

First, update your apt repo, run the following apt command/apt-get command. Open the Terminal application and then type:
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt upgrade

We need to install the following packages:

  1. virtualbox : Base binaries
  2. virtualbox-ext-pack : Enable capabilities for VirtualBox
  3. virtualbox-dkms : Linux kernel module source code for dkms
  4. virtualbox-guest-additions-iso : guest additions iso image for VirtualBox
  5. virtualbox-qt : Qt based user interface GUI for creating Virtual Machines (Guest VM)
  6. virtualbox-guest-utils : non-X11 CLI guest utilities
  7. virtualbox-guest-x11 :X11 guest utilities

Let us install VirtualBox on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS system:
$ sudo apt install virtualbox \
virtualbox-ext-pack \
virtualbox-dkms \
virtualbox-guest-additions-iso \
virtualbox-qt \
virtualbox-guest-utils \

Next you need to accept Oracle VirtualBox Extension Pack Personal Use and Evaluation License by selecting “Yes”:

Starting and controlling VirtualBox service on Ubuntu

The VirtualBox Linux kernel module or driver loaded by virtualbox.service. We can verify this as following using the systemctl command:
$ sudo systemctl status virtualbox.service
Sample session from my system:

 virtualbox.service - LSB: VirtualBox Linux kernel module
     Loaded: loaded (/etc/init.d/virtualbox; generated)
     Active: active (exited) since Mon 2020-10-26 19:47:00 IST; 8min ago
       Docs: man:systemd-sysv-generator(8)
      Tasks: 0 (limit: 37944)
     Memory: 0B
     CGroup: /system.slice/virtualbox.service

Oct 26 19:47:00 nixcraft-wks01 systemd[1]: Starting LSB: VirtualBox Linux kernel module...
Oct 26 19:47:00 nixcraft-wks01 virtualbox[13569]:  * Loading VirtualBox kernel modules...
Oct 26 19:47:00 nixcraft-wks01 virtualbox[13569]:    ...done.
Oct 26 19:47:00 nixcraft-wks01 systemd[1]: Started LSB: VirtualBox Linux kernel module.

Naturally we can control the service as follows:
$ sudo systemctl enable virtualbox.service
$ sudo systemctl start virtualbox.service
$ sudo systemctl stop virtualbox.service
$ sudo systemctl restart virtualbox.service

How to launch and start the VirtualBox app

Move your mouse pointer to the Activities corner at the top left of the screen to show the Activities overview. This is where you can find VirtualBox and all other applications. Start typing the name of an application such as VirtualBox and searching begins instantly:

Finally, we will see the main app as follows:

You can now create your first Linux VM or MS-Windows 10 or OpenBSD guest machine easily.

How can I install the latest version of VirtualBox?

See the official VB Documentation.


You learned how to install the Oracle VirtualBox application on Ubuntu 20.40 LTS. Now you can set up a VM lab and try out different operating systems for fun and profit.

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🐧 1 comment so far... add one

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1 comment… add one
  • Why Nov 3, 2020 @ 7:06

    Why use VirtualBox when we can install and use KVM?

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