Installing virtualbox on Ubuntu 14.04


This post is more than 5 years old. While math doesn't age, code and operating systems do. Please use the code/ideas with caution and expect some issues due to the age of the content. I am keeping these posts up for archival purposes because I still find them useful for reference, even when they are out of date!

In this post I will cover installing Oracle's virtualbox on Ubuntu 14.04. This will allow me to run Windows and tableau , a program for putting together interactive visualizations. If you are running Ubuntu and taking Coursera's introduction to data science class you might find this post useful as well. However, having virtualbox installed and available is always a good thing for those situations where Win or Mac are the only options.

I'll be following the installation instructions at , so you can also check there for more information. The first step is to add the repository for the Ubuntu 14.04 version:

$ sudo add-apt-repository "deb trusty contrib"

Next, download and add the key for apt-secure using:

$ wget -q -O- | sudo apt-key add -

Finally, we update and install using:

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install virtualbox-4.3

The download and install will take a bit of time because virtualbox is about 70MB. Note: this also installs dkms, as suggested in the original instructions. Finally, we want to install the virtualbox extensions. I downloaded the latest version at this time:


and installed from the terminal using (you'll be asked for your password if you don't use sudo):

$ VBoxManage extpack install Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-4.3.14-95030.vbox-extpack

You can test the extension is installed using:

$ VBoxManage list extpacks

The response should be something like:

Extension Packs: 1
Pack no. 0: Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack
Version: 4.3.14
Revision: 95030
Description: USB 2.0 Host Controller, Host Webcam, VirtualBox RDP, PXE ROM
with E1000 support.
Usable: true
Why unusable:

That's it, virtualbox is installed and ready to go. Just bring up the dash and type virtualbox, then click on the icon. Of course, you can lock it to the launcher if you like.

At this point you can install windows from an image, official media, or other source. I'll be using a version of Windows 7 that I bought for occasions just like this. Checkout the virtualbox first steps guide for help setting up your virtual machine and installing the OS.