How to install VirtualBox 7.0 on Ubuntu-based Linux distributions

Jack Wallen shows you how to install the latest major version of VirtualBox’s Virtual Machine Manager.

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VirtualBox 7.0 has finally been released, and this latest iteration brings many new features to virtual machine software. As you probably expected, the latest version has yet to hit the default repositories for most Ubuntu-based distributions. What do you do when you want to get all these new features for your virtual machines?

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Before we continue with the guide, let’s take a look at a list of some of the most important new features of VirtualBox 7.0, including:

  • Added updated GUI that makes it even easier to create a new guest
  • Fully encrypted virtual machines can be created
  • Initial support for automatic updating of Guest Additions for Linux guests
  • Improved guest screen resizing feature
  • TPM 1.2 and 2.0 virtual devices are now supported
  • Automatic restart after guest installation of the virtual machine
  • 3D support based on DirectX 11 and DXVK
  • EFI support for Secure Boot
  • Experimental support for guest debugging through GDB and KD/WinDbg
  • EHCI and XHCI USB controller devices are now open source
  • Cloud networks can now be configured via the Network Manager tool
  • Support for cloud virtual machines
  • Unattended installation integrated into the GUI

That’s quite a list of new features, but for me, one of the best things about VirtualBox 7.0 is the new silent install UI, which allows you to configure the guest to boot the ISO and not exactly how you want it having to interfere with the guest’s interactive installation. It’s seamless, flawless, and a very welcome change.

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What you need to install VirtualBox 7.0

To install VirtualBox 7.0 you need a running instance of an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution and a user with sudo privileges. That’s it.

How to install VirtualBox 7.0

The first thing you need to do is delete your current VirtualBox installation. If you don’t do this, your guest operating systems will not run.

To delete the VirtualBox login to your Linux host, open a terminal window and enter the command:

sudo apt-get autoremove purge virtualbox*

out with the old; in with the new one.

Next we need to download and install a pair of GPG keys. Download them first with the commands:

curl | gpg --dearmor > oracle_vbox_2016.gpg
curl | gpg --dearmor > oracle_vbox.gpg

Now you can install these keys with:

sudo install -o root -g root -m 644 oracle_vbox_2016.gpg /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/
sudo install -o root -g root -m 644 oracle_vbox.gpg /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/

Build the repository for VirtualBox 7.0 with:

echo "deb [arch=amd64] $(lsb_release -sc) contrib" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/virtualbox.list

Update apt with:

sudo apt-get update

If you don’t already have the kernel headers installed on your system, do so with the command:

sudo apt install linux-headers-$(uname -r) dkms

Finally, install VirtualBox 7.0 with:

sudo apt-get install virtualbox-7.0 -y

Last but not least, fix any remaining issues with the command:

sudo /sbin/vboxconfig

You now have VirtualBox 7.0 installed on your Ubuntu-based Linux distribution: start adding new guests. Next time, I’ll walk you through the unattended installation, which greatly improves the VirtualBox workflow.

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