VirtualBox Guest Additions

I have checked a Debian Buster guest running in a Debian Buster host. Here is what I found:
The packages tested (one at a time) in the guest were: the current virtualbox-guest-dkms (from nonfree repo) and also the “virtualbox-guest-utils” package . I grabbed my local copy of the iso GA image that comes with the Vbox collection on the host when you first download vbox. Although the iso is included, you must manually install it by pointing the guest to it (from the guest). The Debian packages (downloaded from the Debian repos on the guest machine) seem to work much better however. The included iso causes a hang at shutdown that is not present with the other packages. I just wanted to test so I tried the iso guest additions. I do not believe there are anymore versions of GA either.
There is a /usr/src/virtualbox-guest-6.0.10 folder and in it appears to work along with the main “vboxdrv” device to serve proper guest resolution among other things. This is for the “virtualbox-guest-dkms” package and also “virtualbox-guest-utils”. Also for these packages, there is /usr/lib/modules/4.19.0-8-amd64/kernel/drivers/staging/vboxvideo.ko for each installed kernel.
For the iso GA, all its folders are in /opt/VBoxGuestAdditions-6.0.14/src/vboxguest-6.0.14 (6.0.14 was the latest copy I had handy. I believe they are up to 6.0.16). The vboxvideo folder for this version appears to include the same stuff as the previous two packages. That config option you mentioned is probably part of this. There is some more info from Linus Torvalds here:


In Debian / Kicksecure / Whonix: VirtualBox guest addition sourced from
Debian packages should totally replace the need for guest additions from

I wonder if VirtualBox guest additions will still be required in newer
kernel versions when

lands. Maybe by then VirtualBox guest additions are better not installed.

Please help testing that in


It does; if the GA are necessary, I try to look for a repository version first before trying the included iso directly from Vbox. Reason being: the package from the distro’s reposotory seems to just work better. In Debian’s case, the package they offer (Debian) is a much better fit for a Debian-based virtual machine. The iso very often has imperfections like systemd compatability issues, runaway services, and other assorted annoyances. The other one from Debian packaging does not have these problems. The only thing is, sometimes Debian is a release or two behind the current Virtualbox release.
Here’s something strange that happens on some (not all) Debian/Ubuntu virtual machines run on a Debian or Ubuntu host:
I find that sometimes I have to use both the “virtualbox-guest-dkms” package and the “virtualbox-guest-utils” (non x11 version) at the same time in order to have all the functionality like: ability to share clipboard, ability for smooth mouse passthrough from guest to host and other way, and for proper window resize. I have not yet resolved why this is so. Perhaps the difference in versions? Right now, those 2 Debian packages are based on Virtualbox 6.0.10, and the host is using the latest update: 6.0.18

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Does what?

This is expected.

https://packages.debian.org/sid/virtualbox-guest-utils Depends: on https://packages.debian.org/sid/virtualbox-guest-dkms

https://packages.debian.org/sid/virtualbox-guest-utils Suggests: on https://packages.debian.org/sid/virtualbox-guest-x11

Quote https://packages.debian.org/sid/virtualbox-guest-utils

dep: virtualbox-guest-dkms

sug: virtualbox-guest-x11

https://packages.debian.org/sid/virtualbox-guest-x11 Depends: on https://packages.debian.org/sid/virtualbox-guest-utils

Quote https://packages.debian.org/sid/virtualbox-guest-x11

dep: virtualbox-guest-utils

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I meant that the package from Debian’s repo does indeed replace the need for using the Guest Additions iso that comes with the V-box package, that’s all.
Thanks for clearing up the fact that the virtualbox-guest-dkms and virtualbox-guest-utils can be used together. I found those links you posted to be very informative.

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