How to Install VirtualBox on Ubuntu Linux

This post shows students and new users steps to install and configure Oracle VirtualBox on Ubuntu Linux. VirtualBox is an open source, cross-platform virtualization software that allows you to run multiple guest machines (virtual machines) simultaneously on a single host computer.

VirtualBox is generally used in test environments. In some development environments, a VirtualBox host is used to run multiple operating systems, and these machines are used to test different test scenarios.

With VirtualBox and similar virtualization software, you can use a single machine as a host computer. Then within the virtualization software, you can create multiple independent guest computers, each running its own operating system.

Applications running one in one OS may not run efficiently on other operating systems, and VirtualBox can be very helpful in this situation to make sure an application is tested to run anywhere on any operating system.

For more about VirtualBox, check its homepage.

VirtualBox software packages are available in Ubuntu multiverse repository. However, the packages in there might not be the latest versions.

To install or Upgrade to VirtualBox latest software on Ubuntu, add its repository to Ubuntu so that you can always get the latest version when available.

How to add VirtualBox repository to Ubuntu

If you want to always get the latest versions of VirtualBox when they become available, you’ll want to add its software repository to Ubuntu.

Run the commands below to import and add Oracle public keys repository key to your system.

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

After importing the repository key above, run the commands below to add VirtualBox package repository file on Ubuntu Linux.

sudo add-apt-repository "deb [arch=amd64]  $(lsb_release -cs) contrib"

Once done, you’re then ready to install Oracle VirtualBox on Ubuntu Linux.

How to install Oracle VirtualBox on Ubuntu

At this point, Ubuntu Linux should be ready to install the latest version of VirtualBox. At the time of this writing, the latest version of VirtualBox is at 6.1.x.

Future releases might have different version number. So go to the link below to find out what is the new latest version when it’s available.

Downloads – Oracle VM VirtualBox

If the current version is still at 6.1.x, then run the commands below. If a new version is available, simply replace the 6.1 version in the command below with the latest.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install virtualbox-6.1

After installing, go and lunch the app by going to the Activities dashboard and searching for it VirtualBox, then select and open it.

Oracle VirtualBox is installed on Ubuntu.

How to add VirtualBox extension pack

Oracle VirtualBox extension pack provides useful enhancements to the platform, including support for USB 2.0 | 3.0 devices, RDP, encryption and many more. You must always install the extension pack after installing VirtualBox on the host computer.

Open your browser and browse to the link below, then select the All supported platforms to download the pack.

Downloads – Oracle VM VirtualBox


When prompted, select to open with Oracle VM VirtualBox (default)

Then click Install

Next, scroll down and accept the licensing terms and complete the installation. You will also be prompted to type in your password to continue with the installation.

After successfully installing the extension pack, you can now go and start creating new virtual machines.

That’s it!


This post showed you how to install Oracle Virtual Box on Ubuntu Linux. If you find any error above or have anything to add, please use the comment form below.