Install VirtualBox Guest Additions on Debian 11

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You might have installed Debian 11 Bullseye on VirtualBox, and realized that it is not in full-screen view by default. If you need to set it to full-screen view, follow through this guide to learn how to install VirtualBox Guest Additions on Debian 11 Bullseye.

There are so many feature that VirtualBox Guest additions can offer. This include;

  • Mouse pointer integration
  • Shared folders for easy sharing of files between the host and the guest
  • Ensures better and accelerated video performance.
  • Seamless windows integration
  • Generic host/guest communication channels that enables you to control and manage guest execution.
  • Provides Host-Guest time synchronization.
  • Shared clipboard between host and guest vm.
  • Automated logins.

To read more on VirtualBox Guest addition features on the VirtualBox User Manual.

Install Debian 11 Bullseye on VirtualBox by following the link below;

Install Debian 11 on VirtualBox

Installing VirtualBox Guest Additions on Debian 11

Mount the guest additions ISO file

To mount the guest additions ISO file using VirtualBox manager, open the virtual machine and click Devices > Insert Guest Additions CD image on the Menu bar.

Before that, ensure you have an empty IDE controller, on storage settings.

empty ide

When VirtualBox guest addition ISO file is inserted, you may or may not be prompted on how to open it. If prompted, select Open with File Manager.

The ISO file is mounted as a removable device. To mount it, open a terminal and run the command below;

sudo mount /dev/cdrom /mnt

Listing the contents of the mount point:

ls -1 /mnt

Install Required Packages

Now, to install VirtualBox guest additions, you need to have the kernel headers, DKMS framework, and build tools installed.

sudo apt update -y && sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install dkms linux-headers-$(uname -r) build-essential

Install VirtualBox Guest Additions

Once the installation is done, you can now install VirtualBox guest additions by executing the command below;

sudo sh /mnt/

Sample command output;

Verifying archive integrity... All good.
Uncompressing VirtualBox 6.1.26 Guest Additions for Linux........
VirtualBox Guest Additions installer
Copying additional installer modules ...
Installing additional modules ...
VirtualBox Guest Additions: Starting.
VirtualBox Guest Additions: Building the VirtualBox Guest Additions kernel 
modules.  This may take a while.
VirtualBox Guest Additions: To build modules for other installed kernels, run
VirtualBox Guest Additions:   /sbin/rcvboxadd quicksetup <version>
VirtualBox Guest Additions: or
VirtualBox Guest Additions:   /sbin/rcvboxadd quicksetup all
VirtualBox Guest Additions: Building the modules for kernel 5.10.0-8-amd64.
update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-5.10.0-8-amd64
VirtualBox Guest Additions: Running kernel modules will not be replaced until 
the system is restarted

Once the installation is done, restart your virtual machine in order to reload the kernel modules.

systemctl reboot -i

Once the system reboots, it should boot to full-screen mode.

If the screen dont automatically switch to full screen upon boot or login, toggle the View option > Auto-resize Guest Display.

debian 11 virtualbox fullscreen

Uninstall, for some reasons, you can always uninstall Guest Additions using the command below;

sudo sh /mnt/ uninstall

Well, that is all on how to install VirtualBox Guest Additions.

Related Tutorials;

Install VirtualBox Guest Additions on Rocky Linux 8

Install Rocky Linux 8 on VirtualBox

Install VirtualBox on Ubuntu 21.04


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