Install VirtualBox Guest Additions on Kali Linux 2021.3

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In this tutorial, you will learn how to install VirtualBox guest additions on Kali Linux 2021.3.

Guest additions offers many other features;

  • Run VM in fullscreen mode
  • 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.

Installing VirtualBox Guest Additions on Kali Linux

There are two ways in which you can install VirtualBox guest additions;

  1. Via X11 guest utilities for package for VirtualBox
  2. Via VirtualBox Guest Additions Image

Install VirtualBox Guest Additions via x11 Guest Utilities package

The virtualbox-guest-x11 package X11 Guest Utilities.

To install this package, you need to have the Kali Linux repositories installed.

Check if you Kali Linux repos installed;

grep -v '#' /etc/apt/sources.list | sort -u
deb kali-rolling main non-free contrib
deb-src kali-rolling main non-free contrib

If the command output is empty, run the command below to install Kali Linux rolling release repositories.

cat > /etc/apt/sources.list << 'EOL'
deb kali-rolling main non-free contrib
deb-src kali-rolling main non-free contrib

Run system package cache update once the repos are installed.

apt update

Install VirtualBox x11 guest utilities.

apt install virtualbox-guest-x11

Once the installation is done, reboot the system;

systemctl reboot -i

Your Kali Linux 2021.3 is now running in fullscreen on VirtualBox.

If the screen doesn’t automatically resize to fullscreen on reboot, you can toggle the screen auto-resize by navigating to VirtualBox VM menu View > Auto-resize Guest display.

kali linux 2021.3 virtualbox guest additions

Install VirtualBox Guest Additions via Guest Additions ISO

To install VirtualBox Guest Additions via Guest additions ISO file, you need to insert the guest additions iso/image file into your Kali Linux 2021.3 virtual machine.

Install Linux Headers, DKMS and Build Tools

To verify if these build requirements have already been installed, run the command below;

sudo dpkg -l | grep -E "dkms|linux-headers-$(uname -r)|build-essential"
ii build-essential 12.9 amd64 Informational list of build-essential packages

The ii means that the the build-essential tools is installed.

Install the missing packages;

cat > /etc/apt/sources.list << 'EOL'
deb kali-rolling main non-free contrib
deb-src kali-rolling main non-free contrib
sudo apt update -y
sudo apt install dkms linux-headers-$(uname -r) build-essential

Insert the Guest Additions Image into the Kali Linux 2021.3 virtual machine

Guest additions image can be inserted into a VirtualBox virtual machine manually via the VM menu or by installing the virtualbox-guest-additions-iso package.

Insert Guest Additions Image manually

Guest additions image can be manually inserted into a vm via the VM virtualbox menu.

Before the image can be inserted into the vm, ensure that you have unallocated (empty) controller IDE from virtual machine storage settings to insert the image.

Once the installation is done, insert the Guest Additions ISO into the vm from the menu bar > Devices > Insert Guest Additions CD Image...

Once you insert the image, a dialog box which prompts you to run or cancel the Guest Additions installer is launched.

If no dialog is launch upon Guest addition image insertion, simply double click the image icon the desktop to mount it.

The virtualbox guest additions image can be mounted on either, /media/{cdrom,cdrom0,cdrom1}.

You can find the mount point using df -h command.

df -hT
Filesystem     Type      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
udev           devtmpfs  957M     0  957M   0% /dev
tmpfs          tmpfs     199M 1000K  198M   1% /run
/dev/sda1      ext4       15G  9.7G  4.4G  70% /
/dev/sr1       iso9660    59M   59M     0 100% /media/cdrom1

Insert Guest additions Image by installing it

You can as well install the VirtualBox Guest additions iso/image file from Kali Linux repositories;

sudo apt install virtualbox-guest-additions-iso

When installed, the VirtualBox Guest Additions ISO is now available as /usr/share/virtualbox/VBoxGuestAdditions.iso.

To install the Guest Additions ISO, you need to mount it.

sudo mount -o loop /usr/share/virtualbox/VBoxGuestAdditions.iso /media/cdrom

Installing VirtualBox Guest Additions

Next, run the Guest additions installer for Linux on Kali Linux 2021.3 VirtualBox vm.

Replace the path to the Guest additions installer appropriately.

bash /media/cdrom/

Once the installation is done, restart the system to reload the kernel modules and apply the changes.

systemctl reboot -i

Kali Linux 2021.3 FullScreen on VirtualBox

Your Kali Linux 2021.3 should now be running in fullscreen. If upon system reboot the screen doesn’t auto-resize automatically, be sure to toggle (off/on, so to say)  View -> Auto-resize Guest Display on the VM menu bar to set right VM resolution.

kali 2021.3 full screen

That concludes our guide.

Related Tutorials

Easily Install Kali Linux 2021.3 on VirtualBox

Upgrade VirtualBox 6.0 to 6.1 on Ubuntu Systems

Install VirtualBox Guest Additions on Ubuntu 20.04

Use VirtualBox VMs on KVM


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