Tuesday Jul 31, 2012

VirtualBox and Mountain Lion (Mac OS X 10.8)


VirtualBox 4.1.20 and later are now completely compatible with Mountain Lion and this jiggery-pokery is no longer needed

- FB]

Apple released Mountain Lion (Mac OS X 10.8) late last week and a few people are stumbling over installing VirtualBox on it, so here are a few tips:

At the time of writing, the current version of VirtualBox is 4.1.18. Strictly speaking, this is not commercially supported, but VirtualBox users tend to be an intrepid and gung-ho bunch, and will try to run it on Mountain Lion anyway. They'll download VirtualBox and run the installer by clicking on the VirtualBox.mpkg icon:

...and get a message like this:

This will happen if you are using the default Security settings of Mountain Lion for downloaded applications, which probably look like this:

Application Settings

To get VirtualBox installed you can either:

  1. temporarily allow applications downloaded from Anywhere in the System Preferences box above, changing it back after installation; or
  2. hold Control key down as you click the .mpkg and choose Open. Doing this, you'll get a subtlety different dialog like this:

...which now has an Open button. Clicking on this will get VirtualBox installed too.

HTH someone out there.


 P.S. You can expect to see a "Fully Supported" version in the not too distant future ;-)

Friday Mar 09, 2012

Creating a VirtualBox appliance that uses a click-thru license

Lots of people use VirtualBox to create virtual appliances or vm's which they can share with others. There's a whole host of them over at the OTN Developer VM's page, BTW.

But someone asked me how they would go about about redistributing a vm which required a "click to accept" type of license. Here's how:

When you are happy with the vm that you want to redistribute, you can use the GUI or command-line interface of VirtualBox to export the vm.  


  1. Choose "File...Export Appliance..." to bring up the Export wizard, then select the vm's that make up your appliance. (Note that you can export multiple vm's here. For example, the database vm may be separate from the business logic vm, etc).

  2. Export Wizard

  3. Choose the flavor of appliance: ovf or ova, and whether to create a manifest (hashes which can be used to determine if the appliance components arrived intact). Note that VirtualBox uses the extension to decide which type (ovf or ova) of appliance to create:

  4. Export Settings

  5. When you get to the Appliance Export Settings dialog you can describe who you are, what the appliance is called as well as specifying license text:

  6. Appliance Export Settings

    You can leave any of these fields empty, however, it is the presence of the License text field that causes VirtualBox to present the License at Import-time.

BTW The command line interface syntax that achieves the same thing is:

$ VBoxManage export
VBoxManage export           <machines> --output|-o <ovf/ova>
                            [--vsys <number of virtual system>]
                                    [--product <product name>]
                                    [--producturl <product url>]
                                    [--vendor <vendor name>]
                                    [--vendorurl <vendor url>]
                                    [--version <version info>]
                                    [--eula <license text>]
                                    [--eulafile <filename>]

So you can create scripts to automate the building of this. 

The end result is the same: an ova file or an ovf file with stream-optimized disk images and an optional manifest file. 


Here's what this appliance would then look like on import: 

  1. From the File...Import... menu in the VirtualBox Manager you select the ova or ovf file and you're show what the appliance contains:

    Appliance Import Settings

    At this point you can modify the devices if required, or change the MAC address (to avoid clashes with existing vm's). 

  2. But on continuing, if there is a License, it gets presented thus:

    Software License Agreement

    So your users can choose whether they want to accept your terms of use or not. 

That's all there is to it.

- FB 

Thursday Feb 24, 2011

VirtualBox and the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel

This has tripped me up twice now, so time to write it down :-)

Oracle Linux 5 and now also Oracle Linux 6 come with a choice of kernels:

  • a 100% Red Hat compatible one; and
  • the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel.

When installing VirtualBox, or the VirtualBox Guest Additions, we need to build and install kernel drivers which are dependent on the version of Linux you are using. So we need a few packages to be installed to allow us to do this.

Here's how using the standard kernel:

	yum update
	yum install gcc
	yum install kernel-devel

 or if using the Unbreakable kernel:

	yum update
	yum install gcc
	yum install kernel-uek-devel

 There, now I'll never forget how to do this again.


Monday Jun 07, 2010

VirtualBox 3.2.4 is released!

Thanks to all in the community who spotted a couple of regressions with 3.2.2. We couldn't let them pass and so have updated VirtualBox to version 3.2.4 to fix them.



Fat Bloke


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