Install VirtualBox Guest Additions on Ubuntu Server

On my work, I have a box with WinXP, running Virtual Box as a host, and a Ubuntu Server 9.10 box as a guest. My problem is that the firewall on the corporate network does not allow Ubuntu to update the date and time against any NTP server (like or So, I need a way to keep the hour updated on the guest. Fortunately, VirtualBox has the ability to synchronize it from the host, the only thing I need to do was to install the Guest Additions package.

To do this, first, we need to click on Devices/Install Guest Additions (from the VirtualBox menu).

Then, on the Ubuntu Server, we install some pre-requisites:

$ aptitude install build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r) -y

Now, we will mount the virtual CD-ROM (where the Guest Additions are):

$ mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/

And then, run the installer script (there is a 32-bit and 64-bit versions). For 32-bit (which is the most probable, as VirtualBox Open Source only supports 32-bit guests):

$ /mnt/

Or for 64-bit guest:

$ /mnt/

It should install the available modules (like timesync), and drop a fail message saying that X server
was not found, which is OK as we are working with a server without GUI.

Finally, we umount the CD-ROM:

$ umount /mnt/

Now, the guest box time should be sync with the host, so we have one less thing to worry about.

3 thoughts on “Install VirtualBox Guest Additions on Ubuntu Server”

  1. Thanks for the concise tutorial. I found that trailing / after mnt in both mount and umount commands are unnecessary and cause commands to fail. Remove them and all works perfect. Thanks again

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Are you human? *