Rise of the Leviathan

Rise of the Leviathan

Virtualbox on Slackware

Virtualbox open source package overview

3-Minute Read

Virtualbox Logo


In my last blog entry I already briefly mentioned that my slackware package repository contains various virtualbox related packages. Today I want to explain a bit more what packages there are and what they contain.

For many years already I maintain the SlackBuilds for virtualbox over at SlackBuilds.org. The packages offered in my repo match those for the most part. The packages will, however, always be a bit more up-to-date, as I update my SlackBuilds on SlackBuilds.org only for major changes.

Unfortunately I can’t offer a package for virtualbox-extension-pack as its license doesn’t allow for redistribution.


The main virtualbox package contains pretty much everything contained in the binary installer offered by Oracle. Besides the GUI and command line interfaces, there’s the vboxweb-service, the java and python3 bindings, and the vnc extension pack (which isn’t shipped with the binary installer afaik).

This package also ships additional include files needed to build packages like RemoteBox.


The virtualbox-kernel package contains the host kernel modules needed to run virtualbox virtual machines. I do not intend to update this package for every kernel update happening in slackware-current, but still aim for as many as I have time for.

However, it isn’t strictly necessary. The main virtualbox package already installs the kernel module sources in /usr/src/virtualbox-kernel-$VERSION as well, so if there is no package available for the kernel you want to run, you can either fetch the SlackBuild and build one yourself, or just build the modules locally:

cd /usr/src/virtualbox-kernel-$VERSION
make install


The virtualbox-addons package contains the userspace utilities needed to be installed inside virtualbox vms. This does not contain the guest kernel modules, as those are now shipped upstream in the linux kernel as well.

There’s some disagreement on whether the linux kernel modules or the included ones should be used, but as the modules included in slackware’s kernel work just fine, I see no need to go through the hassle of replacing them with different ones.

VirtualBox Display Settings
VirtualBox Display Settings showing the selection of the VMSVGA graphics controller

VirtualBox upstream now advises to use the VMSVGA graphics controller rather than VBoxVGA or VBoxSVGA. The latter two use the xf86-video-vboxvideo x.org driver, whereas the former uses xf86-video-vmware. With recent fixes to kscreen both should work reasonably fine with Plasma. However, while automatic rescaling worked out-of-the-box for VBoxVGA in the past (I haven’t been able to get that working in recent versions), it works for VMSVGA only with the virtualbox-addons package installed and rc.vboxadd-service enabled.


vbox-runner example
vbox-runner showing results in krunner

vbox-runner is a simple addon for Plasma’s krunner that allows starting virtual machines via Alt + F2.

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