How to Install Guest Addition In Ubuntu 12.10 Guest In Virtualbox [Quick Tip]

If you are trying out Ubuntu 12.10 in your Virtualbox and find that you are not able to install the guest additions, then you are not alone. I have installed Ubuntu 12.10 on several instances and on almost every instance, I am not able to install the guest additions. This is the message that I am getting:

Building the main Guest Additions module!
(Look at /var/log/vboxadd-install.log to find out what went wrong)

Looking at the vboxadd-install.log file, you will find that the cause for the installation failure is because of the missing kernel headers. This may sound complicated to you, but don’t worry, here’s the fix:

Open a terminal (in the Ubuntu VM) and type:

Once the installation is completed, you can proceed to install the guest additions. It should work this time.

That’s it. Enjoy!

Damien Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.


  1. Perfect. I was looking for this solution and had finally decided to install Ubuntu on my test system. You saved quite some time of mine :-). Thanks a lot.

  2. I installed Ubuntu 12.10 in VirtualBox 4.2.6 and I didn’t have to run this command in Terminal. In fact, no headers for the current running VirtualBox Guest Additions kernel were found during the installation and it still worked perfect! I followed the installation instructions at and installed Guest Additions using the GNOME classic interface. I used to use the Terminal in prior versions but GNOME classic was a breeze!!! Works great now running Guest Additions.

  3. Did not work :/

    “niklas@Ubuntu:~$ sudo apt-get install build-essential kernel-header-`uname -r` dkms
    [sudo] password for niklas:
    Läser paketlistor… Färdig
    Bygger beroendeträd
    Läser tillståndsinformation… Färdig
    E: Kunde inte hitta paketet kernel-header-3.5.0-17-generic
    E: Kunde inte hitta något paket enligt reguljära uttrycket “kernel-header-3.5.0-17-generic”
    niklas@Ubuntu:~$ ”


  4. The correct terminal command is:

    sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r) dkms

  5. No-No-No!
    For 12.10: Open synaptic (install it first). Search for “virtualbox-ose-guest” (w/o quotes). Select
    Then press “Apply” and you’re done with the guest. Reboot now to activate ’em.

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