Installing Ubuntu 14.10 in Virtualbox (Troubleshooting Guide)


In most cases, installing an OS in Virtualbox is easy. The installation steps are similar, regardless of the OS you are using. However, for Ubuntu, particularly for the latest release, getting it to run in Virtualbox is often hit or miss. Here are two problems that I encountered while installing Ubuntu 14.10 in Virtualbox and their solutions.

Note: The following solutions are performed on a Ubuntu host machine.

When you boot the Ubuntu ISO file in your Virtualbox, you will reach this screen with distorted graphics.


The fix for this is simple:

1. Make sure the Virtualbox window is in focus. Press the “Right Ctrl + F1” buttons. This will bring up a virtual terminal.

Note: Make sure you are pressing the “Ctrl” button on the right side of the keyboard.


2. Press “Right Ctrl + F7.” This will bring it back to the default screen without the distorted graphics.

That’s it. You can proceed to try out or install Ubuntu 14.10.

After you have installed Ubuntu 14.10 in Virtualbox and booted into the desktop, you will find that the resolution is stuck at 640×480 even after the Guest Addition is installed. To fix this:

1. In Ubuntu 14.10 guest, open a terminal.


2. Enter the following command to install virtualbox-guest-dkms:

Once installed, restart the VM. Your desktop will now expand to match the resolution of the host machine.

The above-mentioned problems are the only issues I faced while installing Ubuntu 14.10 in Virtualbox. If you come across more problems, do let us know in the comments and we will look into it.


  1. Thank you Damien. I’m trying to talk my immediate supervisor in to Oracle VM VirtualBox. This will really help my cause

  2. i’m using linux mint qiana os in a macbook pro 8,1 and i don’t have the right Ctrl button. Can you help me?

    • On a MacBook Pro you’ll be hitting left command-F1 and then left command-F7.

      Note: In order to hit F1 or F7 you’ll also have to hold down the ‘fn’ key that is the lower left key on the keyboard.

  3. I have Ubuntu 14.10 install in a Windows 7 Host virtual box on a a Compaq HP 6715b AMD Turion64 x 2. 4Gig ram. It is all an a Monster digital Overdrive Advanced 128GB flash USB drive. This is also 33gig ready boost for windows. I installed the guest additions from the net.
    And it boots to a screen with no icons? And takes forever to shutdown?

    • “And it boots to a screen with no icons” – are you referring to the Desktop, or the teminal?

      If it comes to a stand still during shutdown, press Enter. If not, power off the VM completely.

      • There are no icons, you can get to files by creating a desktop folder. The function of the upper left icons is there but not the images? Durrilng the login screen the upper left is there? But never any desktop left vertical app icons.

  4. i am using windows 7 as the host and ubuntu as guest machine. i am unable share the folders of windows to ubuntu.alsowhile installing the guestadditons i am getting error as”cannot find autorun”

  5. Thanks for the steps, but I have something more… After instal Virtualbox Guest Additions, my VBM does’nt start, stay in UEFI Shell 2.0
    If I remove the mark in EFI enabled, after all the instalations, the VM does’nt find the media.
    The only solutions is install again, but is ever the same with the Virtualbox Guest Additions.


  6. Hii there,i installed ubuntu 14.10 In virtualbox,problem with screen resolution…i tried above mentioned method,but not success full,already install vbox guest adtnl,i have vbox 4.2.12,i tried that but terminal shows that no virtualbox-guest-dkms not found while i already mount vbox adtnl in cd drive,,,in another method,the media directry not found…xrandr also not working,help me !

  7. hi, i tried to share one of my partitions in windows with ubuntu 4.10 which is my guest but it seems not to mind me.. Help

  8. Thank you very much, Damien, for your instructions!
    This really made installation a lot easier.

  9. Great I was stuck, and was already downloading another iso before stumbling on your article ! You saved me some time !

  10. Damien, thank you very much, I just installed Ubuntu14.10 in VirtualBox in my computer, and I met the same questions as you told upside, and the solutions you gave has already helped me in my install process, thanks very much.

  11. Firstly, i got this error while installing Ubuntu 14.04 in Virtual box, “Fast TSC calibration failed”. Later, Ubuntu was loading and atlast a black screen and it has stuck there. No progress. What to do now?

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