Upgrading to Virtualbox 2.1 In Ubuntu Intrepid

Virtualbox released their latest version 2.1 last week. If you have not upgraded your existing copy of Virtualbox, I would advise you to do it now.

There are several new features in Virtualbox 2.1.

  • Support for 64-bit guests on 32-bit host operating systems – If you have a 64-bit processor, you can now install/run a 64-bit virtual machine on a 32-bit host. For those who wanted to test out software compatibility on a 64-bit OS, this is the best way for you to do so.
  • Experimental 3D acceleration via OpenGL – If you have a graphics card that can support OpenGL, your Virtualbox VM can now make use of your accelerated 3D hardware to run 3D graphics. Potentially, you would be able to play 3D game on your VM. This means that Linux users will be able to play 3D Windows game on a Windows guest without having to dual-boot Linux and Windows. Currently, this 3D acceleration feature is only supported in Windows XP or 32-bit Vista guest.
  • Full VMDK/VHD support including snapshots – Virtualbox 2.1 is able to support VMDK and VHD virtual hard disk format. This means that you can now use your VMware hard disk or Microsoft VirtualPC hard disk in Virtualbox without any need for conversion.
  • Easier implementation of Host Interface networking – In the past, implementing Host Interface networking requires you to install and configure TUN/TAP. With this new feature, you can easily configure your VM networking to pass through the host interface rather than NAT. By using the host interface, your VM will appear to the host as a network drive connected via a network cable. You can then set up a file server and share files easily between the guest and host.

Installing Virtualbox2.1

If  you have never installed Virtualbox, this is what you need to do to install Virtualbox 2.1.

In your terminal,

gksu gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the following line to the end of the file. Save and close.

deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian intrepid non-free

Back to your terminal,

wget -q http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian/sun_vbox.asc -O- | sudo apt-key add –
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install virtualbox-2.1

Upgrading to Virtualbox 2.1

If you have installed virtualbox 2.0, you will need to remove first before installing virtualbox 2.1.

sudo apt-get autoremove virtualbox-2.0
sudo apt-get install virtualbox-2.1

When it prompts you to convert your old Virtualbox files to the new format, click OK.

virtualbox files conversion

Adding 3D hardware support to your VM

On the main screen of your Virtualbox, highlight the Windows VM (make sure that it powered off) and click on the Setting button in the top menu.

On the General option in the left pane, under the Video Memory Size, checked the box Enable 3D Acceleration.

virtualbox enable 3d acceleration

Implement Host Interface networking

In the Settings page, click on the Network option on the left pane. In the second dropdown bar with the label Attach to, select Host Interface.


That’s it.


  1. This Virtual Box thing is quite interesting. I have heard of it before, though, I can hardly believe what it is or does. What I need is a go over of what it actually does on the computer, in introductory terms. I do not quite get it, but would like to learn more about it.

    • Simply said, Virtualbox is a software that allows you to virtualize an Operating System (generally Windows or Linux) and use it within another OS. By using Virtualbox, it allows you to have access to two operating system at the same time (the guest and the host) and saves you the trouble of dual-booting your computer.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to put this togather! I just started using Virtualbox a month or so ago after I got a laptop…Desktop was not powerful enough to get a nice smooth interface…I just setup XP on a virtual machine and it runs basically as fast as a ‘real install’ ofc some things are not as fast but most is imo…Again thank you! ;)

  3. But don’t forget the $1900 MINIMUM price tag if you want to use VirtualBox in a business environment – even a single user SOHO outfit has to purchase FIFTY (!!) licenses minimum in order to use VirtualBox 2.1 (or 2.0)

    So either use virtualbox-OSE, which isn’t nearly as full featured, or use something else if you want an affordable virtualization solution for a small office.

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