Building Virtualbox Guest Additions on RHEL6 fails

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We have some test systems where we have Virtual Box v4.3.28 and have a few RHEL v6 test VMs living in it. I feel that to get this installed is a type of hodge-podge of directions. I've installed an rpm from Fedora website called epel-release along with adding the following: KERN_DIR=/usr/src/kernels/uname -r During the install, it outputs the following: Building the main Guest Additions Module [FAILED]
(Look at /var/log/vboxadd-install.log to find out what went wrong) I look at vbox.add-install.log and there is too much to freeform here, however it is pointing back to KERN_DIR= and run Make again.
Christopher Miller's picture


Do you have the kernel-devel package installed? Please note that the version must match the running kernel.

The kernel that I have installed is the following:


I've also installed the following rpms:


I uninstalled Guest Additions and reinstalled it again and this is what the uninstall log is saying:

/tmp/vbox.0/Makefile.include.header:97 *** Error: unable to find the sources of your current Linux kernel. Specify KERN_DIR= and run Make again. Stop.

Also getting echo " ERROR: Kernel configuration is invalid.";
included/linux/autoconf.h or include/cofig/auto.conf are missing.";
run 'make oldconfig && make prepare' on kernel src to fix it.";

There is also way too much output in this log for me to try and type it in by hand. I can try to attach a usb drive and copy the file to that and see if I can get it all out that way.


Could you show us the output returned by: rpm -qa kernel* | sort and uname -mr

rpm -qa kernel* | sort


uname -mr

2.6.32-431.el6.x86_64 x86_64
What's the output from "echo $KERN_DIR" prior to trying to work with the Guest Additions?
echo "$KERN_DIR" returns nothing.
In your original post you said "along with adding the following: KERN_DIR=/usr/src/kernels/uname -r". Where did you add that? KERN_DIR needs to be defined prior to running the install. Try
KERN_DIR=/usr/src/kernels/$(uname -r) ; echo $KERN_DIR; ls -ld $KERN_DIR
Even after adding KERN_DIR, and upgrading VirtualBox to v5.0, I still continue to get Building the Main Guest Addition module as a Failure. If looking at /var/log/bvox-add-install.log there are still alot of errors in the log. Too many too type by hand, however starting at the beginning its the same as I've posted before.
/tmp/vbox.0/Makefile.include.header:97: *** Error:  unable to find the sources of your current Linux kernel.   Specify KERN_DIR-<directory> and run Make again.  Stop.  
Looking at the rpms, I have kernel-headers, are there any flags that needed to be set when this was installed? Also I see dracut-kernel-004-335.el6.noarch installed, will this cause an issue?
I don't remember having any issue with RHEL 6 guest, please try the following in VirtualBox:
  1. Install RHEL 6 minimal installation
  2. Do a full yum update
  3. Install kernel-devel gcc make patch
  4. Reboot
  5. Mount VirtualBox Tools iso and try to install the Guest additions
If this works, there is something fishy with your current VMs... //Zdenek

What you advised was successful. Except that I didn't have to install make or patch, just gcc.

[root@ApacheFTP ~]# lsmod | grep -i vbox
vboxsf                 37535  0 
vboxguest             284665  6 vboxsf
vboxvideo               2148  1 
drm                   280012  2 vboxvideo

So this worked, so what do you think is fishy about the RHEL VM?

Also if there is a new Kernel or update of Virtual Box or Virtual Box Guest Additions, do I have to do anything, such as re-install the software?


Yes there is definitely something wrong there. Basically, the loaded kernel and kernel-devel package need to be the same version (incl all minor/build parts, etc.). What I would suggest is to:
  1. Take a snapshot of your current VM
  2. Update kernel, kernel-devel, boot into the new kernel
  3. Clean up the VirtualBox installation, incl. any older version and check if there are no longer any vbox related drivers (rpm -qa, lsmod, find /lib/modules, etc.).
  4. Reboot and try to re-run the recent VirtualBox Guest Additions setup
Let's see if it helps... And yes, if you change the running kernel (upgrade/downgrade), you need to re-run the VirtualBox Guest Additions setup. //Zdenek
The kernel and kernel-dev are the same along with being a vanilla install of RHEL v6.5, other then not having gcc installed, I'm not sure what the issue is. Its working now, and going forward I kind of know what to look for or troubleshoot if I have to do a fresh install or new install if the kernel is upgraded. thanks

On my install (Linux ghd7160013.localdomain 2.6.32-642.el6.x86_64 #1 SMP Tue May 10 17:27:01 UTC 2016 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux) the "build" symbolic link in /lib/modules/2.6.32-642.el6.x86_64 was broken.

I recreated it pointing at the correct object:

[root@ghd7160013 2.6.32-642.el6.x86_64]# ll total 3888 lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 50 Nov 10 12:48 build -> ../../../usr/src/kernels/2.6.32-642.6.2.el6.x86_64

VBoxAdditions then installed without issue.

Installed kernel-devel .Issue resolved

For me too:

dnf install kernel-devel-$(uname -r) kernel-core-$(uname -r)

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