vboxclient the virtualbox kernel service is not running. exiting

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Hello, I am VERY new to Linux/centos8 and virtualbox.

I installed Centos 8 onto Virtualbox 6.1and VirtualBox 6.1 Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack.

However, I am getting this error message: "vboxclient the virtualbox kernel service is not running. exiting." This error message started right after i upgraded the kernel to from 4...

Please see the attached screenshot for further details.

I would appreciate any help in resolve this this issue.

Thanks in advance!



Please share /var/log/vboxadd-setup.log as it may contain further information

I was running 6.0.14 with 6.0.10 GA and updating the guest from RHEL 8.0 -> 8.1 caused this issue. Updating the GA to 6.0.14 fixed the problem.

What is "GA" ? (I am new to Red Hat too) :)

Hi Luis,

In this case "GA" means (VirtualBox) Guest Additions, known as (Oracle VM VirtualBox ) Extension Pack.
In the Red Hat world GA is mostly used for General Availability, the Final Release of a Red Hat product. :)


Thanks for the clarification Christian. Regards.

You're welcome, Luis ! :)

I had the same issue. After reading the /var/log/vboxadd-setup.log, I had determined that I needed to install elfutils-libelf-devel. I installed the package and reran the setup, and the Guest Additions installed successfully!

Glad that worked for you Rebecca and thanks for mentioning your fix.


I encountered the same issue with RHEL 8.2 and Virtualbox 6.1.18 with similar message in the /var/log/vboxadd-install.log file as below:

Virtualbox Guest Additions: Kernel headers not found for target kernel 4.18.0-193.el8.x86_64. Please install them and execute /sbin/rcvboxadd_setup

You need to install Developer tools and elfutils-libelf-devel
sudo yum groupinstall "Development Tools"

sudo yum install kernel-devel elfutils-libelf-devel

Then reinstall the Virtualbox Guest Additions

More details can be found at: https://developers.redhat.com/rhel8/install-rhel8-vbox#install_updates

I am running with RH 8.6 64 bits and installed the Development Tools and kernel-devel elfutils-libelf-devel packages for a new VM build and there is no change. I am getting a "error: implicit declaration of function 'map_vm_area'; did you mean 'get_vm_area' compile error in the log. This doesn't happen for the 7.6 OS. I also can't see the shared folder and when I try to manually mount it, it says it doesn't exist. I am not sure how to proceed at this point beyond not using 8.6 for a VM. Is anyone else seeing this for 8.6?

exact same issue with RHEL 8.6 on VB 6.1.18. i guess will have to check with a newer VB version...