How to Install VirtualBox Guest Additions on Linux Mint

VirtualBox, a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization software, is widely used for running multiple operating systems as virtual machines. Particularly for Linux Mint users, one of its most valuable features is the Guest Additions. This suite of utilities enhances the performance and usability of the guest systems, including better screen resolution, improved mouse pointer integration, and seamless folder sharing.

This tutorial targets users who are relatively new to VirtualBox or Linux Mint. We will guide you through the straightforward process of installing VirtualBox Guest Additions on a Linux Mint virtual machine. This enhancement is essential for a smoother, more integrated virtual machine experience, bridging the gap between your host and guest operating systems.


Before diving into the installation process, it’s crucial to ensure that your system is ready.

  1. Check VirtualBox Version: Make sure you have VirtualBox installed on your host system. It’s essential that you’re running the latest version to avoid compatibility issues. You can check the version and update if necessary through your host system’s software update tool.
  2. Backup Your System: Although installing Guest Additions is generally safe, it’s good practice to create a backup of your virtual machine. This can be done easily within VirtualBox by taking a snapshot of your current system state.

Installation Steps

Follow these steps to install VirtualBox Guest Additions on Linux Mint:

  1. Start Your Virtual Machine: Boot up your Linux Mint virtual machine in VirtualBox.
  2. Insert Guest Additions CD Image:
    • In the VirtualBox window menu, go to Devices > Insert Guest Additions CD Image....
    • A prompt should appear within Linux Mint asking if you want to run the content. Choose ‘Run’.
  3. Install Necessary Packages:
    • Open a terminal in Linux Mint.
    • Update your package repository with sudo apt-get update.
    • Install required packages using sudo apt-get install build-essential dkms linux-headers-$(uname -r).
  4. Run the Installer:
    • Navigate to the CD directory: cd /media/$USER/VBox_GAs_*.
    • Execute the installer: sudo sh ./
    • Wait for the installation to complete.
  5. Restart Your Virtual Machine: Once the installation is complete, reboot your virtual machine for the changes to take effect.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Occasionally, you might encounter issues during the installation:

  • Missing Kernel Headers: Ensure you have the correct Linux headers installed as per step 3.
  • Installation Fails: Double-check you have the necessary build tools installed. If an error message appears, it can often provide clues.


With the Guest Additions installed, you should notice an immediate improvement in the performance and integration of your Linux Mint virtual machine. You can now enjoy a more fluid and responsive experience, with features like shared folders and a seamless mouse pointer. Don’t hesitate to explore more VirtualBox features to optimize your virtualization experience further.

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need further assistance with VirtualBox or Linux Mint.