Virtualbox on Ubuntu 8.10

So I finally built a new computer (more on that later). Put the Intrepid Ibex RC on the system and it’s been working flawlessly. For a release candidate, it’s working out much better than Hardy (it was installed for about 20 minutes).

Since I’ve got enough CPU and RAM to put a couple of VMs, went with VirtualBox 2.04, which I got ahold of by adding the following repository in Synaptic, which I kludged from the VirtualBox downloads page:

deb intrepid non-free

Then installed the program after fussing with a dialog box reporting a missing signature. The program launcher doesn’t get added to the GNOME menu until you either reboot or logout and log back in to your session. Launched the program with


with Alt+F2. Mind the capitalization. It matters.

Then installed a WinXP VM, then installed the Guest OS components. But when getting around to configuring USB on the VM Host, I got this error message:

Could not load the Host USB Proxy Service

There are more details, but this is the important part and what people are looking for on Google. Found a lot of tutorials and a ton relevant articles, but the one that pointed out the solution was this one.

What I ended up doing was adding myself to the vbusers group (per this tutorial):

sudo adduser $USER vboxusers

Then adding this to my /etc/fstab:

none /proc/bus/usb usbfs devgid=46,devmode=664 0 0

Rebooted, started up the VM, and everything worked. Now, I did try out the VirtualBox OSE in the Intrepid repositories, but I do need the USB support so don’t begin ranting I don’t support Open Source.



One Reply to “Virtualbox on Ubuntu 8.10”

  1. Now, while the previous steps did get USB to work on the Guest VM, they didn’t work fully.

    So then I found an article advising to make this modification to the file /etc/init.d/
    domount usbfs usbdevfs /proc/bus/usb -onoexec,nosuid,nodev,devgid=123,devmode=664

    It doesn't fit here, but all of that goes on a single line, the devgid should be the one of your vboxusers group.

    This makes the guest OS fully detect the USB device (at least with the install of WinXP I tried) but programs can’t interact properly with it.

    Stil looking for a solution…

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