[vbox-dev] Inclusion of the Guest Additions in Ubuntu 11.10 by default

Michael Thayer michael.thayer at oracle.com
Wed Aug 31 02:17:42 PDT 2011

Hello Felix,

On Tue, 2011-08-30 at 22:38 +0200, Felix Geyer wrote:
> On 30.08.2011 17:29, Michael Thayer wrote:
> > What we would certainly
> > appreciate would be for released versions of Ubuntu to be able to
> > support new versions of VirtualBox as they are released - or to drop the
> > Additions installation feature altogether when a release gets to a point
> > when Ubuntu no longer wish to update it.
> It might be possible to detect the host VirtualBox version and only
> advertise the additions package if both are from the same major release.
> Of course this wouldn't cover the case where the VirtualBox host is
> upgraded later.
I have let this go through my head a bit and come to the conclusion that
two things might be helpful here.  One would be if we (VirtualBox
upstream) could make the Additions officially compatible with (some)
previous releases of VirtualBox.  With a big question mark over 3D
support (which I am less familiar with) I don't think that it would be a
major problem for 4.1 Additions to also support VirtualBox 4.0 and
possibly 3.2 in an optimal way, though I will have to take a look at
that.  The other thing would be making use of the version notifier which
is built into the Additions and warns if they are older than the
VirtualBox version they are running on.  The message could be changed
slightly in a distribution-specific way, to tell the user how to update
the distribution packages, and how to uninstall the packages so that
they can install our Additions if the right update is not available.

> The official way to provide updated software for released Ubuntu
> versions is through the backports repository.
> The policy for that repository however requires that someone actually
> tests the package on the old Ubuntu release.
> Sadly at the moment the backports repository isn't integrated into the
> GUI package managers. So you have to execute
> "sudo apt-get install -t natty-backports virtualbox-guest-utils"
> to get the latest version.
Firefox somehow gets around this to update to the latest major release
even within a single release cycle.  Perhaps the same could be done for
the Additions?  How does it work for other additional hardware drivers?


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