[vbox-dev] modprobe vboxdrv causes kernel NULL pointer dereference on Debian systems

Gerald Schnabel GSchnabel at gmx.de
Wed Aug 22 09:56:09 GMT 2012

Hello vbox-dev,

on Debian systems installation of VirtualBox 4.1.18 & 4.1.20
fails with

vboxdrv: Found n processor cores.
BUG: unable to handle kernel NULL pointer dereference at 00000900
IP: [<fcbdcb6a>] VBoxHost_RTR0MemObjFree+0x294/0x294 [vboxdrv]
*pdpt = 0000000031d34001 *pde = 0000000000000000
Oops: 0000 [#1] SMP

The problem was first reported on the VirtualBox forums here:

BUG: unable to handle kernel NULL pointer dereference at 000

And again here:

Can not install on Debian

I've tracked the problem down to the definitions of RT_LIKELY
& RT_UNLIKELY in /usr/share/virtualbox/src/vboxhost/vboxdrv/include/iprt/cdefs.h

If -DFORTIFY_RUNNING (-DLOG_ENABLED works too!) is added to the
KFLAGS of the vboxdrv Makefile the module loads without problems!

See my post here:

localhost:~# cat /etc/debian_version
localhost:~# uname -a
Linux localhost 3.5.2 #1 SMP Wed Aug 15 21:19:06 CEST 2012 i686 GNU/Linux
localhost:~# gcc --version
gcc (Debian 4.7.1-2) 4.7.1

VirtualBox from virtualbox.org installed with dpkg -i

localhost:~# dpkg -i virtualbox-4.1_4.1.20-80170~Debian~wheezy_i386.deb

gcc problem/bug?

I did not create a new ticket on the bug tracker as compile problems
should be reported on the devel mailing list.


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