[vbox-dev] Co-existence of distribution-installed Guest Additions and Oracle-provided ones

Gianfranco Costamagna locutusofborg at debian.org
Thu Jun 15 09:49:03 GMT 2017

>The kernel modules are not currently a problem - we use depmod's
>override feature to give our ones priority over pre-installed ones.  We
>had an additional option for handling this - relying on distributions to
>provide up-to-date Additions.

>Currently, our installation script aborts if
>/usr/sbin/vbox-uninstall-guest-additions returns failure.  We could
>slightly refine this, by splitting that into two exit codes: a code of
>"1" to say that the distribution thinks it is providing up-to-date
>Additions (which would probably involve checking an end-of-support date
>for the Additions in the distribution), and "2" to tell the installer to
>abort.  In both cases it would probably make sense to assume we have a
>terminal and print a message - for instance, print instructions telling
>the user how to uninstall the distribution Additions and return "2".

>Any thoughts about that?  How realistic does it seem to you to keep the
>Additions up-to-date in in-support Debian and Ubuntu releases?  Since
>Debian and Ubuntu kernels have (if I am not mistaken) a module ABI which
>is not broken in every kernel update it might make sense to package the

>modules separately again and match them to the current kernel ABI.

the kernel modules are inside the linux source (In Ubuntu), so they are already
provided with the kernel, and from time to time (each new vbox release ideally)
I request to sync them with the new kernel modules, so on the next linux
update they go in older ubuntu releases.

wrt vbox, I keep it up-to-date from time to time on older Ubuntu releases with micro
new releases

e.g. now Ubuntu has
4.1.44 Lucid

4.3.36 Trusty/Vivid

5.0.40 Xenial

5.1.22 Zesty/Artful.

Debian has no vbox anymore in stable, so I don't care because they will have the latest
one in unstable.


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