Saturday, 31 October 2009

Fixing VirtualBox VRMMRO.r0 Error on Ubuntu

I'd just rebuilt my eeepc recently and decided to install Virtualbox. Unfortunately after installing it from the Ubuntu repository it didn't quite work, giving the error "Failed to load VMMR0.r0 (VERR_SYMBOL_NOT_FOUND)".

From googling around it quickly became apparent that there's an easy fix, to uncomment a single line in a Makefile and re-compile the Virtualbox kernel modules. Unfortunately the package on Ubuntu won't recompile due to a mismatch of paths from the package installer and the actual build script.

The suggested steps for a standard install are:

Edit src/vboxdrv*/Makefile and uncomment the line: # VBOX_USE_INSERT_PAGE = 1

Then run the script /etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup

You'll need some extra steps to create various paths that the build script expects on Ubuntu as follows:

Edit /usr/src/vboxdrv*/Makefile and uncomment the line: # VBOX_USE_INSERT_PAGE = 1

cd /usr/src
ln -s vboxdrv-2.1.4 vboxdrv
ln -s vboxnetflt-2.1.4 vboxnetflt
cd /usr/lib/virtualbox
ln -s /usr/src .

Run /etc/init.d/virtualbox-ose setup

You can work out which links are needed by looking at the startup file /etc/init.d/virtualbox-ose, locate the setup section:



begin_msg "Recompiling VirtualBox kernel module"
--save-module-symvers /tmp/vboxdrv-Module.symvers \
--no-print-directory install > $LOG 2>&1; then
failure "Look at $LOG to find out what went wrong"
--use-module-symvers /tmp/vboxdrv-Module.symvers \
--no-print-directory install >> $LOG 2>&1; then
failure "Look at $LOG to find out what went wrong"
rm -f /etc/vbox/module_not_compiled

BUILDVBOXNETDRV is a variable pointing to the actual build script, it is the install path in the config file /etc/vbox/vbox.cfg, the value ends up being: "/usr/lib/virtualbox/src/vboxdrv/build_in_tmp", which doesn't exist.

If you look in /usr/lib/virtualbox then there is no src path, so create one of those to /usr/src (or you could change the INSTALL_DIR in vbox.cfg but I'm not sure what else that breaks). Then look in /usr/src, no "vboxdrv" directory, so make a link to that. Later in the build you'll run into the same thing for vboxnetflt.

Virtualbox is a great piece of software from Sun, although ESX may be master of the type 1 hypervisor, Virtualbox is (in my opinion) the best type 2 hypervisor around, especially for networking labs. The ability to bind physical NICs to seperate VMs is very handy and being able to do it all from a straightforward GUI in a few minutes is great. It allows Linux and XP to run in parallel on my eeepc and still get 5+ hours battery life.

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