Ubuntu: Why was the virtualbox package removed from the 14.04 repository?


I'm having some problems trying to run my Windows XP virtual machine after upgrading to Ubuntu 14.04 today. When I tried to start it a message dialog was displayed saying that the kernel drivers aren't installed, in concrete they should be provided by a packaged named virtualbox-dkms. I decided to reinstall virtualbox so dependencies will get auto resolved, but the execution of command (sudo apt-get install --reinstall virtualbox) resulted in a message similar to: "cannot reinstall package because the package cannot be downloaded" (I'm reproducing the message by memory).

Then I tried using synaptic package manager gui. The package virtualbox and its dependencies are there, but without version number or description. Then I switched to main servers, and tried to update, now the package isn't even there anymore.

It may be a problem with my sources.list file but also may be that for some reason I don't know they decide to remove virtualbox from repository.

I think I will try to download the packages from the virtual box site for now but in Ubuntu I always installed virtualbox from repository.


In Ubuntu 14.04, Virtualbox package version 4.3.10 is available in multiverse repository. So enable multiverse repository and install virtualbox through apt-get.

sudo add-apt-repository multiverse  sudo apt-get update  sudo apt-get install virtualbox  

How i know that information?

$ apt-cache policy virtualbox  virtualbox:    Installed: (none)    Candidate: 4.3.10-dfsg-1    Version table:       4.3.10-dfsg-1 0          500 http://ftp.cuhk.edu.hk/pub/Linux/ubuntu/ trusty/multiverse amd64 Package  


It seems the problem is that VirtualBox is not entirely free software anymore. Because of this, it was moved from universe (unsupported free software) to multiverse (unsupported non-free software).

From Ubuntu bug #1164654:

Please move the virtualbox package from universe to multiverse in raring.  SInce virtualbox 4.2 building the BIOS image requires a non-free compiler (Open Watcom).  Upstream provides pre-built BIOS images which is used instead.  


I was able to install it just now with the command: sudo apt-get install virtualbox. It just took about 3 minutes and it is done.


I have just added VirtualBox 4.3.10 from the Ubuntu Software Centre as normal on my laptop, it was missing just after Ubuntu 14.04 LTS was released but is there now. I did also download it from the Oracle site for my desktop (where I use it most) and had to use the info for installing on Ubuntu 13.10 (which worked OK) when Ubuntu 14.04 LTS was released.

I think it may just have been delayed until after the release date. Both installations work OK.

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