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



Question:

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.


Solution:1

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  


Solution:2

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.  


Solution:3

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.


Solution:4

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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