How to install VirtualBox Guest Additions in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Desktop

After you have installed Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Desktop in VirtualBox, the first thing that you will notice is that Ubuntu desktop does not occupy the whole VirtualBox window no matter how you resize the window. To solve this we need to install VirtualBox Guest Additions.

Screen resolution without VirtualBox Guest Additions

Once we install the VirtualBox Guest Additions we will have access to the following features in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa.

  • Shared clipboards – able to do copy & paste from Host computer to Virtual Machine and vice versa.
  • Shared folders – able to share files via a shared folder from Host computer to Virtual Machine and vice versa.
  • Better video support – able to support higher resolution screens such as Full HD. Virtual Machine screen will resize automatically to the size of the VirtualBox window.
  • Seamless windows – able to make Virtual Machine application windows to appear side-by-side with Host Machine application windows like it was part of the Host Machine.
  • Time synchronization – better time synchronization with the host machine.
  • Automated logins – able to do username and password passing from Host Machine to Virtual Machine.
  • Generic host / guest communication channel – able to control and monitor guest execution.

To know more about Guest Additions, you can read VirtualBox’s documentation.

To install VirtualBox Guest Additions in Ubuntu follow the guide below.



Step-by-step instructions to install VirtualBox Guest Additions in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Desktop

Installation of build-essential package

VirtualBox Guest Additions requires the build-essential package to be first installed in Ubuntu.

To install the build-essential package, open a terminal by typing Ctrl + Alt + t.

Then run the commands below.

sudo apt update

Enter your password when asked.

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How to Install Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Desktop in VirtualBox

Below is a detailed tutorial on how you can install and run the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) Desktop in Oracle VM VirtualBox.

The tutorial below was run on VirtualBox running in Windows 10. But if you are running VirtualBox in Mac or Linux, the instruction should be the same.


Step-by-step instruction on how to run Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) Desktop in VirtualBox

Downloading of the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Installer ISO Disk Image

Go to ubuntu.com/download/desktop.

On Ubuntu 20.04 LTS click Download.

This will then move to a web page saying “Thank you for downloading Ubuntu Desktop”. Wait for a while then download of ubuntu-20.04.x-desktop-amd64.iso will start automatically.

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How to install VirtualBox in Windows 10

If you want to install Oracle VM VirtualBox in your Windows 10 computer, follow the steps below.


Steps to install VirtualBox in Windows 10

On your preferred internet browser, go to https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads.

This is the downloads page for the latest VirtualBox Installer.

On the screenshots below, I am using Google Chrome as my internet browser.

Under VirtualBox platform packages, click on Windows hosts.

This will automatically start the download of the installer.

Once the download is finished, run the installer.

This will open the Oracle VM VirtualBox Setup window.

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