Virtualbox 5.1 Released, How to Install in Ubuntu 16.04

July 13, 2016 — 9 Comments


Oracle Virtualbox has just reached a new major 5.1 release. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 16.04.

Virtualbox 5.1 ports its UI to Qt5, brings better Python 3 support, HDA (High Definition Audio) support for newer Linux guests, various VMM and other improvements and fixes.

Virtualbox release highlights:

  • VMM: new APIC and I/O APIC implementations that result in significantly improved performance in certain situations
  • VMM: added support for Hyper-V paravirtualized debugging of Windows guests
  • VMM: emulate even more MMIO and shadow pagetable exits without going back to user mode
  • GUI: overall migration to Qt5
  • GUI: passive API event listener improving the VM GUI performance and response time
  • Audio: added HDA (High Definition Audio) support for newer Linux guests
  • Audio: added on-demand timers which should improve the overall performance and reduce the CPU consumption
  • Audio: more fine-grained volume control for the AC’97 emulation, which now also takes the master volume control into account
  • better support for Python 3
  • For more details, see the ChangeLog.

Virtualbox 5.1

How to install Virtualbox 5.1 in Ubuntu:

1. The 5.1 release conflicts with the old 5.0 or 4.x releases, so first open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run command to remove the previous VBox installation:

sudo apt remove virtualbox virtualbox-5.0 virtualbox-4.*

2. Download Virtualbox 5.1 for your OS (i386=32bit, amd64=64bit):

Download Virtualbox for Linux

Then click install via Ubuntu Software.

3. For those who want to install VBox 5.1 from official Linux repository and receive future updates via Software Updater. Run the commands below one by one in terminal:

sudo sh -c 'echo "deb xenial contrib" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/virtualbox.list'

wget -q -O- | sudo apt-key add -

sudo apt update

sudo apt install virtualbox-5.1

According to your Ubuntu codename, replace xenial with wily, trusty, or precise.

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9 responses to Virtualbox 5.1 Released, How to Install in Ubuntu 16.04

  1. Missing dependency step:

    sudo apt-get install libqt5x11extras5

  2. tried this and many other install procedures of VBOX 5.1 on 16.04
    always end up geting the error when attempting to start Vbox after installation:

    Failed to acquire the VirtualBox COM object.

    The application will now terminate.


  3. Ubuntu guys have screwed the pooch with this release.
    on Ubuntu Xenial …. it wont install the correct 5.1 kernel drivers it keeps building 5.0.24.
    when you use teh apt-get method after editing the sources.list file

    Keep getting RTR3InitEx failed with rc=-1912 (rc=-1912)

    working on a fix as uninstall / reinstall does not work

  4. I have followed your procedure yet installation of Ubuntu 16.04 on virtualbox is not successful. The virtual box doesn’t give me the option of selecting any 64bits once Linux is selected even though am running on ubuntu 16.04 and my laptop is 64bit.

  5. I had the same problem…any solution?

  6. same result.

    sudo apt-get autoremove ‘virtualbox*’

    and then applied:
    sudo sh -c ‘echo “deb xenial contrib” >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/virtualbox.list’

    wget -q -O- | sudo apt-key add -

    sudo apt update

    sudo apt install virtualbox-5.1

    and it came back to service.

  7. Hi there,

    I have a problem after following step by step instructions installing virtualbox 5.1 on ubuntu 16.04 Desktop version. failed: modprobe vboxdrv failed. Please use ‘dmesg’ to find out why.

    There were problems setting up VirtualBox. To re-start the set-up process, run /sbin/vboxconig as root.

    I did the whole process as ‘root’ again the same problem.

    I run sudo /sbin/vboxfonfig as ‘root’ again the same problem.

    Thank you

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