How to Install VirtualBox on Arch Linux

VirtualBox is a free and open source, cross platform virtualization tool from Oracle that allows you to create virtual machines and try out different operating systems. It’s easy to install and use and you can create your own virtual machines, assign them resources such as CPU and RAM and even clone them. In this topic we will demonstrate how you can install VirtualBox and its extension pack on Arch Linux.

Installing VirtualBox on Arch Linux

To get VirtualBox on your system, follow the steps below.

Step 1)  Install VirtualBox package

Installing VirtualBox is as easy as it gets. Just launch the terminal and a s a sudo user, simply run the command:

$ sudo pacman -S virtualbox virtualbox-guest-iso


When prompted to proceed with installation type ‘Y’ and hit continue to install the VirtualBox packages and dependencies.

Next, add the current user to the vboxusers group by running the command:

$ sudo gpasswd -a $USER vboxusers


Next, load the virtualbox kernel module using the command:

$ sudo modprobe vboxdrv


At this point, VirtualBox is installed on your Arch Linux system. However, we do need to install the VirtualBox extension pack to enable VirtualBox USB 2.0 and 3.0 capabilities. This will allow your virtual machines to detect and work with USB pen drives which are plugged on the host system.

Step 2) Install VirtualBox extension package

To install the Virtualbox extension package, first update the system using either yaourt or yay package managers as shown:

$ yaourt -Syy
$ yay -Syy


Next, install the VirtualBox extension pack using the command:

$ yay -S virtualbox-ext-oracle


You also need to enable vboxweb for it to start on boot and start the service

$ sudo systemctl enable vboxweb.service
$ sudo systemctl start vboxweb.service


Perfect, Service also got started successfully. Let’s verify the VirtualBox Kernel module is loaded or not, run below lsmod command

$ lsmod | grep -i vbox


The output should display vbox kernel modules as shown above.

Step 3) Launching VirtualBox

To launch Virtualbox, use the applications manager by pressing the Super Key or Windows Key – for the case of GNOME desktop manager –  and search for VirtualBox as shown below.


Thereafter, click on the Virtualbox icon to launch it. You should finally see the VirtualBox window as shown below.


To confirm that the extension pack was installed, click on ‘File’ then navigate to ‘Preferences’. You can alternatively hit the ‘CTRL + G’ keyboard shortcut.


On the next window, click on ‘Extensions’. On the right pane, the Name and the version of the extensions package will be displayed. To return to the main window click on the ‘OK’ button.


We have finally installed VirtualBox and VirtualBox extensions pack to provide extra functionality to your virtual machines.

Also Read : How to Create and Configure Sudo User on Arch Linux

Also Read How to Install and Use Docker on Arch Linux

7 thoughts on “How to Install VirtualBox on Arch Linux”

  1. It was a great tutorial until the very end. When I looked at Extension Packages inside Virtualbox, I had none, even though I followed all of your instructions ;(

    • Hi Wayne,

      Did you install extension pack from the command using yaourt or yay package manager.

      Extension pack will only be visible only if you installed it.

  2. When I tried to load the kernal (sudo modprobe vboxdrv), I go the following error:
    modprobe: FATAL: Module vboxdrv not found in directory /lib/modules/5.9.16-1-MANJARO
    Any idea why?
    I think the initional install went fine, I could see no errors.
    (I am using Manjaro KDE to be precise)

    Many Thanks,

  3. [b@bb-mac ~]$ sudo pacman -S virtualbox virtualbox-guest-iso
    [sudo] password for b:
    error: target not found: virtualbox
    error: target not found: virtualbox-guest-iso

    Perhaps there is a repo that must be added first?

  4. In step 3, The current version of VirtualBox (7.0) does not have Extensions under File>Preferences, but under File>Tools>Extension Pack Manager. (You can also get to it from the shaded “Tools” area beneath the menubar).


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