Ubuntu – Ubuntu 16.04: VirtualBox Error: Kernel driver not installed (rc=-1908)

dkmskernelvirtualbox

My VirtualBox gave me the following error upon starting a virtual machine:

Kernel driver not installed (rc=-1908)

The VirtualBox Linux kernel driver (vboxdrv) is either not loaded or
there is a permission problem with /dev/vboxdrv. Please install
virtualbox-dkms package and load the kernel module by executing

'modprobe vboxdrv'

as root. If it is available in your distribution, you should install
the DKMS package first. This package keeps track of Linux kernel
changes and recompiles the vboxdrv kernel module if necessary.

where: suplibOsInit what: 3 VERR_VM_DRIVER_NOT_INSTALLED (-1908) – The
support driver is not installed. On linux, open returned ENOENT.

I followed the instruction by installing the DKMS package which gave me the message that it's already installed. Executing

sudo modprobe vboxdrv

resulted in this error:

modprobe: FATAL: Module vboxdrv not found in directory /lib/modules/4.15.0-041500rc2-lowlatency

I tried reinstalling the kernel and virtualbox-dkms with

sudo apt install --reinstall linux-headers-$(uname -r) virtualbox-dkms dkms

I got this output:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Reinstallation of linux-headers-4.15.0-041500rc2-lowlatency is not possible, it cannot be downloaded.
The following additional packages will be installed:
  virtualbox virtualbox-qt
Suggested packages:
  vde2 virtualbox-guest-additions-iso
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  virtualbox virtualbox-dkms virtualbox-qt
0 upgraded, 3 newly installed, 1 reinstalled, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 66.3 kB/22.4 MB of archives.
After this operation, 95.3 MB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y
Get:1 http://ch.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu xenial-updates/main amd64 dkms all 2.2.0.3-2ubuntu11.5 [66.3 kB]
Fetched 66.3 kB in 0s (477 kB/s)
(Reading database ... 531094 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack .../dkms_2.2.0.3-2ubuntu11.5_all.deb ...
Unpacking dkms (2.2.0.3-2ubuntu11.5) over (2.2.0.3-2ubuntu11.5) ...
Selecting previously unselected package virtualbox-dkms.
Preparing to unpack .../virtualbox-dkms_5.0.40-dfsg-0ubuntu1.16.04.2_all.deb ...
Unpacking virtualbox-dkms (5.0.40-dfsg-0ubuntu1.16.04.2) ...
Selecting previously unselected package virtualbox.
Preparing to unpack .../virtualbox_5.0.40-dfsg-0ubuntu1.16.04.2_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking virtualbox (5.0.40-dfsg-0ubuntu1.16.04.2) ...
Selecting previously unselected package virtualbox-qt.
Preparing to unpack .../virtualbox-qt_5.0.40-dfsg-0ubuntu1.16.04.2_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking virtualbox-qt (5.0.40-dfsg-0ubuntu1.16.04.2) ...
Processing triggers for man-db (2.7.5-1) ...
Processing triggers for systemd (229-4ubuntu21.1) ...
Processing triggers for ureadahead (0.100.0-19) ...
Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils (0.22-1ubuntu5.1) ...
Processing triggers for bamfdaemon (0.5.3~bzr0+16.04.20160824-0ubuntu1) ...
Rebuilding /usr/share/applications/bamf-2.index...
Processing triggers for gnome-menus (3.13.3-6ubuntu3.1) ...
Processing triggers for mime-support (3.59ubuntu1) ...
Processing triggers for shared-mime-info (1.5-2ubuntu0.1) ...
Processing triggers for menu (2.1.47ubuntu1) ...
Processing triggers for hicolor-icon-theme (0.15-0ubuntu1) ...
Setting up dkms (2.2.0.3-2ubuntu11.5) ...
Setting up virtualbox-dkms (5.0.40-dfsg-0ubuntu1.16.04.2) ...
Loading new virtualbox-5.0.40 DKMS files...
First Installation: checking all kernels...
Building only for 4.15.0-041500rc2-lowlatency
Building initial module for 4.15.0-041500rc2-lowlatency
ERROR (dkms apport): kernel package linux-headers-4.15.0-041500rc2-lowlatency is not supported
Error! Bad return status for module build on kernel: 4.15.0-041500rc2-lowlatency (x86_64)
Consult /var/lib/dkms/virtualbox/5.0.40/build/make.log for more information.
Job for virtualbox.service failed because the control process exited with error code. See "systemctl status virtualbox.service" and "journalctl -xe" for details.
invoke-rc.d: initscript virtualbox, action "restart" failed.
● virtualbox.service - LSB: VirtualBox Linux kernel module
   Loaded: loaded (/etc/init.d/virtualbox; bad; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: failed (Result: exit-code) since Die 2018-02-20 20:50:55 CET; 7ms ago
     Docs: man:systemd-sysv-generator(8)
  Process: 10139 ExecStart=/etc/init.d/virtualbox start (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE)

Feb 20 20:50:55 matteo-3 systemd[1]: Starting LSB: VirtualBox Linux kernel .....
Feb 20 20:50:55 matteo-3 virtualbox[10139]:  * Loading VirtualBox kernel mod....
Feb 20 20:50:55 matteo-3 virtualbox[10139]:  * No suitable module for runnin...d
Feb 20 20:50:55 matteo-3 virtualbox[10139]:    ...fail!
Feb 20 20:50:55 matteo-3 systemd[1]: virtualbox.service: Control process ex...=1
Feb 20 20:50:55 matteo-3 systemd[1]: Failed to start LSB: VirtualBox Linux ...e.
Feb 20 20:50:55 matteo-3 systemd[1]: virtualbox.service: Unit entered faile...e.
Feb 20 20:50:55 matteo-3 systemd[1]: virtualbox.service: Failed with result...'.
Hint: Some lines were ellipsized, use -l to show in full.
Setting up virtualbox (5.0.40-dfsg-0ubuntu1.16.04.2) ...
vboxweb.service is a disabled or a static unit, not starting it.
Job for virtualbox.service failed because the control process exited with error code. See "systemctl status virtualbox.service" and "journalctl -xe" for details.
invoke-rc.d: initscript virtualbox, action "restart" failed.
● virtualbox.service - LSB: VirtualBox Linux kernel module
   Loaded: loaded (/etc/init.d/virtualbox; bad; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: failed (Result: exit-code) since Die 2018-02-20 20:50:57 CET; 7ms ago
     Docs: man:systemd-sysv-generator(8)
  Process: 10441 ExecStart=/etc/init.d/virtualbox start (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE)

Feb 20 20:50:56 matteo-3 systemd[1]: Starting LSB: VirtualBox Linux kernel .....
Feb 20 20:50:57 matteo-3 virtualbox[10441]:  * Loading VirtualBox kernel mod....
Feb 20 20:50:57 matteo-3 virtualbox[10441]:  * No suitable module for runnin...d
Feb 20 20:50:57 matteo-3 virtualbox[10441]:    ...fail!
Feb 20 20:50:57 matteo-3 systemd[1]: virtualbox.service: Control process ex...=1
Feb 20 20:50:57 matteo-3 systemd[1]: Failed to start LSB: VirtualBox Linux ...e.
Feb 20 20:50:57 matteo-3 systemd[1]: virtualbox.service: Unit entered faile...e.
Feb 20 20:50:57 matteo-3 systemd[1]: virtualbox.service: Failed with result...'.
Hint: Some lines were ellipsized, use -l to show in full.
Setting up virtualbox-qt (5.0.40-dfsg-0ubuntu1.16.04.2) ...
Processing triggers for menu (2.1.47ubuntu1) ...

Of this output, these lines caught my attention:

Building initial module for 4.15.0-041500rc2-lowlatency
ERROR (dkms apport): kernel package linux-headers-4.15.0-041500rc2-lowlatency is not supported
Error! Bad return status for module build on kernel: 4.15.0-041500rc2-lowlatency (x86_64)

Do you have any ideas how to fix my Virtualbox? Is my kernel not supported by VirtualBox? If yes, how can I change to an old/supported one?

Best Answer

I had the same problem, after removing versions of kernels I thought were obsolete. But result this in trouble.

I solved that running the following command:

sudo apt install --reinstall linux-headers-$(uname -r) virtualbox-dkms dkms

After that command, virtualbox worked perfectly!

My setup:

  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
  • VirtualBox 5.1.38