Home Oracle VirtualBox How To Fix “Kernel driver not installed (rc=-1908)” VirtualBox Error In Ubuntu

How To Fix “Kernel driver not installed (rc=-1908)” VirtualBox Error In Ubuntu

By sk
Published: Last Updated on 137.8K views

I use Oracle VirtualBox to test various Linux and Unix distributions. I've tested so many virtual machines in VirtualBox. Today, I started Ubuntu 18.04 server VM in my Ubuntu 18.04 desktop and I encountered with the following error:

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 reinstall virtualbox-dkms package and load the kernel module by executing

'modprobe vboxdrv'

as root.

where: suplibOsInit what: 3 VERR_VM_DRIVER_NOT_INSTALLED (-1908) - The support driver is not installed. On linux, open returned ENOENT.
Kernel driver not installed (rc=-1908) virtualbox ubuntu

"Kernel driver not installed (rc=-1908)" Error in Ubuntu

I clicked OK to close the message box and and I saw another one in the background.

Failed to open a session for the virtual machine Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Server.

The virtual machine 'Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Server' has terminated unexpectedly during startup with exit code 1 (0x1).

Result Code: 
NS_ERROR_FAILURE (0x80004005)
IMachine {85cd948e-a71f-4289-281e-0ca7ad48cd89}
The virtual machine Ubuntu has terminated unexpectedly during startup with exit code 1 (0x1)

The virtual machine has terminated unexpectedly during startup with exit code 1 (0x1)

I didn't know what to do first. So, I ran the following command to check if it helps.

$ sudo modprobe vboxdrv

And, I got this error:

modprobe: FATAL: Module vboxdrv not found in directory /lib/modules/5.0.0-23-generic

After carefully reading the both error messages, I realized that I should update the Virtualbox application.

If you ever run into this error in Ubuntu and its variants like Linux Mint, all you have to do is just reinstall or update the "virtualbox-dkms" package using command:

$ sudo apt install virtualbox-dkms

Or, it is much better to update the whole system:

$ sudo apt upgrade

Now the error has gone and I could start VMs from VirtualBox without any issues.

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Concerned User October 23, 2019 - 8:02 pm

Thanks. This worked for me on Ubuntu 19.10.

Paulo November 27, 2019 - 1:07 am

Thank you very much! Worked like a charm on Ubuntu 19.10!

Yuval Benzuk January 23, 2020 - 3:20 pm

Thank you for the easy solution!

Guido February 1, 2020 - 9:24 pm

With Kernel 5.2+ install gcc-8 before installing virtualbox.

Ubuntu 18.04.x comes with gcc-7.x.
The newer kernels are build with gcc-9 and use some instructions that are not available with gcc-7.

Shalinda Fernando July 7, 2020 - 4:17 pm

For me it worked after I rebooted my machine

Pete July 20, 2020 - 1:31 am

It didn’t work on Linux Mint 20. The error stayed the same even after the reboot :/

matias July 20, 2020 - 12:57 pm Reply
jessica August 10, 2020 - 6:09 pm

for me too! can’t find my way over this error >.<

vedvarshith October 2, 2020 - 12:05 pm

thanks but if i doesn’t start enable virtualization in the BIOS

Amir fakoor November 14, 2020 - 4:16 pm

Thank you, This worked for me on Ubuntu 20.10

Thomas Blackk August 6, 2021 - 2:20 pm

thanks worked on ubuntu (reboot was required)

sk August 6, 2021 - 5:35 pm

Glad I could help.

Jake October 31, 2021 - 3:44 am

Didn’t work. Output here:

sudo apt install virtualbox-dkms
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
You might want to run ‘apt –fix-broken install’ to correct these.
The following packages have unmet dependencies:
systemd-timesyncd : Depends: systemd (= 245.4-4ubuntu3.6)
E: Unmet dependencies. Try ‘apt –fix-broken install’ with no packages (or specify a solution).

sk October 31, 2021 - 11:05 am

Have you tried this command?

sudo apt --fix-broken install

Eswar November 3, 2021 - 4:03 pm

I am facing same issue but didn’t get resolved. I am using Ubuntu 20

AD February 28, 2022 - 11:08 am

Thank you it`s solve my problem


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