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: Updated: 150.9K views

You installed VirtualBox on your Ubuntu system to run virtual machines. However, when you try to start a VM, you get the frustrating "Kernel driver not installed (rc=-1908)" error. This is one of the common problems with Virtualbox.

This problem prevents VirtualBox from working properly. In this guide, we provide step-by-step instructions to resolve it. By the end, your VirtualBox setup will run smoothly, letting you utilize virtual machines without errors.

Introduction

I use Oracle VirtualBox to test various Linux and Unix distributions. I've tested many virtual machines in VirtualBox over the years.

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 then noticed 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)
Component: 
MachineWrap
Interface: 
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 the "Kernel driver not installed (rc=-1908)" error with VirtualBox 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.

Related read:

You May Also Like

16 comments

Thomas Blackk August 6, 2021 - 2:20 pm

thanks worked on ubuntu (reboot was required)

Reply
sk August 6, 2021 - 5:35 pm

Glad I could help.

Reply
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).

Reply
sk October 31, 2021 - 11:05 am

Have you tried this command?

sudo apt --fix-broken install

Reply
Eswar November 3, 2021 - 4:03 pm

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

Reply
AD February 28, 2022 - 11:08 am

Thank you it`s solve my problem

Reply
1 2

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. By using this site, we will assume that you're OK with it. Accept Read More