Home FAQ How To Fix “Kernel driver not installed (rc=-1908)” VirtualBox Error In Ubuntu
Fix Kernel driver not installed VirtualBox Error in Ubuntu 18.04

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

By sk
4190 Views

I use Oracle VirtualBox to test various Linux and Unix distributions. I've tested hundred of virtual machines in VirtualBox so far. Today, I started Ubuntu 18.04 server VM in my Ubuntu 18.04 desktop and I got 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)
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. 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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7 comments

Concerned User October 23, 2019 - 8:02 pm

Thanks. This worked for me on Ubuntu 19.10.

Reply
Paulo November 27, 2019 - 1:07 am

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

Reply
Yuval Benzuk January 23, 2020 - 3:20 pm

Thank you for the easy solution!

Reply
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.

Reply
Shalinda Fernando July 7, 2020 - 4:17 pm

For me it worked after I rebooted my machine

Reply
Pete July 20, 2020 - 1:31 am

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

Reply
matias July 20, 2020 - 12:57 pm Reply

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