VirtualBox is one of the most popular virtualization programs available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. It’s feature rich, easy to use, and free. Running a virtual machine in VirtualBox is pretty easy. Of course, the simple set-up, while sufficient to run a virtual OS, comes with some limitations. For example, you cannot control the screen resolution and you cannot share a clipboard between the guest and the host OS. In order to do all this, you need to install Guest Additions on VirtualBox.
- A virtual machine added to VirtualBox
Install Guest Additions
The system that you install VirtualBox on is the Host system. The virtual machine running inside VirtualBox is the Guest system. Guest Additions on VirutalBox are additional features that you install to the Guest system.
Run VirtualBox and Start your macOS virtual machine. Sign in and go to the desktop. Once you’re on the desktop of your Guest machine, look at the Virtual Box menu bar. You will see a Devices menu option. Go to Devices>Insert Guest Additions CD Image.
On your desktop, you will see a mounted CD drive. Double-click it to reveal its contents. Inside, there’s going to be a PKG file. Right-click it and select Open With.
In the dialog box that opens, open the Enable dropdown and select “All Applications”. Now, use the search box at the top to search for and select Terminal. The Terminal app will open the PKG file.
Allow it to run until you see the Process Completed message at the end. Now, restart your machine and you’re all done.
On Windows, the process is more or less the same as it is for macOS except you don’t need to run the anything through the Command Prompt like you do on macOS with Terminal.
Open VirtualBox and start your Windows VM. Sign in and go to your desktop. On the menu bar, go to Devices>Insert Guest Additions CD Image.
Next, open File Explorer inside the Windows VM. You will see a virtual CD drive has been mounter. It will be called VirtualBox Guest Additions. Double-click to run i.e. open the drive. You will see a security prompt from Windows asking if you want to allow the app to make changes. Click Yes to continue. You will go through a setup wizard that will handle the installation. Click Next and then Install when you see the respective buttons.
You will see a prompt asking to install driver software from Oracle. Allow it to be installed. When the setup wizard finishes, it will ask to reboot the system. Allow it to reboot and you’re all done.