VirtualBox/Guest Additions

< VirtualBox

Clipboard Sharing[edit]

Bidirectional clipboard sharing is enabled default in the VirtualBox VMs. There are security reasons[1]. For Whonix-Gateway, one directional clipboard sharing from host to Whonix-Gateway is notinsecure[2].

To change clipboard sharing:

1) Power off the virtual machine.[3]

2) Go to VirtualBox machine settings -> General -> Advanced -> Shared Clipboard -> .

3) Power on the virtual machine again.

4) Done.

Shared Folder[edit]

For Whonix versions below 14:[edit]

If you are using a default Whonix-Gateway or Whonix-Workstation, follow these steps:

1) Power off the virtual machine.[3]

2) Go to the VirtualBox main window -> Right click a VM -> choose Settings -> Shared Folders -> click on the 'plus +' icon -> under 'Folder Path' choose a folder from your host OS -> in 'Folder Name:' type shared. Tick the Auto-mount checkbox. Press OK.

3) Power on the virtual machine.

4) Done. Files you drop into /mnt/shared in the virtual machine will end up in your host OS shared folder and vice versa.


If you are using a Whonix-Custom-Workstation you need to do this manually, please click on expand on the right.

1) Power off the virtual machine.[3]

2) Go to VirtualBox -> Machine -> Settings -> Shared Folder -> choose a folder -> folder name shared. Choose mount automatically. Press OK.

3) Create the shared folder.

sudo mkdir -p /mnt/shared

4) Set required access rights.

sudo chmod 777 /mnt/shared

5) Inside the virtual machine, use the following commands to mount the folder.

sudo mount -t vboxsf -o uid=1000,gid=1000 shared /mnt/shared

If you run into a Protocol Error try using a different name, do not use share, use something else, anything, for example, shared.

6) After reboot, you have to repeat the mount command. If you want to mount the folder automatically...

Open /etc/rc.local in an editor with root rights.

If you are using a graphical Whonix or Qubes-Whonix, run.

kdesudo kwrite /etc/rc.local

If you are using a terminal-only Whonix, run.

sudo nano /etc/rc.local

Add before exit 0.

sudo mount -t vboxsf -o uid=1000,gid=1000 shared /mnt/shared


7) Done. Files you drop into /mnt/shared in the virtual machine will end up in your chosen host shared folder and vice versa.


For Whonix 14 and above[edit]

Shared folders configured within Settings -> Shared Folders will be mounted under /media/.

1) Power off the virtual machine.[3]

2) Go to Settings for your virtual machine and select Shared Folder. Click the icon that looks like a folder with a + in the upper right. Navigate to the folder you want to share with Folder Path and keep or rename Folder name. Check "Make Permanent" and "Auto-mount". Check "Read-only" if you don't want to write to that folder from within the guest. Press OK.

3) Power on the virtual machine.


The article The VirtualBox Kernel Driver Is Tainted Crap [6] is talking about the kernel driven (on the host), not guest additions. Opposite statements: one / two.

Installed by Default[edit]

Beginning from Whonix 10 and above, VirtualBox Guest Additions are already installed by default. (Package virtualbox-guest-x11 from Debian's apt repository.)

For technical information:
See blog post, Installing VirtualBox Guest Addition by Default?

Old instructions for Ubuntu Precise[edit]

Moved to Ubuntu.

Installation from VirtualBox CD[edit]

Discouraged until make vbox-disable-timesync compatible with guest additions from virtualbox CD gets implemented.


  • For file exchange with Whonix without installing guest additions, see File Transfer.
  • To get a higher screen resolution without installing guest additions, see VirtualBox/Higher Screen Resolution without installing VirtualBox Guest Additions
  • To get mouse integration without installing guest additions, use USB tablet in VirtualBox settings. Recommended against, because it requires adding USB controller to VirtualBox. (VirtualBox -> Right click on Virtual Machine -> Settings -> System -> Enable absolute pointing device)

Temporary disable Guest Additions[edit]

This solution is incomplete! In case you want to temporarily disable VirtualBox guest additions, you can try this. A safer solution would be to uninstall them.

Find out which VirtualBox kernel modules are load.

cat /proc/modules

Create a new config file for module blacklisting.

sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/vbox.conf

And add:

blacklist vboxvideo
blacklist vboxsf
blacklist vboxguest

Safe and reboot. Done.

See Also[edit]



  1. to disable clipboard sharing, such as preventing accidentally copying something (non-)anonymous and pasting it in its (non-)anonymous counter part (browser etc.), which would lead to identity correlation.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Because otherwise you cannot change VirtualBox VM settings.
  4. For your convenience, the shared-folder-help package applied the following steps for you automatically. a) shared-folder-help.postinst did:
    sudo mkdir -p /mnt/shared
    sudo chmod 777 /mnt/shared
    b) Mounting of the shared folder is done automatically by the mnt-shared-vbox systemd service.
  5. For alternatives, have a look at the source of that information.

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