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VirtualBox/Guest Additions

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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 not insecure[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]

Whonix-Custom-Workstation ™[edit]

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

Two options. Automatic mounting or manual mounting. Automatic mounting is described below. For automatic mounting see https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch04.html#sharedfolders [archive] - This is VirtualBox question, unspecific to Whonix as per Free Support Principle.

1) Install VirtualBox guest additions inside the VM. [4]

2) Add the user supposed to use shared folders from inside the VM to group vboxsf.

sudo addgroup user vboxsf

3) Reboot required to make group changes take effect.

4) Follow instructions below.

Whonix ™-Default[edit]

[5]

1) Go to the shared folder settings of your virtual machine.

VirtualBox → right click your virtual machine → SettingsShared Folder

2) Click the icon that looks like a folder with a + in the upper right.

3) Folder Path → Navigate to the folder you want to share.

4) Folder Name → Type: shared

You could also use a folder name other than shared but using shared is recommended so you have the same name and can use the example documented below.

Do not use share (without the trailing d)!

5) Check Read-only if you don't want to write to that folder from within the guest.

6) Check Auto-mount. [6]

7) Mount Point → Leave as is. No changes. Leave empty. [7]

8) Check Make Permanent (if that option exists). [8]

10) Press OK to close shared folder dialog.

11) Press OK to VirtualBox settings.

12) The process is now complete.

13) You can now start using the shared folder.

VirtualBox shared folders can be found inside the virtual machine in folder /media/.

By default VirtualBox uses the prefix sf_.

For example if you named your folder shared the shared folder will become /media/sf_shared. You can open it using a file manager such as Thunar. Or using the the command line.

cd /media/sf_shared


Security[edit]

The article The VirtualBox Kernel Driver Is Tainted Crap [archive] [9] is talking about the kernel driven (on the host), not guest additions. Opposite statements: one [archive] / two [archive].

Installed by Default[edit]

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

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

Old instructions for Ubuntu Precise[edit]

Moved to Ubuntu Tips.

Installation from VirtualBox CD[edit]

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

Alternatives[edit]

  • 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]

Dev/Virtualization_Platform#VirtualBox

Footnotes[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.
  2. Since Whonix-Gateway ™ is not supposed to be used as a workstation. No internet facing client application are being used there. Whatever "leaked" to Whonix-Gateway ™ stays there and since conceptually users do not use browsers or similar on Whonix-Gateway ™, it cannot leak anywhere.
  3. Because otherwise you cannot change VirtualBox VM settings.
  4. Required. Quote https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch04.html#sharedfolders [archive]

    With the shared folders feature of Oracle VM VirtualBox, you can access files of your host system from within the guest system. This is similar to how you would use network shares in Windows networks, except that shared folders do not require networking, only the Guest Additions.

  5. If not available, upgrade VirtualBox.
  6. Alternatively you could also chose folder /home/user/shared. That folder by VirtualBox default would be owned by owner root and group vboxsf.
  7. VirtualBox version specific. Newer versions do not have this anymore. Check Make Permanent if you want this setting to persist after restart of the virtual machine. Otherwise this setting be temporary.
  8. http://www.webcitation.org/6HqJVN0br [archive]


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