VirtualBox: How To Fix Failure In Starting VM (On Manjaro Linux)

nabbisen profile image Heddi Nabbisen Updated on ・2 min read


Manjaro Linux is one of Linux distros based on Arch Linux.
This is my favorite one because of its flexible user interface and powerful package management.

I have failed in running a virtual machine using VirtualBox, however, not few times.
This has been found to be simply because of my way to install VirtualBox.
Thus I decided to write and record how to fix it in order to escape from failing again.

note: The official document is here.


An error occurs when trying to run a virtual machine:

Error messages #1:

Error messages #2:

It says:

  • "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."

But, to my confusion, there is no '/sbin/vboxconfig' in my Manjaro machine.
I know now this is a problem that some modules in /lib/modules/extramodules-[kernel version]-MANJARO/ such as vboxdrv and vboxpci are missing.



  1. Get kernel version

For example, use uname -r command:

$ uname -r


  1. Run Pamac installer.

  2. Search "virtualbox".

  3. Select "Oracle VM VirtualBox (virtualbox)" and install it.

  4. When the below modal opens, select NOT "virtualbox-host-modules" BUT "linux[kernel version]-virtualbox-host-modules":


    (The version is up to the host machine.)

  5. Run vboxreload command if there is still an error.

$ sudo vboxreload 
Loading modules: vboxnetadp vboxnetflt vboxpci vboxdrv 


Thank you very much for your reading.
I'm happy if this post helps someone who has the same problem in some way : )

Posted on by:

nabbisen profile

Heddi Nabbisen


An ICT designer/developer and a security monk. "With a cool brain and a warm heart", I am challenging unsolved problems in our society. I use OpenBSD/Rust/etc.


Editor guide

Hello heddi,

I've the same issue as you describe. But your solution does not help :/
I can install virtualbox without any problem. But when i want to start a
new vm the error windows pops up.

I tried the command 'sudo vboxreload' in the terminal with
the follow output(thepracticaldev.s3.amazonaws.com/i...)

Hope for your help.


Hi aze96,
Thank you for your commenting, and question + screenshot :)

vboxnetadp not found

I think it's the keyword, but know little about your environment.
Which OS do you use?
Also, how have you installed your VirtualBox? -- as far as you remember it.


Hi Heddi,

Thank you for your fast reply.

OS: Manjaro 18.1.1
Kernel: 5.2.21

I installed it over the AUR Repository (thepracticaldev.s3.amazonaws.com/i...)

you're welcome. I'm interested.

Your kernel is 5.2.21 and VBox is 6.0.12.
The error in your first screenshot is /lib/modules/5.2.21-*.
How about the versions of virtualbox-host-modules or virtualbox-host-dkms in Manjaro Package Manager?


virtualbox-host-modules is 6.0.12-2.
I have not installed virtualbox-host-dkms. Should i install it?

Hi, aze96,

I have updated my comment I wrote yesterday:

OK. I don't think so but am not sure. I'll check it tomorrow.

Well, I have checked it by installing Manjaro onto clean env.

Q1. Have you chosen linux_52_-virtualbox-host-modules? 5(.)2 is your kernel version.


Q2. What does sudo modprobe vboxdrv return in command line?


It finally works. You where right. I had to install this host module. Now i can run Virtualbox and VM's without problem.

Thank you for helping :)

Have a nice day.

sorry that i answered that late i was afk yesterday btw.

Yey, wonderful :)
I was not wholly sure, and now feel happy to hear it.
You're welcome. Also, no problem on your answering.
Have a nice day, too.


Hello I just follow your guide step by step, but it doesn't fix the problem for me :'(
what did i did wrong ?
here is all I downloaded and installed ( dev-to-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/i/... )


Hello, Saclier.
Your screenshot looks correct to me... 🤔

According to Manjaro page,
mhwd-kernel -li tells which kernel actually runs.

Also, according to Manjaro forum,
there has been an issue in VirtualBox just with Kernel 4.19, which I don't know is related to your case.

Would these information be your help 🙂 ?


I m running the kernel : 419
In the actual situation Virtualbox return the error when i try to launch Windows.
I look the forum you linked but I can't understand why it doesn't work for me.
Did I just cant use VB with my kernel version ?
Thank you for your quick answer.

Hi. Thank you for your check.

Did I just cant use VB with my kernel version ?

I'm not sure now. I'll check in a few days with the same kernel version to yours.

I tried to run vm with VirtualBox in Manjaro whose kernel is 4.19.
It was successful ☺️

Have you installed "linux 419 -virtualbox-host-modules" ?

Linux Kernel

kernel 4.19

Manjaro Package Manager

packages 1/2
packages 1/2



I'm sorry to be late for this reply.
Time was necessary in order to find a Manjaro machine as I had recently used Debian ones.


Thank you for your comment.
Did you meet the same problem?
I'm happy if it helped you :)


Yes, had the same problem. Needed the last step.
Once I did 'vboxreload' it worked.
Thank you for sharing this :)

That's a good news.
You are welcome!
Thank you, too.

I wonder why I needed to take the former steps then.
It might be some package problem.


Thank you.


Thank you for your good news.
I'm happy if my post helped you : )


Thank you. Resolved the issue for me.


It's a happy news.
Thank you.
I feel happy to hear it :)


Thanks for great tutorial, it fixed it.


Hi, charnoo,
Thank you for your message.
I'm happy to hear your problem has been solved ☺️


Thanks for sharing :) It helps.


Thank you for your comment.
I'm happy to hear it :)


This solved my issue, thank you very much :)


Hi Arthur,
It's very good to your issue was solved.
Thank you, too, for your writing comment :)


Thank u, that was life-saving:)


Hi, m3dsh.
Oh, really 😁
I'm happy to hear it!
Thank you for your message.