Installed VirtualBox - but where is it?

Andrew Farris flyindragon1 at
Wed Apr 7 19:48:26 UTC 2010

On Wed, 2010-04-07 at 14:50 -0400, John DeCarlo wrote: 
> On Wed, Apr 7, 2010 at 1:38 AM, Thomas Blasejewicz
> <thomas at> wrote:
>         1) Synaptic shows "virtualbox-ose-source" to be installed
>         there are a number of other packages too, like "guest" etc.,
>         but I have
>         no idea what they are for. 

There's the problem right there... you appear to have grabbed the
'source code' package for Virtualbox, rather than the application
itself. this would allow you to compile it, if you knew what you were up
against, or do do development on/with the program. 

As a user, you would want to install the package that has no extensions
(i.e. 'virtualbox-ose' as others have pointed out). However, since you
keep throwing yourself out there as a 'regular user' looking at all this
as though it's in a foreign language... then it begs the question, why
are you using Synaptic to install programs at all? Synaptic is a bit
more oriented toward the power-users and more tech-savvy people who want
more fine-grained control/more information on what software is being
installed on their computer... as a result, it is a little less friendly
towards non-technical folks. But, as a 'regular user' you should have no
need of it, and my assumption is that you stumbled across it by accident
in some sort of instructions, and have proceeded from there.

As far as a 'regular user' of Ubuntu is concerned, all of your needs
should be satisfied by the "Ubuntu Software Center" found under the
'Applications' menu. You should touch 'Synaptic Package Manager' in
Ubuntu about as often as you would have to view 'Device Manager' or the
'Administration Tools' in Windows... i.e., for most people and most
situations, not at all. Please, try to install virtualbox using USC.

> Here is my attempt at "Regular Joe" instructions.
> 1.  Installing anything from Synaptic that ends in "-source" means you
> don't have the program, just the source code.
>    1.a.  Generally, don't choose to install any packages ending in
> "-source".  It isn't a program you can run.  If it is needed, Synaptic
> will figure that out and install it.
> 2.  Install "virtualbox-ose" 
> 3.  Look around in Synaptic.  There are many conventions that aren't
> fully explained.
>     3.a.  If it ends in "-dbg", it is a special version with extra
> stuff in it to help "debug" problems.  Don't install it unless you
> have a problem and the *author* asks you to.
>     3.b.  If it ends in "-doc", it is extra documentation.  Generally,
> you don't need this unless you run into issues you want to investigate
> yourself.

I'd also like to add to this list...

     3.c.  Packages that begin with 'lib' are libraries... not
applications. you shouldn't ever have to install these individually
yourself, unless you know exactly what you're doing

4.  You can significantly narrow any search results by selecting an
appropriate 'category' from the bar on the left side, which can help
avoid mixups like installing a *-source package when you meant to
install a program.

5.  Don't even launch Synaptic unless you have a genuine need to do so
(i.e. software you want to install doesn't appear in USC, you need to
install the software with special parameters, etc). Otherwise, use the
'Ubuntu Software Center' available under the 'Applications' Menu.

Hope that helps

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