virtualbox vs. virtualbox-nonfree

Ralf Mardorf silver.bullet at
Fri Dec 1 03:44:15 UTC 2017

On Thu, 30 Nov 2017 21:41:02 -0500, Bill wrote:
>I guess that I should upgrade to the virtualxob-nonfree version.

While the non-OSE binary from Oracle is much more stable than the
versions provided by official distro repositories, Linux distros
usually do not provide the binary from Oracle, so it could become
tricky, if you should do a release upgrade of your distro, IOW if
virtualxob-nonfree shouldn't be available in the future.

>One more question, would it be best if I completely erase the old 
>virtualbox before installing the new version or would just installing 
>virtualbox-nonfree just supersede the older version.  I'm guessing
>that since they have different names, it would be best to delete the
>old version first.

If official repositories from your distro should provide both versions,
or if one package should be provided by a third party repository from
somebody who knows what to do, than you only need to upgrade, since the
package should contain "Conflicts"/"Replaces" entries. OTOH if you
should _purge_ [1] you would get rid of conflicting configurations, but
the virtualbox packages unlikely contain conflicting configurations
outside of /home and the configurations inside /home shouldn't
really conflict, at worst you need to take a look at the virtualbox
preferences, because it warns you, if a feature you chose should be
missing for a virtualbox version you installed.

[root at moonstudio ~]# man apt-get | grep purge\ 
               install pkg [{=pkg_version_number
| /target_release}]...  | remove pkg...  | purge pkg...  | source pkg
[{=pkg_version_number | /target_release}]...  | purge is identical to
remove except that packages are removed and purged (any configuration
files are deleted too). Use purge instead of remove for anything that
would be removed. An asterisk ("*") will be displayed next to packages
which are scheduled to be purged.  remove --purge is equivalent to the
purge command. Configuration Item: APT::Get::Purge.

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