[CentOS-devel] Packaging the VirtualBox Guest Additions?

Laurentiu Pancescu

lpancescu at gmail.com
Mon Aug 15 12:39:17 UTC 2016

We occasionaly get complaints from users that our official Vagrant 
images do not include the VirtualBox Guest Additions.  We do not include 
them because the CentOS repositories do not have any package for 
VirtualBox.  Packaging it would probably require a significant amount of 
work - the Debian source package shows quite a number of first-level 
dependencies, probably not all already available in CentOS. [1]  I'm 
also not sure if packaging the full VirtualBox is even desirable. [2]

The alternative would be to package just the Guest Additions (which have 
considerably fewer build dependencies), to be able to include them in 
the Vagrant images.  Two VirtualBox developers told me in #vbox-devel 
that the source code already supports building just the Guest Additions, 
and it's actually used for generating the official download images: one 
should simply invoke "kmk VBOX_ONLY_ADDITIONS=1", or, I quote: 'kmk 
VBOX_ONLY_ADDITIONS=1 packing to produce the ISO, which will only be for 
one platform and bit count.'  They also believe we should be able to get 
away with simply providing the binary modules, since our kernels have a 
stable ABI (the upstream Guest Additions ISO, as well as the Debian 
packages, require DKMS and the development tools and kernel headers, 
which would considerably increase the size of our Vagrant images).  We 
would probably need to incorporate some functionality from their 
installer at RPM build time, to get just the binary modules.


[1] https://packages.debian.org/sid/virtualbox
[2] https://lkml.org/lkml/2011/10/6/317

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