How to make it possible for automated updates in VirtualBox


VirtualBox can deal with automated updates, however it’s not enabled out of package. Learn how and if you must do this.

Abstract polygonal background Image: faraktinov/Adobe Stock VirtualBox is my go-to virtual maker technology. Not just is it complimentary to utilize, but it’s likewise extremely powerful and makes it easy to develop VMs for all kinds of hosts– from Linux, macOS, Windows and more.

I’ve been using VirtualBox for over a decade, and seldom does it trigger me problems. The only time I ever have a concern is when my Linux kernel is upgraded but VirtualBox is not. When that occurs, in some cases the brand-new kernel modules might not play well with the currently-installed version of VirtualBox. If I forget to update VirtualBox, that can trigger an issue.

SEE: 40+ open source and Linux terms you need to understand (TechRepublic Premium)

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Due to the fact that of that, I always make it possible for the auto-update function. That doesn’t constantly ensure success. In 2015, VirtualBox was upgraded, but there were applications on my host that weren’t. Fortunately, the resolution for that situation was running a basic upgrade on my host OS.

The lesson here? Absolutely nothing is best, but I tend to prefer things to be automated. I allow automatic upgrades on Linux, so why not follow suit with the application I utilize? If that sounds like something you might wish to enable for your VirtualBox application, let me show you how it’s done.

Before you do, I wish to warn you one last time: Allowing auto-upgrades can cause issues need to your host OS not also be updated. It’s rare that this will occur, and the benefit deserves it for me, but it can happen.

What you’ll need to allow VirtualBox auto-updates

The only thing you’ll need for this is a running instance of VirtualBox. This can be hosted on Linux, macOS or Windows, and the configuration is the exact same for all host os.

How to make it possible for auto-updates in VirtualBox

Open VirtualBox on your host of option. From the main window– or the macOS leading bar– click File|Preferences. In the resulting window (Figure A), click the Update tab.

Figure A

The Update tab in VirtualBox

Preferences. Click the checkbox for Look for Updates. Next, pick the frequency you want and after that inspect the kind of updates you want.

I would highly advise you choose Steady Release Versions. Unless you are interested in evaluating brand-new VirtualBox features, you run a much higher danger of VirtualBox breaking if you select either All New Releases or All New Releases and Pre-Release. You may be okay choosing All New Releases, however making it possible for Pre-Releases is a recipe for disaster– especially on a production maker.

When you’ve picked, click OK and you’re done.

What occurs after an upgrade

Unless it’s a major upgrade or one that likewise needs a kernel upgrade, which you will have to do via your host system’s package manager, you shouldn’t have to do anything besides restarting VirtualBox. Must the upgrade be major and your operating system kernel likewise require an upgrade, you’ll have to reboot your host maker. Otherwise, everything needs to go off without a hitch.

Just remember these two things: First, if you definitely depend upon VirtualBox for everyday productions, you might not want to enable auto-updates. Second, if an auto-update breaks VirtualBox, then update your OS which needs to solve the issue.

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