How to Fix VirtualBox’s “Kernel Driver Not Installed (rc=-1908)

If you encounter the “Kernel driver not installed (rc=-1908)” error in VirtualBox, it indicates an issue with the VirtualBox kernel modules not being properly installed or loaded on your system. This error can happen when you update your operating system, especially if there have been changes to the kernel. To fix this issue, you need to reinstall the VirtualBox kernel modules. Follow these steps:

Note: The following steps are specific to Ubuntu-based Linux distributions. If you are using a different Linux distribution, the commands or package names might vary.

  1. Update VirtualBox:
    • Before proceeding with the reinstallation of kernel modules, ensure you have the latest version of VirtualBox installed. You can download and install the latest version from the VirtualBox website.
  2. Check Kernel Version:
    • Open a terminal on your system.
    • Type the following command to check your current kernel version:
      uname -r
    • Make a note of the kernel version; you will need this information later.
  3. Install Required Packages:
    • In the terminal, install the necessary packages to build kernel modules by running the following command:
      sudo apt-get install build-essential dkms linux-headers-$(uname -r)
  4. Reinstall VirtualBox Kernel Modules:
    • Next, you need to reinstall the VirtualBox kernel modules using the following command:
      sudo /sbin/vboxconfig
  5. Start VirtualBox:
    • After the kernel modules have been reinstalled successfully, start VirtualBox again.
  6. Test Virtual Machine:
    • Create a test virtual machine or try starting an existing one to ensure that the error is resolved.

By following these steps, you should be able to fix the “Kernel driver not installed (rc=-1908)” error in VirtualBox on your Ubuntu-based Linux system. If the issue persists or you encounter any errors during the process, make sure to check the VirtualBox documentation or forums for further assistance, as the steps might differ slightly depending on your Linux distribution or specific VirtualBox version.

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