My host system is OSX 10.9.2 and I'm running VirtualBox 4.3.8.

In a Hadoop class I took recently, we were provided with a VM disk image preloaded with CentOS 6.3 and a lot of Hadoop-related software. This is what I have to work with.

As it stands, I don't have bidirectional cut/paste or any of the other goodies that VBOX Guest Additions provide.

I recently posted in this forum a question about upgrading/updating (sorry, I don't understand the distinction, although I understand that there is one) from CentOS 6.3 to 6.5. The only reason that I think I succeeded is that CentOS would no longer boot to the desktop. (It seems possible that it was no longer compatible with the Hadoop software that was on the disk.) So apparently that wasn't the solution to my problem.

I know that it is possible get VBGA working for this disk image: someone else in my class had OSX and VirtualBox, and was able to get past the problem I'm about to describe.

Here's what I've done so far:

  • DL’ed and installed VBOX 4.3.8 for OSX from https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads
  • DL’ed http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/4.3.8/Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-4.3.8-92456.vbox-extpack
  • Doubleclicked the file, the VB Manager said “The extension pack is already installed with the same version, would you like reinstall it?” I reinstalled, just for grins.
  • Booted, ran yum info kernel, saw that V2.6.32r279.el6 was “installed”, and that V2.6.32r431.5.1.el6 was “available”. I don't know enough about Linux to know if that means CentOS 6.3 and 6.5, or if it's something else entirely.
  • Also noted that Guest Additions functionality was not there.
  • Used VirtualBox VM > Devices > Insert Guest Additions CD Image… to mount the CD (it appeared on the desktop)
  • Ran VBoxLinuxAdditions.run
  • Building the main Guest Additions module … FAILED
  • /var/log/vboxadd-install.log: “Unable to find sources of current Linux kernel. Specify KERN_DIR= and run make again.”

Off to Google. This post most closely resembled my problem. However, it differs enough (Windows, i686, VBOX 4.3.6) to make me afraid I’ll just wander off into another morass.

Could someone provide baby-step guidance from here?

3 Answers 3


Hopefully you have found the solution by now. In case someone else stumbles across this, perhaps this will help:

# yum install kernel-devel kernel-headers perl

There are other dependencies for building the kernel modules, but those should be well documented. My specific problem (due to using the minimal install) was not having perl.

  • I abandoned this problem long ago, so I can't verify. (But thanks, hopefully it will help someone.)
    – Chap
    Dec 2, 2014 at 0:31

I needed to install the following:

yum install gcc kernel-devel

The gcc is important too.

After that I simply ran


And after a reboot the whole functionality was there.


The same problem I faced with Red Hat Linux. What I just did was, just installed the gcc packages and it's dependencies using

yum install gcc* -y 

After that all went correctly and I can able to installed vbox guest additions. Now all works fine for me. Hope it'll work for you..

  • I don't really see the point in writing this answer as it was mentioned in a few other answers that also noted the need for kernel-headers or kernel-devel. Sep 3, 2016 at 6:22
  • While at the time of installing vbox guest additions, I also faced the same problem and that clearly says that there I have to install gcc package. So, I installed gcc packages and it's dependencies first and after that I [can] install vbox guest additions.
    – user188008
    Sep 3, 2016 at 6:32

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