I tried to install the VirtualBox Guest Additions module in a VM guest running CentOS but I get this error message when everything else was okay:

building the main Guest Additions module Failed

Since I'm very new to CentOS and VirtualBox, I have no idea about to solve this and wasnt able to find any solution searching the internet (the only post I found didn't help me).

Here is the log:

/usr/src/vboxguest-4.1.14/vboxguest/build_in_tmp: line 55: make : command not found Creating user for the Guest additions. Creating udev rule for the Guest additions kernel module

4 Answers 4


You lack the make command. Make is a utility that is often used to build programs from source; it runs the compiler on every source file in the right order. You need to install the make package, and possibly others: the C compiler, and the kernel headers (files generated during the compilation of the Linux kernel, that are necessary to compile third-party modules).

I hardly ever use CentOS, but I think the right command is:

yum install gcc make kernel-devel

or (will install more than you need)

yum groupinstall "Development Tools"

You may need to install other packages as well.

You need to run this command as root; depending on whether you use su or sudo:

su -c 'yum install …'
sudo yum install …
  • Restart was required after update in my case. Centos 6.8
    – drmaa
    Nov 22, 2016 at 15:59

On a current CentOS 7 minimal install you need:

sudo yum install gcc kernel-devel-$(uname -r)

All i did to fix this problem is followed the suggestion by guest additions installer:

The headers for the current running kernel were not found. If the following module compilation fails then this could be the reason. The missing package can be probably installed with

yum install kernel-uek-devel-2.6.39-400.215.10.el6uek.i686

After that i just retried to run guest additions installer and everything went perfect.


For CentOS 7 I needed to do install DKMS via epel. Here is my complete list of commands.

sudo wget http://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/7/x86_64/e/epel-release-7-5.noarch.rpm
sudo rpm -ivh epel-release-7-5.noarch.rpm
sudo yum install dkms -y
sudo yum groupinstall "Development Tools" -y
sudo yum install kernel-devel -y
sudo yum upgrade -y

reboot the vm

After reboot - I used vagrant vbguest (https://github.com/dotless-de/vagrant-vbguest) to install Guest Additions.

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