VirtualBox was working on my computer until a few of days ago when I modified GRUB while attempting to customize it's Theme. Something I did started causing GRUB to load to a blank dark purple screen. Unless I choose Advanced Options from the GRUB menu and selected 4.10.0-37-generic Kernel. In which case it would load normally.

Optionally I have 4.10.0-16-generic as an option as well. But selecting that boots to a blank screen.

I thought everything was fine, but discovered that I could no longer execute vagrant up, which automatically starts a VirtualBox instance I have on my machine. It complained with the error below:

The provider 'virtualbox' that was requested to back the machine default is reporting that it isn't usable on this system. The reason is shown below:

VirtualBox is complaining that the kernel module is not loaded. Please run VBoxManage --version or open the VirtualBox GUI to see the error message which should contain instructions on how to fix this error.

Upon executing VBoxManage --version in Terminal I get:

 WARNING: The vboxdrv kernel module is not loaded. Either there is no module available for the current kernel (4.10.0-37-generic) or it failed to load. Please recompile the kernel module and install it by

 sudo /sbin/vboxconfig

 You will not be able to start VMs until this problem is fixed. 5.1.30r1183891

Upon executing sudo /sbin/vboxconfig I get:

 Created symlink /etc/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants/vboxdrv.service → /lib/systemd/system/vboxdrv.service.
 Created symlink /etc/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants/vboxballoonctrl-service.service → /lib/systemd/system/vboxballoonctrl-service.service.
 Created symlink /etc/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants/vboxautostart-service.service → /lib/systemd/system/vboxautostart-service.service.
 Created symlink /etc/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants/vboxweb-service.service → /lib/systemd/system/vboxweb-service.service.
 vboxdrv.sh: Stopping VirtualBox services.
 vboxdrv.sh: Building VirtualBox kernel modules.
 This system is not currently set up to build kernel modules (system extensions).

 Running the following commands should set the system up correctly:

 apt-get install linux-headers-4.10.0-37-generic
 (The last command may fail if your system is not fully updated.)
 apt-get install linux-headers-generic
 vboxdrv.sh: failed: Look at /var/log/vbox-install.log to find out what went wrong.
 This system is not currently set up to build kernel modules (system extensions).
 There were problems setting up VirtualBox.  To re-start the set-up process, run /sbin/vboxconfig as root.

So then I execute sudo apt-get install linux-headers-4.10.0-37-generic and I get:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Package linux-headers-4.10.0-37-generic is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or is only available from another source

E: Package 'linux-headers-4.10.0-37-generic' has no installation candidate

So I searched Google for that package and basically nothing comes back. So re-reading the error above I thought that I should update. So I executed `` and I get this error, which believe to be the root of the previous error:

Hit:12 http://ppa.launchpad.net/yannubuntu/boot-repair/ubuntu artful InRelease          
Ign:13 http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian artful InRelease 
Hit:14 http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian zesty InRelease
Err:15 http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian artful Release
404  Not Found [IP: 80]
Reading package lists... Done
E: The repository 'http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian artful Release' does not have a Release file.
N: Updating from such a repository can't be done securely, and is therefore disabled by default.
N: See apt-secure(8) manpage for repository creation and user configuration details.

Then I executed sudo apt-get install virtualbox-ext-pack and below is the output, but what stood out to me was this Module build for kernel 4.10.0-37-generic was skipped since the kernel headers for this kernel does not seem to be installed.


I have two issues

  1. I need to overcome that initial error.
  2. I don't understand how the official VirtualBox server / URL is failing like that. It's what is specified in their official docs. I don't know where to go from here.
  • There are a bunch of repeated lines in the middle of your question. Please fix that. Nov 2 '17 at 2:46
  • dpkg -l | egrep linux-'[g|i|h|s]' and dkms status please. Edit your question for that.
    – user192526
    Nov 2 '17 at 7:56
  • The Virtualbox artful repo is failing because the newest release they support is still zesty.
    – fooot
    Nov 2 '17 at 14:51
  • Thanks for confirming that. I read a few articles last night that suggested that was the case but I found it difficult to confirm my understanding was correct. However, even when I install Zesty I the initial error in my post. Nov 2 '17 at 17:25
  • I've edited my post to be a little clearer that my question was two-parts. Nov 2 '17 at 19:36

This can be solved by downloading VirtualBox from the VirtualBox web page and following their instructions.

Debian and Ubuntu are not the best at packaging the very latest releases of VirtualBox. Other distros I know of and use does not have these issues.

  • Thank you for your Answer but unfortunately that's not correct. The above is based on following their official instructions here: virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads Nov 2 '17 at 19:55
  • Did you also see this latest update? "Update: The Guest Additions image with the 5.2.0 release fails to work with recent Linux guest kernels. Please try this image which we believe fixes the problem. Update October 30 2017: For experimental Linux 4.14 support, please try this image. Both should work on all older guest systems too: please let us know if they do not"
    – Alexander
    Nov 2 '17 at 20:05

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