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I'm running VirtualBox 4.2.16 on a Mac OS X 10.8.4 host. Inside a virtual machine, I'm running Debian Sid, up-to-date as of today (7/23/13).

I want to install Guest Additions. Should I install them from the Debian pool or from the virtual CD that VirtualBox provides (e.g. Devices > Install guest additions, then from the guest system, sudo bash /media/cdrom0/VBoxLinuxAdditions.run)? What are the differences and/or advantages/disadvantages to the two?

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I don't believe there is any difference in terms of their content. You can browse the guest additions in the Debian pool here:

These appear to be identical to the contents of the ISOs from which the guest additions get installed from when using the pulldown from within VirtualBox.

The pool contains the additions as both tarballs and deb files, so I would expect that the deb files could be managed more easily by the package manager, apt.

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If you installed VirtualBox from native Debian repository then it would make sense to use matching guest-additions ISO from repository as well. It might also save some time that otherwise would be spent for finding the right ISO at VirtualBox web site...

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  • VirtualBox ships with Guest Additions ISOs; you don't have to find them manually. Also, as stated in the question, I'm using a Mac OS X host.
    – strugee
    Jul 27 '13 at 1:53

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