VirtualBox: Installing Fedora 17 as guest OS in MacOSX host

In Linux, Mac OSX on August 17, 2012 at 9:33 am

Here’s a quick howto to install Fedora (in my case F17) in MacOSX Lion.

1) Download the Virtualbox from


2) Download Fedora live media installer from


3) Install virtualbox.

4) To install the downloaded OS, run Virtualbox and add a new OS, set the name to ‘Fedora’ or whatever, select the memory (the default of 768MB for most apps) then ‘Continue’, select ‘Create new hard disk’, then VirtualBox Disk image or ‘VDI’ for the virtual HD type, choose ‘Dynamically allocated’ next,  then finally set the storage size then ‘Create’. This should create the empty OS instance in your Virtualbox.

5) Right click on your OS Instance and select ‘Settings’. Then select ‘Storage’ and then click on the ‘Empty’ IDE icon. On the right panel, click on the CDROM icon and choose the Fedora ‘iso’ file. Click on OK.

6) Run the installation process, by right-clicking on the OS instance and selecting ‘Start’.  Continue with the usual OS installation.

7) After installation remove the settings done in step 5, so the virtual CD-DRIVE is empty (and so it will not be included in the boot options).

If all goes well, install the VirtualBox add-ons so you can properly resize the guest OS’ windows dynamically, enable cut-and-paste between OS’s and enable ‘Shared Folders’ etc.. To do so do the following:

1) Download the VirtualBox Guest Additions from


Note for F17 and VBox 4.1.8 users: choose VBoxGuestAdditions 4.2.0.RC1.iso as the 4.1.8 version has incompatibilities with the latest kernel which will be installed below.

2) Update your fedora with the latest  kernel, headers and compilers which is needed by the VBoxGuestAdditions installer (got this from http://www.sysprobs.com/install-fedora-16-virtualbox-guest-additions-get-working-gnome-shell-inside-virtual-machine)

yum -y update kernel
yum -y install kernel-devel kernel-headers dkms gcc gcc-c++

then restart linux guest.

3) Using the VirtualBox Manager, right click on the OS instance and click on ‘Settings’ then ‘Storage’, click on the ‘Empty’ IDE controller and click on the CD icon on the ‘CD/DVD’ drive on the right panel and choose ‘Choose a virtual CD/DVD disk file’ and choose the downloaded ‘VBoxGuestAdditions.x.x..iso’ file.  This should now make the file the content of the virtual CD drive within the fedora guest.

4) Go to the linux guest, open a terminal, su to root and cd to the CD drive and run “./VBoxLinuxAdditions.run“. Restart the linux guest.  After the restart you should be able to resize your guest OS window (with aspect changing dynamically) and be able to do ‘Full screen’ (that would be “command – F”).

5) Finally to create a ‘Shared folder’ between the Host and Guest OS, click on the ‘folder’ icon at the lower right window frame of the guest OS and add a folder in the host OS to share.  I shared my ‘Downloads’ folder in my Mac Host and called the share as ‘Downloads’ as well.

In the guest OS, create a directory where to mount the shared folder in e.g. mkdir /mnt/Downloads.

6) In the guest OS you can mount the shared folder interactively:

sudo mount -t vboxsf -o rw,uid=1000 Downloads /mnt/Downloads/
umount -f -a -t vboxsf

Note: if you’re thinking of putting something like this in /etc/fstab in the guest OS:

Downloads   /mnt/Downloads   vboxsf     rw,uid=1000    1    1

dont! it’ll hang your system. I suspect its the drivers not being loaded yet when the kernel runs mount on startup.


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