Package VirtualBox

  1. Project information

    Question Answer
    Name org.VirtualBox.VirtualBox
    Homepage https://virtualbox.org/
    License GNUPLv2, per Licensing_FAQ – Oracle VM VirtualBox
    Upstream has been contacted No, per Search Results – Oracle VM VirtualBox
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I’m agree 100 percent

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I think it’s not possible to package VirtualBox with Flatpak, not in a ready-to-use way.

VirtualBox requires kernel modules which Flatpak can’t provide. Even if it was possible to package the GUI, you’d still have to install the modules from your system package manager.

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Is Boxes | Flathub architectured fundamentally differently, then?

@cxrvh, I wouldn’t mind installing the kernel modules, especially because, at least for OpenSUSE, they’re a separate package to the main VirtualBox package anyway, so I wouldn’t need to unnecessarily install VirtualBox itself.

I’m asking for this package less so that it’d make VB easier to install, and more so that if it isn’t natively packaged for a distribution, the users can just ask for the kernel module package to be maintained instead of the whole project.

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This just my opinion and I can be wrong. I’m only a user and not involved in the development of any of the components.

The main difference I see: Boxes’ kernel components are part of the mainline kernel & therefore usually available with most distributions. VirtualBox is not even necessarily available in the main repository of a distribution (e.g. Fedora requires RPM fusion).

I expect a lot of frustration with this. Many people don’t have the technical background to know about kernel modules. The installation varies greatly between distributions, making proper documentation difficult.

As an example: Now and then there are issues with missing applications. If the applications are displayed on the Flathub website they naturally want to install them on their systems. But some popular applications are only available for x86_64 and therefore not installable on aarch64 systems.

Similar issues can arise with VirtualBox. People just want an easy way to use VirtualBox, similar to Windows. That they’re missing half of the application could be counter-productive.

But as I said: That’s only my opinion. Anyone can try to package & submit VirtualBox to Flathub. I just wanted to remark that it’s not an ordinary user application but requires integration into the host system.

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VirtualBox feature request:

I don’t know how realistic that is.


Could a VirtualBox flatpak just be a wrapper around the deb?

  • https://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/7.0.10/virtualbox-7.0_7.0.10-158379~Debian~bookworm_amd64.deb
  • The deb could be securely acquired from the VirtualBox.org (Oracle) repository as documented on https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Linux_Downloads.

Potential alternative:

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I don’t think VirtualBox Installer for Linux should be closed.

Packaging an installer (VirtualBox Linux Installer) (the other forum thread) isn’t the same as packaging the application itself (VirtualBox) (this forum thread).

For example there is Tor Browser Launcher | Flathub which is a “launcher”, which is in fact a downloader and an installer. Tor Browser hasn’t been packaged “for real”. As opposed to Mullvad Browser | Flathub (shared code base with Tor Browser) is the real thing packaged for flatpak, it’s not “only” an installer.

Does this imply that flathub made an editorial decision against installers generally or against VirtualBox Linux Installer specifically in favor of packaging VirtualBox (which might be less realistic than the installer)?

Or did the closing mean both, packaging VirtualBox and VirtualBox Linux Installer should be discussed here?

@hub

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I can’t say anything about the intention but to compare your installer script with Tor Browser Launcher:

Tor Browser Launcher works like Steam, it’s a self contained application running in the sandbox. It just downloads the actual application at runtime. As a result it should also be compatible with all distributions.

This is not the case with the VirtualBox installer which can’t be working within the constraints of the sandbox. Your script explicitly must modify the host system, requiring even root access. Furthermore the script is not universal & only supports a subset of available distributions.

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Is it a requirement for this not being the case?

Right. Is this a criteria for not packaging applications as flatpak on flathub?

Does torbrowser-launcher support all Linux distributions?

Is this a blocking requirement for flatpaks on flathub?

If there are requirements written down that I haven’t found, please point me to them.

@adrelanos, regarding

see

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I assume Tor Browser Launcher is compatible with all distributions, I don’t know of any incompatibility reasons, yet.

As I said, I’m not involved in any decisions & you are free to try package it. But as was said, Flatpak in general is not a good fit for applications requiring root access & as a result this will most likely rejected by Flathub.

But I think you’ll have better luck getting answers on the Flatpak Matrix, see the tip of Flathub requirements.

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Right now there is a fork of VirtualBox that works with KVM:

So it don’t need any kernel modules.

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