Tidying up the Virtualbox boot sequence (force_addr=0xaddr etc)


Cosmetic I know, but when running Ubuntu in virtualbox, two annoying issues are visibly seen during the boot sequence –

– long black screen, followed by

– a visual switch to display the error “piix4_smbus 0000.00.07.0: SMBus base address uninitialized – upgrade bios or use force_addr=0xaddr”

– followed by another switch to lightdm

Well, the issues are:

– Virtualbox drivers are not KMS based – which doesnt allow plymouth to correctly run when it should

– the Virtualbox bios doesnt support the kernel module Ubuntu is attempting to load

To resolve this needs a quick tweak.

First though, lets remove all the old kernels we dont need otherwise the tweaks below will take forever to complete (copy and paste this into a terminal):

sudo apt-get remove --purge $(dpkg -l 'linux-*' | sed '/^ii/!d;/'"$(uname -r | sed "s/\(.*\)-\([^0-9]\+\)/\1/")"'/d;s/^[^ ]* [^ ]* \([^ ]*\).*/\1/;/[0-9]/!d')

Now lets hide the attempt to load the kernel module causing the TTY switch

sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

Add the following line to the end of the file and save  (CTRL+O following by CTRL+X)

blacklist i2c_piix4

Next, force plymouth to use the standard boot Framebuffer

echo FRAMEBUFFER=y | sudo tee /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/splash

Lastly, lets update stuff to ensure the above changes are recognized in the boot sequence

sudo update-initramfs -u -k all

Reboot and enjoy.

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virtualbox and the latest 14.04… display stuck at low resolution


EDIT: 28/03/14 – Virtualbox 4.3.10 is now out – it is recommended to download this now together with 4.3.10 virtualbox guest additions and the issue below is resolved 🙂

However – it is also likely that if you just download the 4.3.7 or later guest additions and install in your v4.2 or 4.3 series this should work – but remember this is an unsupported configuration.

EDIT: 8/09/14 – as one commenter mentioned some people have been also had luck with the following package install:

sudo apt-get install virtualbox-guest-dkms

Restart the VM afterwards.


The latest updates of Ubuntu 14.04 is broken in virtualbox 4.3.6 – the screen no longer resizes and is fixed at a very low resolution. It also appears all previous versions of virtualbox that is available in the repositories are also affected.

Attempts to reinstall the virtualbox guest additions does not fix the issue. Instead in the terminal you see this error:

Building the VirtualBox Guest Additions kernel modules
The headers for the current running kernel were not found. If the following
module compilation fails then this could be the reason.

Building the main Guest Additions module ...done.
Building the shared folder support module ...done.
Building the OpenGL support module ...done.
Doing non-kernel setup of the Guest Additions ...done.
You should restart your guest to make sure the new modules are actually used

Installing the Window System drivers
Warning: unknown version of the X Window System installed.  Not installing
X Window System drivers.
Installing modules ...done.
Installing graphics libraries and desktop services components ...done.
Press Return to close this window...

It appears the the latest version of Xorg breaks the virtualbox graphics driver.

EDIT: there is also this bug (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/virtualbox/+bug/1282758)

Fortunately this is fixed in a test build of the virtualbox guest additions – version 4.3.7 (and later) together with installing the latest gcc library

sudo apt-get install libgcc-4.8-dev

Grab a copy of the ISO from this virtualbox ticket.  Connect the ISO to your virtualbox VM – and the guest additions including the graphics driver will update correctly.  Enjoy!