My virtualbox cookbook
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Installs Virtualbox on OS X, Debian/Ubuntu or Windows.



  • Use platform_family attribute to expand platform support.
  • Use Oracle's VirtualBox package repositories for Debian / RHEL, and the Opscode apt/yum cookbook resources accordingly.
  • Add Vbox::Helpers module in libraries/.
  • Add additional platforms supported
  • Add dependencies on required per-platform cookbooks (required for Chef 11's chef-solo).


  • Update OS X installer to use new pkg format - thanks josephholsten.


  • Add Windows support
  • No more "open source edition" - extension pack must now be downloaded separately from Oracle.
  • Optionally install PHP web porta.


  • Install via Sun's package archive in Ubuntu
  • Optionally install open-source edition from the Ubuntu repository
  • Tested in Ubuntu 11.04


  • initial version, tested on OSX only


Requires Chef version 0.10.10+ and Ohai 0.6.10 for platform_family attribute.


  • Mac OS X
  • Ubuntu and Debian, 64 bit (amd64/x86_64)
  • RHEL/CentOS (tested on 6.3)
  • Windows

Other related platform family distributions may work.


You'll also need the respective package manager cookbook for your platform:

  • dmg (for OS X installation)
  • apt (for Debian family)
  • yum (for RHEL family)
  • windows (for Windows installation)

These are dependencies to ensure that the recipes work when using Chef Solo, and because it's the right thing to do.


  • node['virtualbox']['url'] - URL to the VirtualBox download file. Used on Windows and OS X only to the ".exe" or ".dmg," respectively.
  • node['virtualbox']['version'] - Version of VirtualBox package to install. On Windows, this is automatically detected with the Vbox::Helpers module as the three-dotted version (e.g., 4.2.8). On Debian and RHEL platforms, this is the version suffix for the package to ensure that the correct version from the Virtualbox repository is installed (e.g., 4.2).

Deprecated/unused attributes:

  • node['virtualbox']['urlbase'] - This is automatically used/calculated in the Vbox::Helpers module and not used elsewhere.
  • node['virtualbox']['arch'] - This was used for architecture specific packages for Linux distributions, which is deprecated in favor of the package repository.
  • node['virtualbox']['open_source_edition'] - This was not used in any recipe / template in this cookbook and has been removed.



This recipe will install VirtualBox for supported platforms. On Windows and OS X, the file specified by the url attribute (see above) will be downloaded and installed. On Linux (Debian and RHEL families are supported), the appropriate OS package repository will be added (apt or yum, respectively), along with Oracle's VirtualBox package signing key, and the package installed from the repository. The packages seem to handle all the kernel module recompilation, so this recipe doesn't handle that.

Other recipes

The following recipes are also available, but have not yet been documented.

  • systemservice
  • user
  • webportal
  • webservice

Helper Library

The Vbox::Helpers module includes two methods.

  • vbox_sha256sum - Given an absolute URL to the VirtualBox download file (.exe or .dmg), the SHA256 checksum will be retrieved from the VirtualBox site. This assumes the default URLs from's download site, and may be quite brittle if you're hosting your own packages.

  • vbox_version - Given an absolute URL to the download file, the version is calculated. This is used on Windows systems because the "package" name in Windows includes the version.


Include the virtualbox default recipe in a role run list. If you want to install from a different source URL, provide it with the url attribute and the version if the Vbox::Helpers library cannot determine it, such as:

name "role_for_vbox"
  "virtualbox" => {
    "url" => "",
    "version" => "4.2"


The source for this cookbook is hosted on GitHub. If you have any issues with this cookbook, please follow up there.

License and Author

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and