Installing Guest Additions (Mac OS X Host; PureOS Guest

How do I install & run Guest Additions for Oracle Virtual Box in Pure OS with Mac OS X High Sierra as host?

VB GA are closed source, so they are not included in the repos enabled by default in PureOS. Add the debian non-free repos to your /etc/apt/sources.list.d and then install them via apt.


@lperkins2 I am new to linux. How do I do that? Or where exactly should I look to learn that?

  1. Open a terminal and use a text editor like nano to open /etc/apt/sources.list using the command
    sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list
  2. Add the line
    deb stable main contrib non-free
  3. Save the file. If using nano, save the file with CTRL+O, then exit with CTRL+X
  4. Run sudo apt update
  5. Install the guest additions - I am not sure what the actual package name would be, though. apt search guest or apt search guest-additions or something to that effect should turn them up. Then sudo apt install <whatever package name the search found> would install them.

Thanks again @taylor-williamc!

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@taylor-williamc That process went smoothly (I used “apt search” and followed the terminal prompts for the correct package). Now the problem is locating that virtualbox guest additions “iso” file and running it.

Guest additions for a Linux guest don’t work the same as on windows… There should be 2 slightly differently named packages. One is the ISO file for use from a Linux host to a Windows guest. The other is the linux version of the guest additions, which provides the kernel modules directly and should be auto-loaded at the next reboot. I don’t know the package names on debian, but it should be relatively obvious which is which.

@lperkins2 in the Terminal App I typed “apt search guest-additions” and it returned only one answer “virtualbox-guest-additions-iso/stable, now 6.0.4-1 all [installed] guest additions iso image for VirtualBox”

Even though the query returned that value, the iso file contents have not been installed and running yet. the file is only downloaded.

@lperkins2 @taylor-williamc I have solved this issue. Pure OS is now displaying at full screen in VirtualBox.

Here is the process I went through for Guest Additions specifically.

  • Open Terminal App enter “sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$ (uname -r)”, press Enter. (needed headers)

  • Install Virtual Box Guest Additions from the VirtualBox VM Menu > Devices > Insert Guest Additions CD Image.

  • Terminal App, Enter "sudo sh /media/[your user name]/VBox_GAs_[version]/

  • Restart System

*replace “[your user name]” with your username & replace “[version]” with the current guest additions version.
**Note: the directory paths shown should be similar for all Pure OS users, if not use your actual directory path.
***Note 2: this was done with Mac OS X High Sierra host.

Problem Solved.


According to the debian repo search (, the guest package name is virtualbox-guest-dkms . That said, the end result should be quite similar between using the guest dkms package and the iso. In theory, the iso would work on non-debian systems (without dkms), while the dkms version is likely to better stay up to date automatically with new kernel versions (or new Vbox versions).

Regardless, I’m glad you got it working.

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I had no idea to consider the dkms package. I do intend to save up for the 15" laptop offered by Purism, for multimedia & creative work. Also, when I get that laptop I won’t have to deal with the limitations of the virtual environment. (Yahoo! when I get it).

Also, I am going to run my business (multimedia anyway) on open source from the start.

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Aye, it’s not obvious from the package name. DKMS is the debian kernel module support system. Basically it automates rebuilding out-of-tree modules on debian systems so you don’t have to manually rebuild them every time the kernel version changes. I had to double check that was the package you’d want (it used to be called something different, which also was unintuitive).


@lperkins2 Now I understand. Thank you for that. Interestingly, most of the open-source software installed flawlessly, application shortcuts included. All of the proprietary software I have tried to install usually had something missing.

Thanks for sharing that bit of information about DKMS. Definitely interesting. There are only two more applications I need to figure out so they are installed properly.

Zotero (open source research database) and Komodo IDE (installed fine, unable to move the “.desktop” file to the appropriate folder so I have a GUI application shortcut). After that I will have all the apps I need.