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Monday, August 11, 2008

Virtualbox shared folder mounting issue: Missing module on opensuse 10.3

The Version combination for this scenario..

This problem was encountered with the following combination:

  • Virtualbox 1.6.4

  • Host OS: windows XP service pack 2

  • Guest OS: OpenSuSE 10.3

A shared virtual folder was defined for the opensuse virtual machine like this:

In the guest OS, a mount point was defined like this:
linux-jo4o:~ # mkdir -p /ddrive

Now when the mount of the shared folder was attempted, this error was received:
inux-jo4o:~ # mount -t vboxsf d_drive /ddrive
/sbin/mount.vboxsf: mounting failed with the error: No such device

An unlikely solution...

It seems that a critical module required for shared mount points was not loaded in memory. Here, we can see that only one module with the vbox pattern in it's name is loaded:
linux-jo4o:~ # lsmod | grep vbox
vboxadd 56232 3

So lets load the vboxsvfs module into memory:
linux-jo4o:~ # modprobe vboxvfs

After that, we can verify that it is really loaded:
linux-jo4o:~ # lsmod | grep vbox
vboxvfs 38184 0
vboxadd 56232 4 vboxvfs

Now, let us mount the shared folder:
linux-jo4o:~ #  mount -t vboxsf d_drive /ddrive

Awesome! That was smooth. Lets check if the shared folder really got mounted or not:
linux-jo4o:~ # mount
/dev/sda2 on / type ext3 (rw,acl,user_xattr)
proc on /proc type proc (rw)
sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw)
debugfs on /sys/kernel/debug type debugfs (rw)
udev on /dev type tmpfs (rw)
devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,mode=0620,gid=5)
/dev/sda3 on /home type ext3 (rw,acl,user_xattr)
/dev/sr0 on /media/VBOXADDITIONS_1.6.4_33808 type iso9660 (ro,nosuid,nodev,uid=0)
d_drive on /ddrive type vboxsf (rw)
linux-jo4o:~ #


I can share files with my windows laptop now. Now that was some adventure, eh :)

To make this more permanent, there has to be a way of loading this module automatically. Maybe I can put the modprobe command in /etc/rc.d/boot.local file, but then maybe there is a better way. I leave that to you to figure out.

Package dependency for installing virtualbox guest additions on Open SuSE 10.3

The problem at hand..

Well, I had to get the shared folder feature working on Open SuSE 10.3 virtual machine for a variety of reasons, and in turn, I had to install guest additions on virtualbox 1.6.4. There were a bunch of package dependencies even before coming to this error, and unfortunately, I dont have the entire series of command that I issued, but in this posting, I will attempt to present the solution of the immediate error that I was facing.

The KERN_INCL variable had to be set to the /usr/include directory:
linux-jo4o:/usr/src/linux # env | grep KER

After mounting the guest additions CD and running the command as root, the kernel was not able to be compiled and this was visible in the install log:
linux-jo4o:~/addons # more /var/log/vboxadd-install.log

Installing VirtualBox 1.6.4 Guest Additions, built Tue Jul 29 20:13:59 CEST 2008

Testing the setup of the guest system

Building a test kernel module...

make KBUILD_VERBOSE=1 -C /lib/modules/ SUBDIRS=/tmp/sel
fgz1883915647/module/test SRCROOT=/tmp/selfgz1883915647/module/test modules
make[1]: *** No rule to make target `modules'. Stop.
make: *** [vboxadd_test] Error 2

Building the test kernel module failed.
Giving up due to the problems mentioned above.
linux-jo4o:~/addons #

Initial thoughts and a potential solution

Initially, I thought that maybe it was a problem due to missing symbolic link to the modules directory (??), but when I posted this question on the vbox-users mailing list (which I think is more effective than the forums at times), I got a response saying that maybe I should check if the kernel-source package was installed or not.

To even find the package, we needed the main SOURCE repository added in the YAST setup. This is what the installed online repositories looked like:

When I ran the following command as root, it was clear that this was the missing link:
linux-jo4o:~ # zypper install kernel-source
* Reading repository 'Main Repository (NON-OSS)' cache
* Reading repository 'openSUSE-10.3-OSS-KDE 10.3' cache
* Reading repository 'Main Repository (Sources)' cache
* Reading repository 'Main Repository (OSS)' cache
* Reading installed packages [100%]

The following NEW package is going to be installed:

Overall download size: 49.2 M. After the operation, additional 243.4 M will be used.
Continue? [yes/no]: yes
Downloading package kernel-source-, 49.2 M (243.4 M unpacked)
Downloading: media
* Downloading [100%]
Downloading: kernel-source-
* Downloading [100%]
* Installing: kernel-source- [100%]
linux-jo4o:~ #

Now, when I tried installing the guest additions, it was able to install them and recompile the kernel JUST fine. Sweet!
linux-jo4o:~ # /media/VBOXADDITIONS_1.6.4_33808/
Verifying archive integrity... All good.
VirtualBox 1.6.4 Guest Additions for Linux
VirtualBox 1.6.4 Guest Additions installation
Building the VirtualBox Guest Additions kernel module...
Building the shared folder support kernel module...
Installing the VirtualBox Guest Additions...

Successfully installed the VirtualBox Guest Additions.
You must restart your guest system in order to complete the installation.
linux-jo4o:~ #

Friday, August 1, 2008

How to get the enhanced Rich text editing buttons in editor?

The why -- Bloggers need Rich text editing..

If you are a newbie blogger, chances are that at some point you would have pulled your hair out trying to figure out how the heck to display the rich text editing buttons that would give you the MS word like editing features. I definitely remember doing that, it was an uphill experience. Believe me, I had "seriously" tried to look for it in Google and wordpress forums -- only to be told that you are probably mistaking for (arrgh!) and that its not part of the free blog (that was support talking -- can you believe that?).

I am posting this in the hope that a fellow newbie like me would not be in the same boat and gets productive right off the bat.

This is what you might originally see when you write a new post..

Life was difficult with this kind of editor. To put heading tags, I had to use the HTML editor and put these tags in manually, which was a royal pain:

Then one fine day...

It was Serendipity. Nothing less. While editing a post, I hit a key by mistake, and Viola!, there it was, the rich text palette, right in front of it. I had really no idea what had caused the second half of rich text editing buttons to come up, but I could see that it was not disappearing even after many shutdown and startups of my laptop.

Strangely, it would not come up on my other computers even though I was logged into the same wordpress account.

Its the kitchen sink, silly..

Serendipity - Part 2. God has his ways of revealing his glories. This fine day, I accidently clicked on the color palette icon on the extreme right end in the hope of getting some colors, but instead, I got the rich text editing buttons in the editor! The so called color palette was called the Kitchen sink. Duh! How ignorant of me. Thank you Almighty, for delivering me from ignorance.

So this is how it looked now:

Life was beautiful now...

I could do different kind of formatting, underlining, paste from word, erase, indenting, undo, redo, heading, color change etc.

Hope you find this useful too. Do leave me a message if you do.