1. RPMforge for CentOS 6

The default RPMforge repository does not replace any CentOS base packages. In the past it used to, but those packages are now in a separate repository (rpmforge-extras) which is disabled by default.

You can find a complete listing of the RPMforge package packages at http://packages.sw.be/

Download the rpmforge-release package. Choose one of the two links below, selecting to match your host’s architecture. If you are unsure of which one to use you can check your architecture with the command uname -i

The preferred rpmforge-release package to retrieve and to install in order to enable that repository is one of the two listed above.

Install DAG’s GPG key

rpm --import http://apt.sw.be/RPM-GPG-KEY.dag.txt

If you get an error message like the following the key has already been imported:

error: http://apt.sw.be/RPM-GPG-KEY.dag.txt: key 1 import failed.

Verify the package you have downloaded

rpm -K rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el6.rf.*.rpm

<!> Security warning: The rpmforge-release package imports GPG keys into your RPM database. As long as you have verified the md5sum of the key injection package, and trust Dag, et al., then it should be as safe as your trust of them extends.

Install the package

rpm -i rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el6.rf.*.rpm

This will add a yum repository config file and import the appropriate GPG keys.

Then try to install something like this

yum install htop


2. Installing VirtualBox

The (VirtualBox) website has a lot of quality documentation including:

  • End-user documentation
  • Technical documentation
  • Source code repository timeline
  • List of changes (changelog)

This article will briefly cover the installation process. Both i386 and AMD64 (x86_64) versions are available.

You will need to be the root user for the following tasks. Login to a root shell or “su -” in a terminal window.

Download the RHEL repo config.

  • Note: As an alternative, you may choose to download and install individual RPMS rather than configuring the repository. That procedure is documented on the VB web site and will not be covered here.
cd /etc/yum.repos.d
wget http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/rpm/rhel/virtualbox.repo
  • Optionally add a line “enabled=0” if you do not want the repo enabled by default. This will require adding “–enablerepo virtualbox” to yum commands to access the repo.

The installation of VB will require the building of kernel modules. If DKMS (Dynamic Kernel Module Support) is installed it will be used and will simplify kernel upgrades. Installing DKMS from RPMforge or EPEL repository is recommended before installing VirtualBox. Don’t forget to configure the yum-priorities plugin. Installing DKMS will pull in required development dependencies.


yum --enablerepo rpmforge install dkms
<!> A forum user notes that all but the latest version of DKMS from Dell may be buggy.

If DKMS is not used and the development environment and kernel source are not already installed:

yum groupinstall "Development Tools"
yum install kernel-devel

You may also choose to only install a minimum set of individual development tool packages (at least gcc and make are required) rather than the groupinstall which some may consider overkill. Replace “kernel-devel” with “kernel-PAE-devel” if using a PAE kernel. If you are not using a standard CentOS kernel, you must acquire and install the source for your kernel from wherever you got the kernel. Do not try to use VirtualBox with a Xen kernel, nor to install a Xen kernel in a Guest OS.

  • Note: For CentOS as a Guest OS the same packages are used to build the “Guest Additions” drivers.

Install the RPM:

yum install VirtualBox-4.1

The installer will create the “vboxusers” group and create the necessary kernel modules if the development environment has been correctly configured.

For each “username” that will run VirtualBox:

usermod -a -G vboxusers username

or use the GUI Users and Groups tool.


4. Running VirtualBox

Run VB as a user that is a member of the “vboxusers” group. For VirtualBox-4.0 or 4.1 you may install the optional VirtualBox Extension Pack from a running instance of the GUI interface via the File / Preferences / Extensions menu. The root password will be required for this operation.

  • From a terminal command line enter “VirtualBox &”
  • In GNOME or KDE run under “Applications / System Tools / Oracle VM VirtualBox”

Accept the license, optionally register, and create a new VM. VMware virtual machines should be usable with Virtual box. Google “vmware to virtualbox” for information.

Help is available from the menu or online.


5. Making USB Work in VirtualBox

VirtualBox requires the user have write access to “usbfs” devices for USB access. As root perform the following:

mkdir /vbusbfs
echo "none /vbusbfs usbfs rw,devgid=$(awk -F : '/vboxusers/ {print $3}' /etc/group),devmode=664 0 0" >> /etc/fstab
mount -a


  • If running CentOS as a guest OS in a VM the same development and DKMS packages should be installed in the VM prior to installing VBox Guest Additions.
  • VB users may also be interested in the phpVirtualBox implementation of the VirtualBox user interface written in PHP.

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