Installing Virtualbox App on Debian 11 Bullseye

Oracle VirtualBox is a hypervisor for x86 virtualization application that allows users to create and manage Virtualization on Windows, Linux, macOS, and FreeBSD. It is an open-source project and here we learn the commands to install the VirtualBox software platform on Debian 11 Bullseye Linux.

Virtualization is a software technique that simulates hardware. In this way it is possible, for example, to operate several virtual computers under Windows, on which other operating systems can then be installed. Virtualization uses a shift model, because at the end of the day, of course, the actual installed hardware is also used in a virtual computer, but the trick is that the virtual guests can be used like programs on a normal system. So it is possible to operate several Linux systems in parallel with VirtualBox under Windows. The other way around, you can also set up a virtual Windows with VirtualBox on a Linux system.

In addition to VirtualBox and the Guest Additions and Extension Pack of it allows the Guest operating system to work more efficiently along with some additional functions, such as USB 3.0 support or remote desktop support.


Install and use VirtualBox in Debian 11 Bullseye Linux

1. Run system update

Open command terminal on your Debian 11 or 10 and run the system update command to refresh repo cache and get new available versions of installed packages.

sudo apt update


2. Check or Enable Virtualization feature

We need a system with either Intel or AMD process having enabled Virtualization extension to use Virtualbox. Hence, to confirm that, on your Debian 11 open the command terminal and run the given commands:

egrep -c '(vmx|svm)' /proc/cpuinfo
grep -E --color '(vmx|svm)' /proc/cpuinfo

As you run the above commands to confirm virtualization is enabled or not, the output will be more than zero. And if not then first you have to reboot your system and enter system BIOS. Enable the virtualization and then boot to OS where again the run the above command to confirm the same.

The first command output will be greater than zero, this means it could be 1, 2, 6, or 8. Hence, the system supports virtualization.

Using the second command you will get information about your CPU- whether it is Intel or AMD. If the red color output text is VMX then it is Intel whereas SVM means AMD.

Confirm virtualization is supported on Debian 11


3. Add VirtualBox repository and key in Debian 11

The VirtualBox packages are not available in the default repository of Debian Bullseye, hence we have to add the official one manually. Use the below-given commands.

echo "deb [arch=amd64] bullseye contrib" |
sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/virtualbox.list

Add GPG key:

wget -q -O- | sudo apt-key add -

Update the system:

sudo apt update


4. Command to install VirtualBox on Debian 11

Once the repository is added to download the packages of Virtualbox on Debian 11 Bullseye, run the given command:

Search the latest version

sudo apt search virtualbox

While doing this article the latest version was Virtualbox-6.1, hence the command to install the same will be:

sudo apt install virtualbox-6.1

Add Virtualbox Debian 11 repository


5. Start VirtualBox Application

Now, go to the Application launcher and search for VirtualBox. Run it and start creating virtual machines.

Command Install VirtualBox in Debian 11 Bullseye


6. Update VirtualBox

To update this application in the future just run the system update command:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install virtualbox


To learn more:

How to install Ubuntu 22.04 LTS ISO in VirtualBox 
Download Rocky Linux 8 ISO to install on VirtualBox



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