VirtualBox: Failed to Create Host-only Network Interface on Ubuntu Linux

After I installed Ubuntu to my Laptop, I began to install my favorite applications. Everything went smooth. One of my favorite application is VirtualBox. I’m big fan of it, and I use it on both Windows and Linux systems. All of my virtual machines are created on VirtualBox. So I installed VirtualBox, copied a virtual machine from my backup storage and just before run the virtual machine, I remembered that I need to set up IP address of the host-only network. I opened the network tab in VirtualBox settings and I couldn’t see any Host-Only networks (there should be one in default). So I clicked to “Add Host-Only Network” button and got a strange error:

I haven’t seen this error before. I have checked if “/dev/vboxnetctl” exists, and unfortunately it doesn’t. It’s obvious that the “vboxnetctl” file should be a part of VirtualBox software but it wasn’t there. One of the good thing of VirtualBox is, you can do everything using command line. So I tried to add host-only network using command line, and this time I see “a warning message” before the error:

As you see, vboxdrv kernel module is not loaded because it doesn’t work with the current kernel of my system. So I need to recompile vboxdrv kernel modules. When I run the “/etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup”, I get another error because the kernel headers for my current kernel are not installed:

So I installed the kernel headers and re-compile VirtualBox kernel modules:

After the kernel modules started, I re-tried to add “Add Host-Only Network” and it worked successfully.

Please share

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  1. Bazarov

    Thank you very much. This post helped me to solve my problema. (Desculpe-me, my English is bad)


    • Gokhan Atil

      Nachbar, it seems you have a problem with Virtualbox installation. Have you installed it using apt?

  2. Sarath

    Thanks a lot. In my case the error did not mention the kernel version so had to execute “uname -r” to figure it out. Hope it helps someone else.

  3. Krish

    Hello, I am trying to install a working version of Virtualbox but once I run the downloaded file as Administrator and install it, I am unable to find anything listed under the Host-only Networks under Settings in the Network tab.

    The error below is what I’ve been getting.

    “Failed to create the host-only network interface.”

    I had initially tried the latest version (4.3.6) and when that didn’t work, I downloaded version 4.3.4 and lastly tried 4.2.16 as well. I read somewhere that using an older version may resolve the issue. However, all of them reported the same error.

    Any information of how to resolve this will be appreciated!

    I use Windows 7. I also noticed that each time I try to add the host-only network from the settings, a new instance of “VirtualBox Host-Only Ethernet Adaptor” is created. I now find 6 such instances listed under network adaptor in the Device manager.


  4. Coree

    Thanks a lot for this information. I have installed VirtualBox on a fresh Lubuntu 13.10 OS. There were quite a few dendencies I needed prior to the install, and I thought I had go them all but I was wrong. After reading your post I attempted the “sudo /etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup” and ran into a different error than yours. It turns out that I didn’t have “make” installed. So after “sudo apt-get install make” I tried again and all was well.

    Thanks again!

  5. Miguel Chavarria

    You seem to know how to fix this host-only network interface thing.  I’m having the same problem.  The only thing is that I’m working on a mac,  what do I type in the terminal on my mac to fix this bug with Virtual box?  Thank you in advance

    • Gokhan Atil

      Miguel, which version of VirtualBox do you installed? Please share the exact message you got when you tried to add host-only network interface?

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