How to recreate / build VirtualBox guest additions ISO image VBoxGuestAdditions.iso

As Linux kernel development progresses, so do interfaces change from time to time and kernel modules outside of the Linux kernel such as VirtualBox’s guest additions need more or less updating. Having done some patching in the VirtualBox sources, you might want to rebuild the guest additions ISO image, VBoxGuestAdditions.iso, so you can try out the patched code in your VMs more easily.

Googling for “building VBoxGuestAdditions.iso” you might find this vbox-dev mailing list thread from 2011 which suggests that the ISO could not be easily rebuilt as a special build setup would be needed. However, it turns out this is not quite true:

pief@e6400:~/vbox/src/VBox/Additions> kmk additions-iso
kBuild: copydbg /home/pief/vbox/out/linux.amd64/release/bin/additions/VBoxControl - /home/pief/vbox/out/linux.amd64/release/obj/Additions/Installer/linux/debug/bin/VBoxControl
kBuild: Installing /home/pief/vbox/out/linux.amd64/release/obj/Additions/Installer/linux/lib/VBoxGuestAdditions/mount.vboxsf
kBuild: Packing /home/pief/vbox/out/linux.amd64/release/bin/additions/VBoxGuestAdditions-amd64.tar.bz2
Header is 404 lines long

About to compress 5440 KB of data...
Adding files to archive named "/home/pief/vbox/out/linux.amd64/release/bin/additions/"...
CRC: 1167516186
MD5: eb794c6b2981e2042a81f475f060be18

Self-extractible archive "/home/pief/vbox/out/linux.amd64/release/bin/additions/" successfully created.
kBuild: mkisofs - /home/pief/vbox/out/linux.amd64/release/bin/additions/VBoxGuestAdditions.iso
/usr/bin/genisoimage -rational-rock -joliet -iso-level 3 \
-volid "VBOXADDITIONS_4.3.53_50574" -l -graft-points -o /home/pief/vbox/out/linux.amd64/release/bin/additions/VBoxGuestAdditions.iso \
[...] \

I: -input-charset not specified, using utf-8 (detected in locale settings)
Total translation table size: 0
Total rockridge attributes bytes: 269
Total directory bytes: 0
Path table size(bytes): 10
Max brk space used 0
2906 extents written (5 MB)
kBuild: Zipping image /home/pief/vbox/out/linux.amd64/release/bin/additions/
adding: VBoxGuestAdditions.iso (deflated 8%)
pief@e6400:~/vbox/src/VBox/Additions> dir

In my case, I found the new ISO image in ~/vbox/src/out/linux.amd64/release/bin/additions/VBoxGuestAdditions.iso. Copying that file to /usr/share/virtualbox should make it available to your VMs.

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