Lately, we create a lot of events to learn how to code. For these bootcamps we use a VirtualBox (VB) Image (Ubuntu), where we preinstall a bunch of tools and make sure that everyone in the course has the same environment.

Everytime we distribute the image there are a bunch of problems occurring once we ask the students to import and start the machines. Since it’s a handful of problems that occur over and over again, it makes sence to write a post for future reference and also to share this knowledge among other instructors.

Especially given that some of those errors are not self explanatory and very tricky to google. So, here we go:

(1) Network Adapter does not exist.

Problem: When starting a machine, an error happens: “Network Interface not found”.
Reason: If you distribute an image that is configured to use a custom “Host-only Adapter”, there might be a problem that this network interface is not automatically imported. 
Solution: Go to “Global Tools”, create a new “Host-only Adapter” (press “Create”). Go to the Machine “Settings” — “Network” and “Adapter 1” or 2, … wherever the problem is. Press “OK”. Now this problem is resolved.

(2) VirtualBox on Mac throws en error with talking about “Kernel Drivers”

Problem: Starting a machine in VirtualBox on Mac throws an error “Kernel Drivers not Installed” (or simmilar).
Reason: During the VB installation, you need to grant a special permission. The only time the option shows is during the installation process and you cannot fix it afterwards.
Solution: Uninstall VirtualBox (Applications, right click, remove); Empty Trash; Unmount the installation image; restart; install VirtualBox again. During the installation: Open “System Preferences”-“Security & Privacy”-”General”. There will be a message to allow apps from Oracle… press allow as soon as it shows up there.

(3) 64bit error on Lenovo and HP Laptops

Problem: When starting a machine, an error message shows saying something like“Cannot run 64 bit OS” or “Virtualization error”.
Reason: Those laptops come with disabled virtualization settings per default.
Solution: Go into the Bios (Restart and press during start: <Enter> on Lenovo / <F10> on HP). In the Bios you have to find a configuration to “Enable Virtualization” (google if you don’t find it). Save and Exit. Now it should work. BTW: Lenovo Yoga models require to press <FN+F2> to enter Bios.

(4) Black screen with blinking cursour

Problem: When starting the machine it seems to start (or not) but after some time stops and shows a blinking cursor.
Reason: We are not sure yet.
Solution: For us it worked best: First make sure 64bit is enabled in the Bios (see above). Afterwards reinstall VirtualBox and download the image again. Make sure to delete the whole image and everything related to it. Also make sure that the VRAM setting has more at least 24MB allocated.

We hope that helps. If you encounter more problems during your camps, post a comment!

This post was made during the SHSG Summer School Coding Bootcamp in St. Gallen, Switzerland by virtue of the Penguin Academy, an organization that supports and organizes coding events all around the world. 👩‍💻👨‍💻🐧