Installing Kubuntu

So basically I want to run KDE Plasma under Ubuntu and this can be called Kubuntu.

This article is a little bit cargo-clutish. I.e. “I did this and it seemed to work.” and “I don’t do this because it didn’t seem to work.”

I have a pretty heavy reliance on Salt Stack for system configuration. My salt config is all built around Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

When I need to install a Kubuntu desktop, this is how I do it:

  1. install Ubuntu Server 18.04 LTS from live installer
  2. apt update && apt dist-upgrade && apt autoremove && reboot
  3. apt install kubuntu-desktop && reboot
  4. apt install virtualbox-guest-dkms virtualbox-guest-utils virtualbox-guest-x11 && reboot
  5. apt install salt-minion
  6. vim /etc/salt/minion_id
  7. vim /etc/salt/minion.d/minion.conf
    • master:
  8. service salt-minion restart
  9. salt-call state.highstate

Note that if your Kubuntu install is a VirtualBox guest you need to start it with a normal start if you want the shared clipboard to work. If you start headless or detachable the shared clipboard will not work (in my experience).

If your Kubuntu install is not a VirtualBox guest you can skip the virtualbox-guest-* package installation above.

Shared clipboard for Ubuntu 18.04 guest in Ubutnu 18.04 host under VirtualBox 6.0

My shared clipboard wasn’t working for my Ubuntu 18.04 guests running on my Ubutnu 18.04 host under VirtualBox 6.0.

To fix first make sure that the shared clipboard is enabled in VirtualBox for the VM. The setting for that is under General -> Advanced -> Shared Clipboard.

Then try running these commands in the guest:

  • sudo apt install virtualbox-guest-dkms virtualbox-guest-utils virtualbox-guest-x11
  • sudo reboot

These steps (or something similar) got the shared clipboard working for me. Hooray!

Note that these instructions will vary if you’re running a HWE kernel.

Waiting for VirtualBox guests to close before reboot or shutdown

See this and this. Basically:

vim /etc/init.d/virtualbox
chmod +x /etc/init.d/virtualbox
update-rc.d virtualbox defaults

The /etc/init.d/virtualbox script should look like this:


# 2017-08-07 jj5 - SEE: How make Debian wait for all VirtualBox guests to
# stop during shutdown/reboot?:

# Provides:          virtualbox_start_and_stop
# Required-Start:    $local_fs $network
# Required-Stop:     $local_fs
# Default-Start:     2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop:      0 1 6
# Short-Description: 
# Description:       Start virtualbox on boot, and shutdown safely on shutdown/reboot.

case "$1" in
    echo "Starting Virtualbox "

    # Do whatever to start or resume your virtualbox instances.
    # Perhaps look for a txt file someplace with VMs that need to be
    # restarted or resumed... then start 'em.
    echo "Stopping Virtualbox"

    # Do something to either shutdown or savestate your virtualbox instances.
    # maybe also save the instances that should be resumed into a txt file
    # someplace for the start method above.

    # 2017-08-07 jj5 - SEE:

    # 2017-08-07 jj5 - NOTE: You should make sure that ACPI Shutdown actually
    # shuts down the guest...
    # 2017-08-07 jj5 - SEE: Force Ubuntu Desktop to shutdown on power button:

    while [ -n "$( sudo -u jj5 VBoxManage list runningvms )" ]; do

      sudo -u jj5 VBoxManage list runningvms \
        | sed -r 's/.*\{(.*)\}/\1/' \
        | xargs -L1 -I {} sudo -u jj5 VBoxManage controlvm {} acpipowerbutton;

      sleep 1;


    echo "Usage: /etc/init.d/virtualbox {start|stop}"
    exit 1

exit 0

You may also need to Force Ubuntu Desktop to shutdown on power button keypress

VirtualBox VBoxManage for autostart

I have a script tact:/etc/vbox/ which will register a VirtualBox VM for auto-start. It required other config in /etc/vbox the details of which I don’t remember, but I think it’s done now anyway… there’s more information in Starting virtual machines during system boot.

  online "$machine" && {

    report "halting machine '$machine'...";

    ssh "$machine" sudo poweroff;

    report "waiting a moment...";

    sleep 8;


  run VBoxManage modifyvm "$machine" --autostart-enabled on;

  run sudo service vboxautostart-service restart;