Here are some tips I put together as I was installing Fedora 13 on VirtualBox. They should apply across most platforms but for the record my my specific setup is Fedora 13 KDE Spin (32-bit) installed on VirtualBox 3.2 running on Windows 7 (64-bit). Your millage may vary.

Menu and Status Bars

If you’d like to hide the VirtualBox menu and status bars, you can do so by executing

VBoxManage setextradata global GUI/Customizations noMenuBar,noStatusBar

VBoxManage will probably not be in your %PATH% on Windows. It should be located in C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox. To access the menu while the bar is hidden, use Host Key + Home. To re-enable the menu and status bars, execute

VBoxManage setextradata global GUI/Customizations MenuBar,StatusBar

For more, check out How to Hide Menu Bar and Status Bar in VirtualBox from MakeTechEasier.com.

Guest Additions

The current version of VirtualBox seems to provide seamless mouse and keyboard integration out of the box. For clipboard integration and host display resolution adjustment based on VirtualBox window resizing, you’ll want to install Guest Additions. For this the host machine will need certain kernel packages. Install them by executing

yum -y install kernel-devel kernel-headers dkms gcc gcc-c++

Attach VBoxGuestAdditions.iso to the CD/DVD Device for the virtual machine if it’s not already. From the guest machine, mount the CD drive as normal. Run the GuestAdditions script.

MountPoint/VBAdditions_version/script-arch.run

In my case it was

/media/VBOXADDITIONS_3.2.0_61806/VBoxLinuxAdditions-x86.run

After successful installation, you’ll receive a message like, “You may need to restart the hal service and the Window system (or just restart the guest system) to enable the Guest Additions.” At that point, I shut down the system, emptied the CD/DVD Device, disabled 3-D acceleration (see below) and took a snapshot.

NOTE: I had to disable 3-D acceleration in the settings for this machine. Whenever a host process that would use the 3-D acceleration would start, VirtualBox would crash. A quick web search turned up a number of similar cases but nothing that fixed the issue for me. I did not investigate the phenomenon further.

Miscellaneous

You can get yum to use a web proxy by defining an environmental variable, http_proxy.

export http_proxy=http://proxy:port

If you need Flash, check out the Flash page on the Fedora wiki.

If you need MPEG and other patent encumbered codecs, this post is a good place to start.

This is a very nice post about setting up a network printer. This post uses GNOME. KDE is similar.

Help and Info

Fedora Project Wiki

Fedora Project Forum

Both the wiki and the forum are excellent resources.