Solved: Kernel driver not installed (rc=1908) with VirtualBox on a Mac


Kernel driver not installed error with VirtualBox on a Mac.
Kernel driver not installed error with VirtualBox on a Mac.

When you are looking to run a virtual machine on your Mac you have a selection of virtualization tools to use. One of these tools is free VirtualBox by Oracle

When VirtualBox is being installed it asks you to give it permission to access certain system sections. Failing to allow it to touch those settings will leave the installation corrupt.

You can start the VirtualBox software but when starting to create virtual machines you run into issues and get the error message “Kernel driver not installed (rc=-1908)” shown above.

How to solve the kernel driver not installed issue in VirtualBox on a Mac?

  1. Open up System Preferences
  2. Select “Security and Privacy”
    Macbooc security settings
  3. Click “General” at the top of the settings page and see at the bottom of the settings page is a message:
    “System software from developer “Oracle America, Inc.” was blocked from loading and the allow button is grayed out.
    Macbook general security settings
  4. Click on the padlock icon to be able to make changes in the settings (you then need to enter your Mac user account password, provided you are an administrator).Once permission granted you click “Allow” next to the blocked info message.
    Macbook security settings allow Oracle
  5. Re-run the installation from the .dmg file you downloaded from and this time the installation should run smoothly and after this you can already start a virtual machine, i.e. a Windows 10 Pro on your Mac, for which you need to download a fresh copy of a Windows 10 installation .iso.

Final note

Hoping this helps someone struggling to launch virtual machines on their Mac with VirtualBox.

Ps, I was ready to use VMWare free version, but no matter how much I tried, the account confirmation e-mail from VMWare never reached my mail – so I proceeded to VirtualBox and it did not disappoint.

Here is my Windows 10 virtual machine running after applying the fix above, then performing the many steps of installing Windows 10:

Windows 10 installing this might take several minutes

Post Author: Tom Pai