6 Fixes For Kernel Driver Not Installed (rc=-1908) Error on Mac

If you have tried running Windows emulators on Mac, you know about Oracle VM VirtualBox. It is one of the best tools available. Although it is not the best, it gets the job done. But, you can efficiently run into the ‘kernel driver not installed error.

Of course, the Kernel driver is a Microsoft Windows essential tool. It has no use on the macOS. So, how can you work around it to make your VirtualBox work? This guide will bring you all the answers.

You will get a little more information on VirtualBox. There will be information on the Kernel Driver and why this error is crucial. Furthermore, you will learn the reasons and how to solve this issue.

kernel driver not installed rc 1908 error mac

What Is VirtualBox On MacOS?

VirtualBox is a recognized emulator tool for macOS users. It allows you to use Windows-like features on your Mac. Thus, you can run plenty of apps and tools specifically available for Windows users.

VirtualBox is operated by Oracle. It is the only free tool available that allows you to do so. There are other similar tools, but they cost you money on a macOS. While VirtualBox isn’t as smooth or responsive, it gets the work done.

That’s the reason it is so popular. But, as it is a free tool, it is bound to run into various problems like Kernel Driver not installed or found.

Screen shot of VirtualBox for MacOS users

What Is Virtualbox Kernel Driver Not Installed Error On Mac?

A kernel driver is a tech-oriented program for Windows NT, the Native API system. They are responsible for helping hardware communicate and work with the Windows OS.

If a kernel driver doesn’t work well, the entire system will collapse. It won’t work or respond at all. That’s why, if you get this error on VirtualBox, you won’t be able to run the commands and Windows emulator. 

But when you get this error on a VirtualBox, it has nothing to do with actual drivers. It is just an error telling you that the app is having a more challenging time gaining access to Mac. Thus, it can’t bring you the Windows infrastructure. 

How Is Virtualbox Mac Kernel Driver Not Installed Error Caused?

If you have ever tried to use a Virtual Machine after installing VirtualBox, you will run into the error. The error has nothing to do with the OS in question. It is related to Oracle-related products. If you’re using an Oracle product for the first time on Mac, you will always run into permission issues.

Many users have also compared it to the installation failed error. So, a lot of users decided to remove VirtualBox entirely. After that, they carry out a fresh installation.

Either way, the root cause is mainly the lack of certification for Oracle. Another reason could be that Mac is preventing Kernel Extensions.

Solutions For Virtual Driver Not Installed Issue

  1. Download The Latest VirtualBox Version
  2. Allow Oracle Apps On Mac
  3. Load The Kernel Module
  4. Register The .Kext File Through The Terminal
  5. Allow The Kernel Extension For Virtual Box
  6. Disable Secure Boot 

The Best Solution For Virtual Driver Not Installed Kernel Driver Not Installed Error

1. Download The Latest VirtualBox Version

Official homepage for downloading latest VirtualBox for Mac

Often, the error could be related to an outdated Virtual box. It is pretty common for users to run into an incompatibility error. This mainly happens because macOS consistently updates itself.

The same also applies to VirtualBox. So, you should check if you have the latest version. For that, you can visit the VirtualBox Official Homepage and download it from there.

  1. Make sure to download the latest version.
  2. Run the installer and make sure to find the VirtualBox_Uninstall.tool file.
  3. Launch it, and it will remove the older version from your PC.
  4. Next, restart your entire macOS system. 
  5. Relaunch the installer and carry on with the fresh installation. 
  6. Now, check if “Kernel Driver not installed” is fixed or not.

2. Allow Oracle Apps On Mac 

Mac's Security & Privacy settings in System Preference

You will also run into the error if you have never used an Oracle app on your system before. This could be due to the security of your macOS. Often, Mac controls the permissions and access of various apps. These go for software like VirtualBox, especially since it’s free. So, you will have to follow these steps.”

  • You will have to go to the settings of your Mac. For that, launch the System Preference. 
  • Find Security & Privacy option from the list. Go to the General Tab.
  • At the bottom of the General Tab, there will be a message. It will say that System Software from Oracle Media was blocked. You will have to enable it. Click on the Allow button.
  • Now, check if “Kernel Driver not installed” is fixed or not.

See if this option works for you. You can also follow through with loading the Kernel Module. 

3. Load The Kernel Module

Screenshot of Mac Terminal Sudo Big

There’s a possibility that the Kernel Module never loaded. Your VirtualBox might not be reading it at all. You might have to load the Kernel Module. If you ensure that the module is loaded successfully, you might not run into the error. For that:

  • Run this command in the Terminal: sudo kextload -b org.virtualbox.kext.VBoxDrv
  • Type the following commands and press enter after each:
sudo kextload -b org.virtualbox.kext.VBoxNetFlt
sudo kextload -b org.virtualbox.kext.VBoxNetAdp
sudo kextload -b org.virtualbox.kext.VBoxUSB
  • Now reboot the VirtualBox and see if this solves the issue.
  • Now, check if “Kernel Driver not installed” is fixed or not.

4. Register The .kext File Through The Terminal

Various kext files on MacOs

Sometimes, the typical Security & Privacy option doesn’t work. There might be a specific file that requires your permission. So, you can try and use this option: 

  • Launch the Terminal on your macOS
  • Type: sudo kmutil load -p ‘/Library/Application Support/VirtualBox/VBoxDrv.kext’
  • Hit enter.
  • You might once again end up in the System Preference to allow Kernel. Once you do so, Reboot.
  • Once you reboot, follow with the command: cd ˜/Homestead && vagrant up

5. Allow The Kernel Extension For Virtual Box

Kernel extension policy on MacOS

Another solution is to allow Kernel extensions on your virtual box. For this, you will have to use the terminal:

  • First, you will have to restart your Mac. So, click on the Apple Home icon and reboot from there.
  • Next, when your system is rebooting, press the CMD + R buttons together. This will bring you to the Apple Login screen.
  • There will be a utility option. Choose Terminal from the drop-down menu.
  • Type: spctl kext-consent add VB5E2TV963
  • Hit enter. Now, restart the Mac.
  • Once again, access the Terminal and type: sudo shutdown -r now

Once your system reboots, check and see if this has solved your issue with the Kernel driver.

6. Disable Secure Boot

Secure boot select no security in MacOS boot options

If none of the solutions have worked so far, there’s one more option for you. You can choose to disable the Secure Boot option on your Mac. It could help with the VirtualBox Kernel Driver Not Installed issue. Follow these guidelines:

  • First, you will have to reboot your Mac.
  • Press Command + R buttons together and get to the Apple Login.
  • From the Utility option, choose Recovery Mode.
  • From the top menu, select Startup Security Utility. A prompt will appear for you to change the security.
  • Click on the No Security option.
  • Now go ahead and reboot your Mac.

Relaunch VirtualBox and see if this one solves the issue.

Conclusion – Virtualbox For Mac Error

We have worked vigorously to bring you the best guide to fix this issue. After thorough research and feedback, we compiled this ultimate guide. This is to save your time and make it easier to find all the viable solutions.

So, we hope that you found this helpful guide. We also hope it saved you valuable time and taught you something new. There’s no doubt that the error is annoying. If you still haven’t found a viable solution, feel free to use premium alternatives to VirtualBox.

Meet the Author

Abdul Rahim has been working in Information Technology for over two decades. Learn how Abdul got his start as a Tech Blogger , and why he decided to start this Software blog. If you want to send Abdul a quick message, then visit his contact page here.