Oracle VirtualBox: VM Won’t Start – Nonexistant host networking interface

I have a few virtual machines on my laptop (using Oracle’s VirtualBox) that serve as a sort of makeshift lab for me to play with my (mostly Oracle) databases without having to worry about using cloud credits. Sorry Oracle but when I’m playing with recovery strategies, I don’t want to wait 4 hours and pay per GB for pulling backups out of the cloud… Anyways today was one of those days, and I’m sure we’ve all had them, when mole hills become mountains. So I’m starting up my VM, getting excited about the idea of playing with some flashback recovery steps I’ve been researching.. and bam. Oracle VirtualBox hits me with an error:

Failed to open a session for the virtual machine: “

I hate that word… “failed.” Never let it stop you. Mentally attach the word to a concept of, “hmm.. time for me to change something.”

I expanded the details to find that suddenly my network interface was unacceptable.


Nonexistant host networking interface? I silently wondered how that was possible as my configuration was set to Bridged Adapter, meaning it shares my laptop connection. My laptop wifi was fine at that point and a quick google search came up a little lacking in hopeful resolutions. After a short chat with myself I decided turning it off and on again didn’t seem like a reasonable approach here but maybe my next step might be to do an upgrade. Normally that’s a sarcastic response to an error if I hadn’t had coffee yet but in this case I couldn’t see the harm in at least trying. First I needed to know if one was available.

Tip: Go to the upper right corner of VirtualBox and open the File dropdown. Yep there is an easy “check for updates” tool here!

vbox_updating (2)


Lucky me, this didn’t take long and was fairly straight foward. The first step in the upgrade confirmed that Networking tools would be upgrading as well.





I was being a little bit of a wise-cracker with myself with I decided to upgrade VirtualBox but lucky me it’s not Monday because sure enough, this worked. My lab virtual machine is up and running and I’m playing with flashback options as you’re reading this. By the way… flashback recovery doesn’t help if your datafile was deleted… that’s a story for another day.


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