VirtualBox Is Not Opening After Updating Harfbuzz In Arch Linux

VirtualBox Is Not Opening After Updating Harfbuzz In Arch Linux

After updating my Arch Linux box, VirtualBox doesn’t open. I tried to open it from Terminal by running “virtualbox” command. But VirtualBox refused to open, and It kept displaying the following message:

VirtualBox: supR3HardenedMainGetTrustedMain: dlopen("/usr/lib/virtualbox/VirtualBox.so",) failed: /usr/lib/libharfbuzz.so.0: undefined symbol: FT_Get_Var_Blend_Coordinates

After carefully examining the above error, I came to a conclusion that VirtualBox is not working after the update of harfbuzz from 1.3.4-1 to 1.4.1-1 version. So, I thought downgrading harfbuzz to the older version might fix this problem. I have searched through my local cache to see if there is any older version of harfbuzz.

ls /var/cache/pacman/pkg/

Sample output:

harfbuzz-1.4.1-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz virtualbox-5.1.12-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz
 harfbuzz-icu-1.4.1-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz

Unfortunately, I don’t have any older versions of harfbuzz in my local cache folder to rollback to.

However, I know another workaround to fix this issue. In Arch Linux and its derivatives, we can easily downgrade a package to its older versions using “downgrade” utility. Just install downgrade utility as described in the following link.

Once downgrade utility installed, we can easily downgrade harfbuzz package as shown below.

sudo downgrade harfbuzz

You should see the list older packages available both in local cache and Arch Linux repositories. Just select the older version and hit ENTER. In my case, I selected the third option that shows harfbuzz-1.3.4-1 version.

Available packages:

1) harfbuzz-1.4.1-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 2) harfbuzz-1.4.1-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (local)
 3) harfbuzz-1.3.4-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 4) harfbuzz-1.3.3-2-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 5) harfbuzz-1.3.3-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 6) harfbuzz-1.3.2-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 7) harfbuzz-1.3.1-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 8) harfbuzz-1.3.0-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 9) harfbuzz-1.2.7-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 10) harfbuzz-1.2.6-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 11) harfbuzz-1.2.4-3-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 12) harfbuzz-1.2.4-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 13) harfbuzz-1.2.3-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 14) harfbuzz-1.2.1-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 15) harfbuzz-1.2.0-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 16) harfbuzz-1.1.3-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 17) harfbuzz-1.1.2-3-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 18) harfbuzz-1.1.2-2-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 19) harfbuzz-1.1.2-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 20) harfbuzz-1.1.1-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 21) harfbuzz-1.1.0-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 22) harfbuzz-1.0.6-2-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 23) harfbuzz-1.0.6-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 24) harfbuzz-1.0.5-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 25) harfbuzz-1.0.4-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 26) harfbuzz-1.0.3-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 27) harfbuzz-1.0.1-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 28) harfbuzz-0.9.41-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 29) harfbuzz-0.9.40-2-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 30) harfbuzz-0.9.40-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 31) harfbuzz-0.9.38-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 32) harfbuzz-0.9.37-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 33) harfbuzz-0.9.36-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 34) harfbuzz-0.9.35-2-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 35) harfbuzz-0.9.35-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 36) harfbuzz-0.9.32-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 37) harfbuzz-0.9.30-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 38) harfbuzz-0.9.29-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 39) harfbuzz-0.9.28-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 40) harfbuzz-0.9.26-2-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 41) harfbuzz-0.9.26-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 42) harfbuzz-0.9.24-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 43) harfbuzz-0.9.23-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 44) harfbuzz-0.9.22-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)
 45) harfbuzz-0.9.19-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz (remote)

select a package by number: 3

[1/2]: https://archive.archlinux.org/packages/h/harfbuzz/harfbuzz-1.3.4-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz --> harfbuzz-1.3.4-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz
 --_curl_--https://archive.archlinux.org/packages/h/harfbuzz/harfbuzz-1.3.4-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz
 % Total % Received % Xferd Average Speed Time Time Time Current
 Dload Upload Total Spent Left Speed
 100 298k 100 298k 0 0 120k 0 0:00:02 0:00:02 --:--:-- 120k

[2/2]: https://archive.archlinux.org/packages/h/harfbuzz/harfbuzz-1.3.4-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz.sig --> harfbuzz-1.3.4-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz.sig
 --_curl_--https://archive.archlinux.org/packages/h/harfbuzz/harfbuzz-1.3.4-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz.sig
 100 310 100 310 0 0 1562 0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:-- 1562
 loading packages...
 warning: downgrading package harfbuzz (1.4.1-1 => 1.3.4-1)
 resolving dependencies...
 looking for conflicting packages...

Packages (1) harfbuzz-1.3.4-1

Total Installed Size: 2.25 MiB
 Net Upgrade Size: -0.15 MiB

:: Proceed with installation? [Y/n] y
 (1/1) checking keys in keyring [##############################################] 100%
 (1/1) checking package integrity [##############################################] 100%
 (1/1) loading package files [##############################################] 100%
 (1/1) checking for file conflicts [##############################################] 100%
 (1/1) checking available disk space [##############################################] 100%
 :: Processing package changes...
 (1/1) downgrading harfbuzz [##############################################] 100%
 add harfbuzz to IgnorePkg? [y/n] y

Hurray! I was right. Hurfbuzz is the culprit. After downgrading harfbuzz package to its older version, VirtualBox is functioning as usual without any problems. I hope the Arch developers or any community member will fix this issue.


Important Note: If you want to use latest harfbuzz version, at the same time with good font rendering, try the following guide.


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