Sorry, I have to take that back (a little): it worked in VMware and in
VirtualBox, but I just realized VirtualBox hadn't set the 3d
acceleration option when it imported the OVA. So your code (correctly)
didn't turn on the OpenGL redirects. If I turn on the 3d acceleration,
then it enables /etc/, and then graphics
are broken in virtualbox (same symptoms as before, lightdm crashes).

This turned out to be because my very stripped-down image was preseeded using
   d-i base-installer/kernel/image string linux-virtual
to avoid getting lots of irrelevant drivers and firmware (stripped a few 
hundred megs off the OVA). But unlike linux-image-generic, linux-image-virtual 
doesn't depend on linux-image-extra, which means I didn't have vboxvideo.ko.

Installing virtualbox-guest-dkms fixed this by providing the missing
kernel drivers. But that suggests the test for enabling
/etc/ isn't quite thorough enough, though
this is probably a bug that should go upstream for VBoxClient --check3d
instead of adding more to your script.

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  [SRU] No graphics after update, caused by virtualbox

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