Difference between revisions of "VirtualBox"

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[[Category:Emulators]]
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[[Category:Hypervisors]]
[[Category:Virtualization]]
 
 
[[cs:VirtualBox]]
 
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[[pt:VirtualBox]]
 
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[[ru:VirtualBox]]
 
[[ru:VirtualBox]]
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[[zh-hans:VirtualBox]]
 
{{Related articles start}}
 
{{Related articles start}}
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{{Related|VirtualBox/Tips and tricks}}
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{{Related|:Category:Hypervisors}}
 
{{Related|PhpVirtualBox}}
 
{{Related|PhpVirtualBox}}
{{Related|VirtualBox Arch Linux Guest On Physical Drive}}
 
{{Related|Installing Arch Linux from VirtualBox}}
 
 
{{Related|Moving an existing install into (or out of) a virtual machine}}
 
{{Related|Moving an existing install into (or out of) a virtual machine}}
 
{{Related articles end}}
 
{{Related articles end}}
  
[https://www.virtualbox.org VirtualBox] is a [[Wikipedia:Hypervisor|hypervisor]] used to run operating systems in a special environment, called a virtual machine, on top of the existing operating system. VirtualBox is in constant development and new features are implemented continuously. It comes with a [[Qt]] GUI interface, as well as headless and [[Wikipedia:SDL|SDL]] command-line tools for managing and running virtual machines.
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[https://www.virtualbox.org VirtualBox] is a [[Wikipedia:Hypervisor|hypervisor]] used to run operating systems in a special environment, called a virtual machine, on top of the existing operating system. VirtualBox is in constant development and new features are implemented continuously. It comes with a [[Qt]] GUI interface, as well as headless and [[Wikipedia:Simple DirectMedia Layer|SDL]] command-line tools for managing and running virtual machines.
  
 
In order to integrate functions of the host system to the guests, including shared folders and clipboard, video acceleration and a seamless window integration mode, ''guest additions'' are provided for some guest operating systems.
 
In order to integrate functions of the host system to the guests, including shared folders and clipboard, video acceleration and a seamless window integration mode, ''guest additions'' are provided for some guest operating systems.
 
{{Wikipedia|VirtualBox}}
 
  
 
== Installation steps for Arch Linux hosts ==
 
== Installation steps for Arch Linux hosts ==
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In order to launch VirtualBox virtual machines on your Arch Linux box, follow these installation steps.
 
In order to launch VirtualBox virtual machines on your Arch Linux box, follow these installation steps.
  
=== Core packages ===
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=== Install the core packages ===
 +
 
 +
[[Install]] the {{Pkg|virtualbox}} package. You will need to choose a package to provide host modules:
 +
* for {{Pkg|linux}} kernel choose {{Pkg|virtualbox-host-modules-arch}}
 +
* for other [[kernels]] choose {{Pkg|virtualbox-host-dkms}}
  
First, from the [[official repositories]], install the {{Pkg|virtualbox}} package which contains the GPL-licensed VirtualBox suite with the SDL and headless command-line tools included. The {{Pkg|virtualbox}} package comes with {{Pkg|virtualbox-host-modules}} as a required dependency.  
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To compile the VirtualBox modules provided by {{Pkg|virtualbox-host-dkms}}, it will also be necessary to install the appropriate headers package(s) for your installed kernel(s) (e.g. {{Pkg|linux-lts-headers}} for {{Pkg|linux-lts}}). [https://lists.archlinux.org/pipermail/arch-dev-public/2016-March/027808.html] When either VirtualBox or the kernel is updated, the kernel modules will be automatically recompiled thanks to the [[DKMS]] Pacman hook.
  
You can install the {{Pkg|qt4}} optional dependency in order to use the graphical interface which is based on [[Qt]]. This is not required if you intend to use VirtualBox in command-line only. [[#Use the right front-end|See below to learn the differences]].
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=== Sign modules ===
  
=== VirtualBox kernel modules ===
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When using a custom kernel with {{ic|CONFIG_MODULE_SIG_FORCE}} option enabled, you must sign your modules with  a key generated during kernel compilation.
  
Next, in order for VirtualBox to virtualize your guest installation, you will need to add [[kernel modules]] to your host kernel.
+
Navigate to your kernel tree folder and execute the following command:
 +
# for module in `ls /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/kernel/misc/{vboxdrv.ko,vboxnetadp.ko,vboxnetflt.ko,vboxpci.ko}` ; do ./scripts/sign-file sha1 certs/signing_key.pem certs/signing_key.x509 $module ; done
  
As you have to know, the binary compatibility of kernel modules depends on the API of the kernel against which they have been compiled. The problem with the Linux kernel is that these interfaces might not be the same from one kernel version to another. In order to avoid compatibility problems and subtle bugs, each time the Linux kernel is upgraded, it is advised to recompile the kernel modules against the Linux kernel version that has just been installed. This is what Arch Linux packagers actually do with the VirtualBox kernel modules packages: each time a new Arch Linux kernel is released, the Virtualbox modules are upraded accordingly.
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{{Note|Hashing algorithm does not have to match the one configured, but it must be built into the kernel.}}
  
Therefore, if you are using a kernel from the [[official repositories]] or a custom one (self-compiled or installed from the [[AUR]]), the kernel module package you will need to install will thus vary.
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=== Load the VirtualBox kernel modules ===
  
==== Hosts running an official kernel ====
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Since version 5.0.16, {{Pkg|virtualbox-host-modules-arch}} and {{Pkg|virtualbox-host-dkms}} use {{ic|systemd-modules-load.service}} to load all four VirtualBox modules at boot time.
  
* If you are using the {{Pkg|linux}} kernel, make sure the {{pkg|virtualbox-host-modules}} package is still installed. The latter has been installed when you installed the {{Pkg|virtualbox}} package.
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{{Note|If you do not want the VirtualBox modules to be loaded at boot time, you have to mask the default {{ic|/usr/lib/modules-load.d/virtualbox-host-modules-arch.conf}} (or {{ic|-dkms.conf}}) by creating an empty file (or symlink to {{ic|/dev/null}}) with the same name in {{ic|/etc/modules-load.d}}.}}
* If you are using the LTS version of the kernel ({{pkg|linux-lts}}), you need to install the {{pkg|virtualbox-host-modules-lts}} package. {{Pkg|virtualbox-host-modules}} can now be removed if you want.
 
  
==== Hosts running a custom kernel ====
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Among the [[kernel modules]] VirtualBox uses, there is a mandatory module named {{ic|vboxdrv}}, which must be loaded before any virtual machines can run.
  
If you use or intend to use a self-compiled kernel from sources, you have to know that VirtualBox does not require any virtualization modules (e.g. virtuo, kvm,...). The VirtualBox kernel modules provide all the necessary for VirtualBox to work properly. You can thus disable in your kernel ''.config'' file these virtualization modules if you do not use other hypervisors like Xen, KVM or QEMU.
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To load the module manually, run:
 +
# modprobe vboxdrv
  
The {{ic|virtualbox-host-modules}} package works fine with custom kernels of the same version of the Arch Linux stock kernel such as {{AUR|linux-ck}}. However, if you are using a custom kernel which is not of the same version of the Arch Linux stock one, you will have to install the {{Pkg|virtualbox-host-dkms}} package instead. The latter comes bundled with the source of the VirtualBox kernel modules that will be compiled to generate these modules for your kernel.
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The following modules are optional but are recommended if you do not want to be bothered in some advanced configurations (precised here after): {{ic|vboxnetadp}}, {{ic|vboxnetflt}} and {{ic|vboxpci}}.
  
Since the {{ic|virtualbox-host-modules}} comes with the official Arch Linux kernel ({{Pkg|linux}}) as a dependency, if you want to remove this default kernel you do not use, you will have to install {{Pkg|virtualbox-host-dkms}} as well. Then, you will be able to remove {{Pkg|virtualbox-host-modules}} then {{Pkg|linux}} (if no other packages require it).
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* {{ic|vboxnetadp}} and {{ic|vboxnetflt}} are both needed when you intend to use the [https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch06.html#network_bridged bridged] or [https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch06.html#network_hostonly host-only networking] feature. More precisely, {{ic|vboxnetadp}} is needed to create the host interface in the VirtualBox global preferences, and {{ic|vboxnetflt}} is needed to launch a virtual machine using that network interface.
  
As the {{Pkg|virtualbox-host-dkms}} package requires compilation, make sure you have the kernel headers corresponding to your custom kernel version to prevent this error from happening {{ic|Your kernel headers for kernel ''your custom kernel version'' cannot be found at /usr/lib/modules/''your custom kernel version''/build or /usr/lib/modules/''your custom kernel version''/source}}.
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* {{ic|vboxpci}} is needed when your virtual machine needs to pass through a PCI device on your host.
* If you use a self-compiled kernel and have used {{ic|make modules_install}} to install its modules, folders {{ic|/usr/lib/modules/''your custom kernel version''/build}} and {{ic|(...)/source}} will be symlinked to your kernel sources. These will act as the kernel headers you need. If you have not removed these kernel sources yet, you have nothing to do.
 
* If you use a custom kernel from [[AUR]], make sure the package {{Pkg|linux-headers}} is installed.
 
  
Once {{Pkg|virtualbox-host-dkms}} is installed, simply generate the kernel modules for your custom kernel by running the following command structure:
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{{Note|If the VirtualBox kernel modules were loaded in the kernel while you updated the modules, you need to reload them manually to use the new updated version. To do it, run {{ic|vboxreload}} as root.}}
# dkms install vboxhost/''virtualbox-host-source version'' -k ''your custom kernel version''/''your architecture''
 
  
{{Tip|Use this all-in-one command instead, if you do not want to adapt the above command:
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Finally, if you use the aforementioned "Host-only" or "bridge networking" feature, make sure {{pkg|net-tools}} is installed. VirtualBox actually uses {{ic|ifconfig}} and {{ic|route}} to assign the IP and route to the host interface configured with {{ic|VBoxManage hostonlyif}} or via the GUI in ''Settings > Network > Host-only Networks > Edit host-only network (space) > Adapter''.
{{bc|<nowiki># dkms install vboxhost/$(pacman -Q virtualbox|awk {'print $2'}|sed 's/\-.\+//') -k $(uname -rm|sed 's/\ /\//')</nowiki>}}
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}}
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=== Accessing host USB devices in guest ===
 +
 
 +
To use the USB ports of your host machine in your virtual machines, add users that will be authorized to use this feature to the {{ic|vboxusers}} [[group]].
 +
 
 +
=== Guest additions disc ===
 +
 
 +
It is also recommended to install the {{Pkg|virtualbox-guest-iso}} package on the host running VirtualBox. This package will act as a disc image that can be used to install the guest additions onto guest systems other than Arch Linux. The ''.iso'' file will be located at {{ic|/usr/lib/virtualbox/additions/VBoxGuestAdditions.iso}}, and may have to be mounted manually inside the virtual machine. Once mounted, you can run the guest additions installer inside the guest.
 +
 
 +
=== Extension pack ===
 +
 
 +
The Oracle Extension Pack provides [https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch01.html#intro-installing additional features] and is released under a non-free license '''only available for personal use'''. To install it, the {{aur|virtualbox-ext-oracle}} package is available, and a prebuilt version can be found in the [[Unofficial user repositories#seblu|seblu]] repository.
 +
 
 +
If you prefer to use the traditional and manual way: download the extension manually and install it via the GUI (''File > Preferences > Extensions'') or via  {{ic|VBoxManage extpack install <.vbox-extpack>}}, make sure you have a toolkit (like [[Polkit]], gksu, etc.) to grant privileged access to VirtualBox. The installation of this extension [https://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/8473 requires root access].
 +
 
 +
=== Front-ends ===
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 +
VirtualBox comes with three front-ends:
 +
 
 +
* If you want to use VirtualBox with the regular GUI, use {{ic|VirtualBox}}.
 +
* If you want to launch and manache your virtual machines from the command-line, use the {{ic|VBoxSDL}} command, which only provides a plain window for the virtual machine without any overlays.
 +
* If you want to use VirtualBox without running any GUI (e.g. on a server), use the {{ic|VBoxHeadless}} command. With the VRDP extension you can still remotely access the displays of your virtual machines.
 +
 
 +
Finally, you can also use [[phpVirtualBox]] to administrate your virtual machines via a web interface.
 +
 
 +
Refer to the [https://www.virtualbox.org/manual VirtualBox manual] to learn how to create virtual machines.
  
To automatically recompile the VirtualBox kernel modules when their sources get upgraded (i.e. when the {{Pkg|virtualbox-host-dkms}} package gets upgraded) and avoid to type again the above {{ic|dkms install}} command manually afterwards, enable the {{ic|dkms}} service with:
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{{Warning|If you intend to store virtual disk images on a [[Btrfs]] file system, before creating any images, you should consider disabling [[Btrfs#Copy-On-Write_.28CoW.29|copy-on-Write]] for the destination directory of these images.}}
# systemctl enable dkms
 
  
{{Note|If you do not have the {{ic|dkms}} service enabled while the {{Pkg|virtualbox-host-dkms}} package is being updated, the VirtualBox modules will not be updated and you will have to type in manually the {{ic|dkms install}} command described above to compile the latest version of the Virtualbox kernel modules. If you do not want to type in manually this command, if the {{ic|dkms}} service is automatically loaded at startup, you just need to reboot and your VirtualBox modules will be recompiled silently.}}
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== Installation steps for Arch Linux guests ==
  
If you want to keep that {{ic|dkms}} deamon disabled, you can use an [[mkinitcpio|initramfs hook]] that will automatically trigger the {{ic|dkms install}} command described above at boot time. This requires to reboot to recompile the VirtualBox modules.
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Boot the Arch installation media through one of the virtual machine's virtual drives. Then, complete the installation of a basic Arch system as explained in the [[Installation guide]].
To enable this hook, install the {{AUR|vboxhost-hook}} package from the [[Arch User Repository|AUR]] and add {{ic|vboxhost}} to your HOOKS array in {{ic|/etc/mkinitcpio.conf}}. Again, make sure the right linux headers are available for the new kernel otherwize the compilation will fail.
 
  
{{Tip|Like the {{ic|dkms}} command, the {{ic|vboxhost}} hook will tell you if anything goes wrong during the recompilation of the VirtualBox modules.}}
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=== Installation in EFI mode ===
  
=== Load the VirtualBox kernel modules ===
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If you want to install Arch Linux in EFI mode inside VirtualBox, in the settings of the virtual machine, choose ''System'' item from the panel on the left and ''Motherboard'' tab from the right panel, and check the checkbox ''Enable EFI (special OSes only)''. After selecting the kernel from the Arch Linux installation media's menu, the media will hang for a minute or two and will continue to boot the kernel normally afterwards. Be patient.
  
Among the [[kernel modules]] VirtualBox uses, there is a mandatory module named {{ic|vboxdrv}}, which must be loaded before any virtual machines can run. It can be automatically loaded when Arch Linux starts up, or it can be loaded manually when necessary.
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Once the system and the boot loader are installed, VirtualBox will first attempt to run {{ic|/EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI}} from the [[ESP]]. If that first option fails, VirtualBox will then try the EFI shell script {{ic|startup.nsh}} from the root of the ESP. This means that in order to boot the system you have the following options:
  
To load the module manually:
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* [[Unified Extensible Firmware Interface#UEFI Shell|Launch the bootloader manually]] from the EFI shell every time;
# modprobe vboxdrv
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* Move the bootloader to the default {{ic|/EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI}} path;
 +
* Create a script named {{ic|startup.nsh}} at the ESP root containing the path to the boot loader application, e.g. {{ic|\EFI\grub\grubx64.efi}}.
 +
* Boot directly from the ESP partition using a [[EFISTUB#Using a startup.nsh script|startup.nsh script]].
  
{{Note|In order to avoid {{ic|no such file or directory}} errors when using ''modprobe'', you may need to update the kernel dependency modules database ''modprobe'' is using with {{ic|depmod -a}}.}}
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Do not bother with the VirtualBox Boot Manager (accessible with {{ic|F2}} at boot), as it is buggy and incomplete. It doesn't store efivars set interactively. Therefore, EFI entries added to it manually in the firmware (accessed with {{ic|F12}} at boot time) or with {{Pkg|efibootmgr}} will persist after a reboot [https://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/11177 but are lost when the VM is shut down].
  
To load the VirtualBox module at boot time, refer to [[Kernel_modules#Loading]] and create a {{ic|*.conf}} file (e.g. {{ic|virtualbox.conf}}) in {{ic|/etc/modules-load.d/}} with the line:
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See also [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=158003 UEFI VirtualBox installation boot problems].
{{hc|/etc/modules-load.d/virtualbox.conf|
 
vboxdrv}}
 
  
To ensure full functionality of bridged networking, ensure that the {{ic|vboxnetadp}}, {{ic|vboxnetflt}} and {{ic|vboxpci}} [[Kernel modules|kernel modules]] are loaded as well and that the {{pkg|net-tools}} package is installed.
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=== Install the Guest Additions ===
  
{{Note|If the VirtualBox kernel modules were loaded in the kernel while you updated the modules, you need to reload them manually to use the new updated version.}}
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VirtualBox [https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch04.html Guest Additions] provides drivers and applications that optimize the guest operating system including improved image resolution and better control of the mouse. Within the installed guest system, install:
 +
* {{Pkg|virtualbox-guest-utils}} for VirtualBox Guest utilities with X support
 +
* {{Pkg|virtualbox-guest-utils-nox}} for VirtualBox Guest utilities without X support
  
=== Add usernames to the vboxusers group ===
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Both packages will make you choose a package to provide guest modules:
 +
* for {{Pkg|linux}} kernel choose {{Pkg|virtualbox-guest-modules-arch}}
 +
* for other [[kernels]] choose {{Pkg|virtualbox-guest-dkms}}
  
To use the USB ports of your host machine in your virtual machines, add to the {{ic|vboxusers}} [[group]] the usernames that will be authorized to use this feature. The new group does not automatically apply to existing sessions; the user has to log out and log in again, or start a new environment with the {{ic|newgrp}} command or with {{ic|sudo -u $USER -s}}. To add the current user to the {{ic|vboxusers}} group, type:
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To compile the virtualbox modules provided by {{Pkg|virtualbox-guest-dkms}}, it will also be necessary to install the appropriate headers package(s) for your installed kernel(s) (e.g. {{Pkg|linux-lts-headers}} for {{Pkg|linux-lts}}). [https://lists.archlinux.org/pipermail/arch-dev-public/2016-March/027808.html] When either VirtualBox or the kernel is updated, the kernel modules will be automatically recompiled thanks to the [[DKMS]] Pacman hook.
# gpasswd -a $USER vboxusers
 
  
=== Guest additions disc ===
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{{Note|<nowiki></nowiki>
 +
* You can alternatively install the Guest Additions with the ISO from the {{Pkg|virtualbox-guest-iso}} package, provided you installed this on the host system. To do this, go to the device menu click Insert Guest Additions CD Image.
 +
* To recompile the vbox kernel modules, run {{ic|rcvboxdrv}} as root.
 +
}}
 +
 
 +
The guest additions running on your guest, and the VirtualBox application running on your host must have matching versions, otherwise the guest additions (like shared clipboard) may stop working. If you upgrade your guest (e.g. {{ic|pacman -Syu}}), make sure your VirtualBox application on this host is also the latest version. "Check for updates" in the VirtualBox GUI is sometimes not sufficient; check the virtualbox.org website.
 +
 
 +
=== Set optimal framebuffer resolution ===
  
It is also recommended to install the {{Pkg|virtualbox-guest-iso}} package on the host running VirtualBox. This package will act as a disc image that can be used to install the guest additions onto guest systems other than Arch Linux.
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{{Move|VirtualBox/Tips and tricks}}
 +
Typically after installing Guest Additions, a fullscreen Arch guest running X will be set to the optimal resolution for your display; however, the virtual console's framebuffer will be set to a standard, often smaller, resolution detected from VirtualBox's custom VESA driver.
  
=== Use the right front-end ===
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To use the virtual consoles at optimal resolution, Arch needs to recognize that resolution as valid, which in turn requires VirtualBox to pass this information along to the guest OS.
  
Now, you are ready to use VirtualBox. Congratulations!
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First, check if your desired resolution is not already recognized by running the command:
 +
hwinfo --framebuffer
  
Multiple front-ends are available to you which two are available by default:
+
If the optimal resolution does not show up, then you will need to run the {{ic|VBoxManage}} tool on the host machine and add "extra resolutions" to your virtual machine (on a Windows host, go to the VirtualBox installation directory to find {{ic|VBoxManage.exe}}). For example:
* If you want to use VirtualBox in command-line only (only launch and change settings of existing virtual machines), you can use the {{ic|VBoxSDL}} command. VBoxSDL does only provide a simple window that contains only the ''pure'' virtual machine, without menus or other controls.
 
* If you want to use VirtualBox in command-line without any GUI running (e.g. on a server) to create, launch and configure virtual machines, use the {{ic|VBoxHeadless}} which produces no visible output on the host at all, but instead only delivers VRDP data.
 
  
If you installed the {{Pkg|qt4}} optional dependency, you also have a nice looking GUI interface with menus which is usable with the mouse.
+
VBoxManage setextradata "Arch Linux" "CustomVideoMode1" "1360x768x24"
  
Finally, you can use [[PhpVirtualBox]] to administrate your virtual machines via a web interface.
+
The parameters "Arch Linux" and "1360x768x24" in the example above should be replaced with your VM name and the desired framebuffer resolution. Incidentally, this command allows for defining up to 16 extra resolutions ("CustomVideoMode1" through "CustomVideoMode16").
  
Refer to the [https://www.virtualbox.org/manual VirtualBox manual] to learn how to create virtual machines.
+
Afterwards, restart the virtual machine and run {{ic|hwinfo --framebuffer}} once more to verify that the new resolutions have been recognized by your guest system (which does not guarantee they will all work, depending on your hardware limitations).
  
== Installation steps for Arch Linux guests ==
+
Finally, add a {{ic|1=video=''resolution''}} [[kernel parameter]] to set the framebuffer to the new resolution, for example {{ic|1=video=1360x768}}.
  
Follow these installation steps to install VirtualBox additions on your fresh Arch Linux guest installation.
+
{{Merge|GRUB/Tips_and_tricks#Setting_the_framebuffer_resolution}}
  
=== Install the Guest Additions ===
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If you use GRUB as your bootloader, you can edit {{ic|/etc/default/grub}} to include this kernel parameter in the {{ic|GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT}} list, like so:
  
On other GNU/Linux distribution, the Guest Additions can be installed in two different ways:
+
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet video=1360x768"
* either via the regular installation process described in the Virtualbox manual (on the host, clicking "Install Guest Additions" from the Virtualbox menu, then on the guest, mounting the cdrom manually in {{ic|/mnt}}, then execute {{ic|/mnt/VboxLinuxAdditions.run}});
 
* or via a simple package you can install from the [[official repositories]].
 
  
On Arch Linux guests, the official process does not work, you will get {{ic|Unable to determine your Linux distribution}} as an error message. You have thus to use the second way and install {{Pkg|virtualbox-guest-utils}} which provides {{Pkg|virtualbox-guest-modules}} as a required depencendy.
+
The GRUB menu itself may also be easily set to optimal resolution, by editing
 +
the {{ic|GRUB_GFXMODE}} option on the same configuration file:
  
=== VirtualBox guest kernel modules ===
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GRUB_GFXMODE="1360x768x24"
  
==== Guests running an official kernel ====
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On a standard Arch setup, you would then run {{ic|grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg}} to commit these changes to the bootloader.
  
* If you are using the {{Pkg|linux}} kernel, make sure the {{pkg|virtualbox-guest-modules}} package is still installed. The latter has been installed when you installed the {{Pkg|virtualbox-guest-utils}} package.
+
After these steps, the framebuffer resolution should be optimized for the GRUB menu and all virtual consoles.
* If you are using the LTS version of the kernel ({{pkg|linux-lts}}), you need to install the {{pkg|virtualbox-guest-modules-lts}} package. {{Pkg|virtualbox-guest-modules}} can now be removed if you want.
 
  
==== Guests running a custom kernel ====
+
{{Note|The GRUB settings {{ic|GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX}} and {{ic|vga}} will not fix the framebuffer, since they are overriden by virtue of Kernel Mode Setting, which is mandatory for using X under VirtualBox and only allows for setting the framebuffer resolution by setting the kernel parameter described above.}}
  
As this installation step is quite similar to the Vitualbox kernel modules section for the host described above, please refer to [[#VirtualBox kernel modules|that section]] for more information and replace all {{Pkg|virtualbox-guest-modules}}, {{Pkg|virtualbox-host-dkms}} and {{AUR|vboxhost-hook}} by {{Pkg|virtualbox-guest-modules}}, {{Pkg|virtualbox-guest-dkms}} and {{AUR|vboxguest-hook}} respectively.
+
=== Load the VirtualBox kernel modules ===
  
=== Load the Virtualbox kernel modules ===
+
To load the modules automatically, [[enable]] {{ic|vboxservice.service}} which loads the modules and synchronizes the guest's system time with the host.
  
 
To load the modules manually, type:
 
To load the modules manually, type:
 
  # modprobe -a vboxguest vboxsf vboxvideo
 
  # modprobe -a vboxguest vboxsf vboxvideo
  
To load the VirtualBox module at boot time, refer to [[Kernel_modules#Loading]] and create a {{ic|*.conf}} file (e.g. {{ic|virtualbox.conf}}) in {{ic|/etc/modules-load.d/}} with these lines:
+
Since version 5.0.16, {{Pkg|virtualbox-guest-modules-arch}} and {{Pkg|virtualbox-guest-dkms}} use '''systemd-modules-load''' service to load their modules at boot time.
{{hc|/etc/modules-load.d/virtualbox.conf|
+
 
vboxguest
+
{{Note|If you do not want the VirtualBox modules to be loaded at boot time, you have to mask the default {{ic|/usr/lib/modules-load.d/virtualbox-guest-modules-arch.conf}} (or {{ic|-dkms.conf}}) by creating an empty file (or symlink to {{ic|/dev/null}}) with the same name in {{ic|/etc/modules-load.d}}.}}
vboxsf
 
vboxvideo}}
 
  
 
=== Launch the VirtualBox guest services ===
 
=== Launch the VirtualBox guest services ===
  
 
After the rather big installation step dealing with VirtualBox kernel modules, now you need to start the guest services. The guest services are actually just a binary executable called {{ic|VBoxClient}} which will interact with your X Window System. {{ic|VBoxClient}} manages the following features:
 
After the rather big installation step dealing with VirtualBox kernel modules, now you need to start the guest services. The guest services are actually just a binary executable called {{ic|VBoxClient}} which will interact with your X Window System. {{ic|VBoxClient}} manages the following features:
* the shared clipboard and the drag and drop between the host and the guest;
+
* shared clipboard and drag and drop between the host and the guest;
* the seamless window mode;
+
* seamless window mode;
* the fact that the guest display is automatically resized according to the size of the guest window;
+
* the guest display is automatically resized according to the size of the guest window;
* and finally checking the VirtualBox host version.
+
* checking the VirtualBox host version
  
All these features can be enabled indepently and manually with their dedicated flags.
+
All of these features can be enabled independently with their dedicated flags:
 
  $ VBoxClient --clipboard --draganddrop --seamless --display --checkhostversion
 
  $ VBoxClient --clipboard --draganddrop --seamless --display --checkhostversion
  
But VirtualBox provides a currently undocumented feature, a Bash script {{ic|VBoxClient-all}} which enables all these features automatically and checks if a X11 server is really running before enabling some of them.
+
As a shortcut, the {{ic|VBoxClient-all}} bash script enables all of these features.
$ VBoxClient-all
 
  
To start that script automatically when system starts,
+
{{Pkg|virtualbox-guest-utils}} installs {{ic|/etc/xdg/autostart/vboxclient.desktop}} that launches {{ic|VBoxClient-all}} on logon. If your  [[desktop environment]] or [[window manager]] does not support this scheme, you will need to set up autostarting yourself, see [[Autostarting#Graphical]] for more details.
* if you are using a [[desktop environment]], you just need enable a checkbox or add the {{ic|/usr/sbin/VBoxClient-all}} to the autostart section in your DE settings (the DE will typically set a flag to a ''.desktop'' file in {{ic|~/.config/autostart}} - [[Autostart#Desktop_Application_Autostart|see the Autostart section for more details]] -);
 
* if you do not have any [[desktop environment]], add the following line to the top of {{ic|~/.xinitrc}} (copy the file from {{ic|/etc/skel/.xinitrc}} if it does not exist) above any {{ic|exec}} options:
 
{{hc|~/.xinitrc|
 
/usr/bin/VBoxClient-all}}
 
  
Now, you should have a working ArchLinux guest. Congratulations!
+
VirtualBox can also synchronize the time between the host and the guest, to do this, [[start/enable]] the {{ic|vboxservice.service}}.
  
== Export VirtualBox virtual machines to other hypervisors ==
+
Now, you should have a working Arch Linux guest. Note that features like clipboard sharing are disabled by default in VirtualBox, and you will need to turn them on in the per-VM settings if you actually want to use them (e.g. ''Settings > General > Advanced > Shared Clipboard'').
  
If you plan to use your virtual machine, created with VirtualBox, on another computer which has not necessarily VirtualBox installed, you might be interested in following the next steps.
+
=== Hardware acceleration ===
  
=== Remove additions ===
+
Hardware acceleration can be activated in the VirtualBox options. The [[GDM]] display manager 3.16+ is known to break hardware acceleration support. [https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=749390] So if you get issues with hardware acceleration, try out another display manager (lightdm seems to work fine). [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=200025] [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=1607593#p1607593]
  
If you have installed the VirtualBox additions to your VirtualBox virtual machine, please uninstall them first. Your guest, especially if it is using an OS from the Windows family, might behave weirdly, crash or even might not boot at all if you are still using the specific VirtualBox drivers in another hypervisor.
+
=== Enable shared folders ===
  
{{Tip|If you intend to use a virtualization solution from Parallels Inc for your Mac, the product ''Parallels Transporter'' can be used to create a virtual machine from a Windows or GNU/Linux virtual machine (or even from a native installation). With such a product, you do not need to apply follow the next step and can stop reading here.}}
+
Shared folders are managed on the host, in the settings of the Virtual Machine accessible via the GUI of VirtualBox, in the ''Shared Folders'' tab. There, ''Folder Path'', the name of the mount point identified by ''Folder name'', and options like ''Read-only'', ''Auto-mount'' and ''Make permanent'' can be specified. These parameters can be defined with the {{ic|VBoxManage}} command line utility. See [https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch04.html#sharedfolders there for more details].
  
=== Use the right virtual disk format ===
+
No matter which method you will use to mount your folder, all methods require some steps first.
  
==== Supported formats by VirtualBox ====
+
To avoid this issue {{ic|/sbin/mount.vboxsf: mounting failed with the error: No such device}}, make sure the {{ic|vboxsf}} kernel module is properly loaded. It should be, since we enabled all guest kernel modules previously.
  
VirtualBox comes with its own container for the virtual hard drives: the Virtual Disk Image (VDI) file format. Even if this format is used by default when you create a virtual machine with VirtualBox, you can specify another one. Indeed VirtualBox does flawlessly support other formats:
+
Two additional steps are needed in order for the mount point to be accessible from users other than root:
 +
* the {{Pkg|virtualbox-guest-utils}} package created a group {{ic|vboxsf}} (done in a previous step);
 +
* your username must be in {{ic|vboxsf}} [[group]].
  
* VMDK: this format has been initially developed by VMware for their products, but it is now an open format. If you intend to use any VMware product, you will need to use this format since it is the only one supported by VMware.
+
==== Manual mounting ====
  
* VHD: this is the format used by Microsoft in Windows Virtual PC and Hyper-V. If you intend to use any of these Microsoft products, you will have to choose this format.
+
Use the following command to mount your folder in your Arch Linux guest:
:{{Tip|Since Windows 7, this format can be mounted directly without any additional application.}}
+
# mount -t vboxsf ''shared_folder_name'' ''mount_point_on_guest_system''
  
* Version 2 of the HDD format used by Parallels (Desktop for Mac).
+
The vboxsf filesystem offers other options which can be displayed with this command:
 +
# mount.vboxsf
  
* QED and QCOW used by QEMU.
+
For example if the user was not in the ''vboxsf'' group, we could have used this command to give access our mountpoint to him:
 +
# mount -t vboxsf -o uid=1000,gid=1000 home /mnt/
  
The format you will need to choose depends on the hypervisor that will be used.
+
Where ''uid'' and ''gid'' are values corresponding to the users we want to give access to. These values are obtained from the {{ic|id}} command run against this user.
  
==== Specific virtual disk format differences ====
+
==== Automounting ====
  
Before converting your virtual drive, please keep in mind these specific virtual disk format differences:
+
{{Note|Automounting requires the {{ic|vboxservice}} to be enabled/started.}}
  
* The VMDK does offer the ability to be split into several files of up to 2GB. This feature is specially useful if you want to store the virtual machine on machines which do not support very large files. Other formats do not provide such an equivalent feature.
+
In order for the automounting feature to work you must have checked the auto-mount checkbox in the GUI or used the optional {{ic|--automount}} argument with the command {{ic|VBoxManage sharedfolder}}.
  
* Changing the logical capacity of an existing virtual drive with VirtualBox {{ic|VBoxManage}} command is only supported for VDI and VHD formats used in dynamic allocation mode to expand (not shrink) their capacity.
+
The shared folder should now appear in {{ic|/media/sf_''shared_folder_name''}}. If users in {{ic|media}} cannot access the shared folders, check that {{ic|media}} has permissions 755 or has group ownership {{ic|vboxsf}} if using permission 750. This is currently not the default if media is created by installing the {{ic|virtualbox-guest-utils}}.
  
==== Convert your virtual disk format ====
+
You can use symlinks if you want to have a more convenient access and avoid to browse in that directory, e.g.:
 +
$ ln -s /media/sf_''shared_folder_name'' ~/''my_documents''
  
VirtualBox only supports the virtual disk convertion between VDI, VMDK and VHD formats. Here is an example of convertion from a VDI to VMDK vitual drive.
+
==== Mount at boot ====
  
  $ VBoxManage clonehd ''ArchLinux_VM.vdi'' ''ArchLinux_VM.vmdk'' --format ''VMDK''
+
You can mount your directory with [[fstab]]. However, to prevent startup problems with systemd, {{ic|1=comment=systemd.automount}} should be added to {{ic|/etc/fstab}}. This way, the shared folders are mounted only when those mount points are accessed and not during startup. This can avoid some problems, especially if the guest additions are not loaded yet when systemd read fstab and mount the partitions.
 +
  ''sharedFolderName''  ''/path/to/mntPtOnGuestMachine'' vboxsf  uid=''user'',gid=''group'',rw,dmode=700,fmode=600,comment=systemd.automount  0  0
  
If you want to replace the virtual disk you defined during the virtual machine creation process by the one you have just converted, use the {{ic|[http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch08.html#vboxmanage-storagectl VBoxManage storagectl] command}}, or the GUI, or [[#Replace_the_virtual_disk_manually_from_the_.vbox_file|modify the ''.vbox'' configuration file]].
+
* {{ic|''sharedFolderName''}}: the value from the VirtualMachine's ''Settings > SharedFolders > Edit > FolderName'' menu. This value can be different from the name of the real folder name on the host machine. To see the VirtualMachine's ''Settings'' go to the host OS VirtualBox application, select the corresponding virtual machine and click on ''Settings''.
 +
* {{ic|''/path/to/mntPtOnGuestMachine''}}: if not existing, this directory should be created manually (for example by using [[Core utilities#mkdir|mkdir]])
 +
* {{ic|dmode}}/{{ic|fmode}} are directory/file permissions for directories/files inside {{ic|''/path/to/mntPtOnGuestMachine''}}.}}
  
=== Create the VM configuration for your hypervisor ===
+
As of 2012-08-02, mount.vboxsf does not support the ''nofail'' option:
 +
''desktop''  ''/media/desktop''  vboxsf  uid=''user'',gid=''group'',rw,dmode=700,fmode=600,nofail  0  0
  
If your hypervisor (like VMware) does not support import of VirtualBox configuration files (''.vbox''), you will have to create a new virtual machine and specify its hardware configuration as close as possible as your initial VirtualBox virtual machine.
+
=== SSH from host to guest ===
  
{{Note|Pay a close attention to the installation mode (BIOS or UEFI) used to install the guest operating system. While an option is available on VirtualBox to choose between these 2 modes, on VMware, you will have to add the following line to your ''.vmx'' file.
+
The network tab of the virtual machine settings contains, in "Advanced", a tool to create port forwarding.  
 +
It is possible to use it to forward the Guest ssh port 22 to a Host port, let's say 3022. Then :
  
{{hc|ArchLinux_vm.vmx|2=
+
user@host$ ssh -p 3022 $USER@localhost
firmware = "efi"
 
}}
 
}}
 
  
Finally, ask your hypervisor to use the existing virtual disk you have converted and launch the virtual machine.
+
will establish a connection from Host to Guest.
{{Tip|If you are using VMware products and do not want to run through the whole GUI to find the right location to add your new virtual drive device, you can replace the location of the current ''.vmdk'' file by editing your ''.vmx'' configuration file manually.}}
 
  
== Advanced configuration ==
+
==== SSHFS as alternative to the shared folder ====
  
=== Using USB webcam / microphone ===
+
Using this port forwarding and sshfs, it is straightforward to mount the Guest filesystem onto the Host one :
  
{{Note|You will need to have VirtualBox extension pack installed before following the steps below. See [[#Extension pack]] for details.}}
+
user@host$ sshfs -p 3022 $USER@localhost:$HOME ~/shared_folder
  
# Make sure the virtual machine is not running and your webcam / microphone is not being used.
+
and then transfer files between both.
# Bring up the main VirtualBox window and go to settings for Arch machine. Go to USB section.
 
# Make sure "Enable USB Controller" is selected. Also make sure that "Enable USB 2.0 (EHCI) Controller" is selected too.
 
# Click the "Add filter from device" button (the cable with the '+' icon).
 
# Select your USB webcam/microphone device from the list.
 
# Now click OK and start your VM.
 
  
=== Using Arch under Virtualbox EFI mode ===
+
== Virtual disks management ==
  
My experience with this configuration was pretty terrible, but it does work.
+
See also [[VirtualBox/Tips and tricks#Import/export VirtualBox virtual machines from/to other hypervisors]].
  
''UPD. Using efibootmgr has the same effect as using VirtualBox boot menu (see the note below): settings [https://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/11177 disappear] after VM shutdown.'' First, {{ic|efibootmgr}} does *not* work. It will appear to work, but all changes it makes appear to be overwritten on reboot. After performing a standard UEFI/GPT installation, reboot and you should get dumped to the EFI shell. Type exit and you will get a menu. Select the Boot Management Manager, Boot Options, Add Boot Option. Use the file browser to find the grub efi file and select it. Add a label if you want. Afterwards, select Change Boot Order from the menu, use arrow keys to select your Arch option, and {{ic|+}} to move it up to the top. GRUB should boot by default now.
+
=== Formats supported by VirtualBox ===
  
Other options are: 1) move your loader to {{ic|\EFI\boot\bootx64.efi}}, 2) create {{ic|\startup.nsh}} script, which executes desirable loader, like this:
+
VirtualBox supports the following virtual disk formats:
  
{{hc|\startup.nsh|
+
* '''VDI''': The Virtual Disk Image is the VirtualBox own open container used by default when you create a virtual machine with VirtualBox.
HD16a0a1:\EFI\refind\refindx64.efi}}
 
  
Here I'm using consistent mapping name (HD16a0a1). It is probably a good idea, because they do survive configuration changes.
+
* '''VMDK''': The Virtual Machine Disk has been initially developed by VMware for their products. The specification was initially closed source, but it became now an open format which is fully supported by VirtualBox. This format offers the ability to be split into several 2GB files. This feature is specially useful if you want to store the virtual machine on machines which do not support very large files. Other formats, excluding the HDD format from Parallels, do not provide such an equivalent feature.
  
{{Note|Another useful way to get back to the EFI menu after autobooting is working is to press the {{ic|c}} key inside GRUB and type {{ic|exit}}. Obviously, this will only work with {{ic|grub-efi}}, not {{ic|grub-bios.}}
+
* '''VHD''': The Virtual Hard Disk is the format used by Microsoft in Windows Virtual PC and Hyper-V. If you intend to use any of these Microsoft products, you will have to choose this format.
 +
:{{Tip|Since Windows 7, this format can be mounted directly without any additional application.}}  
  
Regenerating the {{ic|grub.cfg}} file may also be required to fix broken UUIDs. Check with the {{ic|lsblk -f}} command that they match.<br>
+
* '''VHDX''' (read only): This is the eXtended version of the Virtual Hard Disk format developed by Microsoft, which has been released on 2012-09-04 with Hyper-V 3.0 coming with Windows Server 2012. This new version of the disk format does offer enhanced performance (better block alignment), larger blocks size, and journal support which brings power failure resiliency. VirtualBox [https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch15.html#idp63002176 should support this format in read only].
Yet another useful way to get to VirtualBox boot menu is pressing {{ic|F12}} right after starting virtual machine. It comes in handy when using rEFInd + EFISTUB, for example.}}
 
  
=== Synchronize guest date with host ===
+
* '''HDD''' (version 2): The HDD format is developed by Parallels Inc and used in their hypervisor solutions like Parallels Desktop for Mac.  Newer versions of this format (i.e. 3 and 4) are not supported due to the lack of documentation for this proprietary format. {{Note|There is currently a controversy regarding the support of the version 2 of the format. While the official VirtualBox manual [https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch05.html#vdidetails only reports the second version of the HDD file format as supported], Wikipedia's contributors are [[Wikipedia:Comparison of platform virtual machines#Image type compatibility|reporting the first version may work too]]. Help is welcome if you can perform some tests with the first version of the HDD format.}}
  
To keep the date and time synchronized, make sure you have {{Pkg|virtualbox-guest-utils}} installed in your host (see [[#Install the Guest Additions|above]]). To enable the service for subsequent boots, run
+
* '''QED''': The QEMU Enhanced Disk format is an old file format for QEMU, another free and open source hypervisor. This format was designed from 2010 in a way to provide a superior alternative to QCOW2 and others. This format features a fully asynchronous I/O path, strong data integrity, backing files, and sparse files. QED format is supported only for compatibility with virtual machines created with old versions of QEMU.
# systemctl enable vboxservice
 
  
To start immediately, run
+
* '''QCOW''': The QEMU Copy On Write format is the current format for QEMU. The QCOW format does support zlib-based transparent compression and encryption (the latter is flawed and is not recommended). QCOW is available in two versions: QCOW and QCOW2. QCOW2 tends to supersede the first one. QCOW is [https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch15.html#idp63002176 currently fully supported by VirtualBox]. QCOW2 comes in two revisions: QCOW2 0.10 and QCOW2 1.1 (which is the default when you create a virtual disk with QEMU). VirtualBox does not support QCOW2.
# systemctl start vboxservice
 
  
You also need run this daemon in order to use the auto-mounting feature of shared folders that are mentioned above.
+
* '''OVF''': The Open Virtualization Format is an open format which has been designed for interoperability and distributions of virtual machines between different hypervisors. VirtualBox supports all revisions of this format via the [https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch08.html#idp55423424 VBoxManage import/export feature] but with [https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch14.html#KnownProblems known limitations].
  
=== Enable shared folders ===
+
* '''RAW''': This is the mode when the virtual disk is exposed directly to the disk without being contained in a specific file format container. VirtualBox supports this feature in several ways: converting RAW disk [https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch08.html#idp59139136 to a specific format], or by [https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch08.html#vboxmanage-clonevdi cloning a disk to RAW], or by using directly a VMDK file [https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch09.html#idp57804112 which points to a physical disk or a simple file].
  
Shared folders are managed via the VirtualBox program on the host. They may be added, auto-mounted and made read-only from there.
+
=== Disk image format conversion ===
  
If automounting is enabled, and the {{ic|vboxservice}} is enabled, creating a shared folder from the VirtualBox program on the host will mount that folder in {{ic|/media/sf_''SHAREDFOLDERNAME''}} on the guest. To have that folder created on the Arch Guest, after the Guest Additions have been installed, you need to add your username to the {{ic|vboxsf}} group.
+
[https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch08.html#vboxmanage-clonevdi VBoxManage clonehd] can be used to convert between VDI, VMDK, VHD and RAW.
  
  # groupadd vboxsf
+
  $ VBoxManage clonehd ''inputfile'' ''outputfile'' --format ''outputformat''
# gpasswd -a $USER vboxsf
 
  
{{Note|For '''automounting''' to work, you have to enable the '''vboxservice''' service.}}
+
For example to convert VDI to VMDK:
  
If you want a shared folder (e.g {{ic|/media/sf_Dropbox}}) to be symlinked to another folder in your home directory for easy access, you can type on the guest:
+
$ VBoxManage clonehd ''source.vdi'' ''destination.vmdk'' --format VMDK
  
$ ln -s /media/sf_Dropbox/* ~/dropbox
+
==== QCOW ====
  
The {{ic|VBoxLinuxAdditions.run}} script provided in the Guest Additions iso does this for you, however, Arch does not recommend using it.
+
VirtualBox does not support [[QEMU]]'s QCOW2 disk image format. To use a QCOW2 disk image with VirtualBox you therefore need to convert it, which you can do with {{Pkg|qemu}}'s {{ic|qemu-img}} command. {{ic|qemu-img}} can convert QCOW to / from VDI, VMDK, VHDX, RAW and various other formats (which you can see by running {{ic|qemu-img --help}}).
  
==== Manually mounting ====
+
$ qemu-img convert -O ''output_fmt'' ''inputfile'' ''outputfile''
  
Look at the following for more info: [http://virtuatopia.com/index.php/VirtualBox_Shared_Folders]
+
For example to convert QCOW2 to VDI:
  
Syntax:
+
  $ qemu-img convert -O vdi ''source.qcow2'' ''destination.vdi''
  mount -t vboxsf <shared-folder-name> <mount-point-on-guest-system>
 
  
If you get an error like:
+
{{Tip|The {{ic|-p}} parameter is used to get the progression of the conversion task.}}
/sbin/mount.vboxsf: mounting failed with the error: No such device
 
  
Try:
+
There are two revisions of QCOW2: 0.10 and 1.1. You can specify the revision to use with {{ic|1=-o compat=''revision''}}.
modprobe vboxsf
 
  
For additional info, see [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=70780 this post].
+
=== Mount virtual disks ===
  
 +
==== VDI ====
  
To prevent startup problems when you're using [[systemd]], you should add {{ic|1=comment=systemd.automount}} to your {{ic|/etc/fstab}}. This way, they are mounted only when you access those mount points and not during startup. Otherwise your system might become unusable after a kernel upgrade (if you install your guest additions manually).
+
Mounting VDI images only works with fixed size images (a.k.a. static images); dynamic (dynamically size allocating) images are not easily mountable.
  
desktop  /media/desktop    vboxsf  uid=user,gid=group,rw,dmode=700,fmode=600,comment=systemd.automount 0 0
+
The offset of the partition (within the VDI) is needed, then add the value of {{ic|offData}} to {{ic|32256}} (e.g. 69632 + 32256 = 101888):
  
Don't waste your time to test the {{ic|nofail}} option. {{ic|mount.vboxsf}} is not able to handle this (2012-08-20).
+
$ VBoxManage internalcommands dumphdinfo <storage.vdi> | grep "offData"
  
desktop  /media/desktop    vboxsf  uid=user,gid=group,rw,dmode=700,fmode=600,nofail 0 0
+
The can now be mounted with:
  
=== Replace the virtual disk manually from the ''.vbox'' file ===
+
# mount -t ext4 -o rw,noatime,noexec,loop,offset=101888 <storage.vdi> /mntpoint/
  
If you think that editing a simple ''XML'' file is more convenient than playing with the GUI or with {{ic|VBoxManage}} and you want to replace (or add) a virtual disk to your virtual machine, simply replace in the ''.vbox'' configuration file corresponding to your virtual machine the GUID, the file location and the format to your needs:
+
You can also use [https://github.com/pld-linux/VirtualBox/blob/master/mount.vdi mount.vdi] script that, which you can use as (install script itself to {{ic|/usr/bin/}}):
  
{{hc|ArchLinux_vm.vbox|2=
+
# mount -t vdi -o fstype=ext4,rw,noatime,noexec ''vdi_file_location'' ''/mnt/''
<HardDisk uuid="''{670157e5-8bd4-4f7b-8b96-9ee412a712b5}''" location="''ArchLinux_vm.vdi''" format="''VDI''" type="Normal"/>
 
}}
 
  
then in the {{ic|<AttachedDevice>}} sub-tag of {{ic|<StorageController>}}, replace the GUID by the new one.
+
Alternately you can use {{Pkg|qemu}}'s kernel module that can do this [http://bethesignal.org/blog/2011/01/05/how-to-mount-virtualbox-vdi-image/ attrib]:
  
{{hc|ArchLinux_vm.vbox|2=
+
# modprobe nbd max_part=16
<AttachedDevice type="HardDisk" port="0" device="0">
+
# qemu-nbd -c /dev/nbd0 <storage.vdi>
  <Image uuid="''{670157e5-8bd4-4f7b-8b96-9ee412a712b5}''"/>
+
# mount /dev/nbd0p1 /mnt/dir/
</AttachedDevice>
+
# # to unmount:
}}
+
# umount /mnt/dir/
 +
# qemu-nbd -d /dev/nbd0
  
{{Note|If you do not know the GUID of the drive you want to add, but you have just used {{ic|VBoxManage}} for the convertion, this command will output the GUID just after the convertion. Using a random GUID does not work, as each [http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch05.html#cloningvdis UUID is stored inside each disk images].}}
+
If the partition nodes are not propagated try using {{ic|partprobe /dev/nbd0}}; otherwise, a VDI partition can be mapped directly to a node by: {{ic|qemu-nbd -P 1 -c /dev/nbd0 <storage.vdi>}}.
  
=== Starting virtual machines with a service ===
+
=== Compact virtual disks ===
  
Find hereafter the implementation details of a systemd service that will be used to consider a virtual machine as a service.
+
Compacting virtual disks only works with {{ic|.vdi}} files and basically consists of the following steps.
  
{{hc|/etc/systemd/system/vboxvmservice@.service|<nowiki>
+
Boot your virtual machine and remove all bloat manually or by using cleaning tools like {{Pkg|bleachbit}} which is [http://bleachbit.sourceforge.net/download/windows available for Windows systems too].
[Unit]
 
Description=VBox Virtual Machine %i Service
 
Requires=systemd-modules-load.service
 
After=systemd-modules-load.service
 
  
[Service]
+
Wiping free space with zeroes can be achieved with several tools:
User=</nowiki>{{ic|'''<user>'''}}<nowiki>
+
* If you were previously using Bleachbit, check the checkbox ''System > Free disk space'' in the GUI, or use {{ic|bleachbit -c system.free_disk_space}} in CLI;
Group=vboxusers
+
* On UNIX-based systems, by using {{ic|dd}} or preferably {{Pkg|dcfldd}} (see [http://superuser.com/a/355322 here] to learn the differences) :
ExecStart=/usr/bin/VBoxHeadless -s %i
+
:{{bc|1=# dcfldd if=/dev/zero of=''/fillfile'' bs=4M}}
ExecStop=/usr/bin/VBoxManage controlvm %i savestate
+
:When {{ic|fillfile}} reaches the limit of the partition, you will get a message like {{ic|1280 blocks (5120Mb) written.dcfldd:: No space left on device}}. This means that all of the user-space and non-reserved blocks of the partition will be filled with zeros. Using this command as root is important to make sure all free blocks have been overwritten. Indeed, by default, when using partitions with ext filesystem, a specified percentage of filesystem blocks is reserved for the super-user (see the {{ic|-m}} argument in the {{ic|mkfs.ext4}} man pages or use {{ic|tune2fs -l}} to see how much space is reserved for root applications).
 +
:When the aforementioned process has completed, you can remove the file {{ic|''fillfile''}} you created.
  
[Install]
+
* On Windows, there are two tools available:
WantedBy=multi-user.target</nowiki>}}
+
:*{{ic|sdelete}} from the [http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb842062.aspx Sysinternals Suite], type {{ic|sdelete -s -z ''c:''}}, where you need to reexecute the command for each drive you have in your virtual machine;
 +
:* or, if you love scripts, there is a [http://blog.whatsupduck.net/2012/03/powershell-alternative-to-sdelete.html PowerShell solution], but which still needs to be repeated for all drives.
 +
::{{bc|PS> ./Write-ZeroesToFreeSpace.ps1 -Root ''c:\'' -PercentFree 0}}
 +
::{{Note|This script must be run in a PowerShell environment with administrator privileges. By default, scripts cannot be run, ensure the execution policy is at least on {{ic|RemoteSigned}} and not on {{ic|Restricted}}. This can be checked with {{ic|Get-ExecutionPolicy}} and the required policy can be set with {{ic|Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned}}.}}
  
{{Note|Replace {{ic|'''<user>'''}} with a user that is a member of the {{ic|vboxusers}} group. Make sure the user chosen is the same user that will create/import virtual machines, otherwise the user will not see the VM appliances.}}
+
Once the free disk space have been wiped, shut down your virtual machine.
  
To enable the service that will launch the virtual machine at next boot, use:
+
The next time you boot your virtual machine, it is recommended to do a filesystem check.
# systemctl enable vboxvmservice@'''your virtual machine name'''
+
* On UNIX-based systems, you can use {{ic|fsck}} manually;
 +
:* On GNU/Linux systems, and thus on Arch Linux, you can force a disk check at boot [[Fsck#Forcing the check|thanks to a kernel boot parameter]];
 +
* On Windows systems, you can use:
 +
:* either {{ic|chkdsk ''c:'' /F}} where  {{ic|''c:''}} needs to be replaced by each disk you need to scan and fix errors;
 +
:* or {{ic|FsckDskAll}} [http://therightstuff.de/2009/02/14/ChkDskAll-ChkDsk-For-All-Drives.aspx from here] which is basically the same software as {{ic|chkdsk}}, but without the need to repeat the command for all drives;
  
To start the service that will launch directly the virtual machine, use:
+
Now, remove the zeros from the {{ic|vdi}} file with [https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch08.html#vboxmanage-modifyvdi VBoxManage modifyhd]:
  # systemctl start vboxvmservice@'''your virtual machine name'''
+
  $ VBoxManage modifyhd ''your_disk.vdi'' --compact
  
VirtualBox 4.2 introduces [http://lifeofageekadmin.com/how-to-set-your-virtualbox-vm-to-automatically-startup/ a new way] for UNIX-like systems to have virtual machines started automatically, other than using a systemd service.
+
{{Note|If your virtual machine has snapshots, you need to apply the above command on each {{ic|.vdi}} files you have.}}
  
=== Extension pack ===
+
=== Increase virtual disks ===
  
VirtualBox requires an extension pack in order to provide support for RDP, as well as USB 2.0 and PXE booting for Intel network cards, etc., available at this webpage: [https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads VirtualBox Downloads]. This PUEL licensed extension pack is free for personal use.
+
==== General procedure ====
  
To install the Extension pack you download and save it to your hard drive and then open the VirtualBox main program. Click on preferences and on the left side click Extensions. On the right side, click the add package icon and then open the folder that has the extension and click to install it.
+
If you are running out of space due to the small hard drive size you selected when you created your virtual machine, the solution adviced by the VirtualBox manual is to use [https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch08.html#vboxmanage-modifyvdi VBoxManage modifyhd]. However this command only works for VDI and VHD disks and only for the dynamically allocated variants. If you want to resize a fixed size virtual disk disk too, read on this trick which works either for a Windows or UNIX-like virtual machine.
  
Additionally you can install the Extension Pack from the command line using VBoxManage.
+
First, create a new virtual disk next to the one you want to increase:
 +
$ VBoxManage createhd -filename ''new.vdi'' --size ''10000''
  
VBoxManage extpack install <tarball> |
+
where size is in MiB, in this example 10000MiB ~= 10GiB, and ''new.vdi'' is name of new hard drive to be created.
                    uninstall [--force] <name> |
 
                    cleanup
 
As an alternative, you could also use {{AUR|virtualbox-ext-oracle}} from the [[AUR]].
 
  
=== Accessing a guest server ===
+
Next, the old virtual disk needs to be cloned to the new one which this may take some time:
 +
$ VBoxManage clonehd ''old.vdi'' ''new.vdi'' --existing
  
To access [[Wikipedia:Apache_HTTP_Server|Apache server]] on a Virtual Machine from the host machine '''only''', simply execute the following lines on the host:
+
{{Note|By default, this command uses the ''Standard'' (corresponding to dynamic allocated) file format variant and thus will not use the same file format variant as your source virtual disk. If your ''old.vdi'' has a fixed size and you want to keep this variant, add the parameter {{ic|--variant Fixed}}.}}
$ VBoxManage setextradata GuestName "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/Apache/HostPort" 8888
 
$ VBoxManage setextradata GuestName "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/Apache/GuestPort" 80
 
$ VBoxManage setextradata GuestName "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/Apache/Protocol" TCP
 
Where 8888 is the port the host should listen on and 80 is the port the VM will send Apache's signal on.
 
  
To use a port lower than 1024 on the host machine, changes need to be made to the firewall on that host machine. This can also be set up to work with SSH or any other services by changing "Apache" to the corresponding service and ports.  
+
Detach the old hard drive and attach new one, replace all mandatory italic arguments by your own:
 +
$ VBoxManage storageattach ''VM_name'' --storagectl ''SATA'' --port ''0'' --medium none
 +
$ VBoxManage storageattach ''VM_name'' --storagectl ''SATA'' --port ''0'' --medium ''new.vdi'' --type hdd
  
{{note|{{ic|pcnet}} refers to the network card of the VM. If you use an Intel card in your VM settings, change {{ic|pcnet}} to {{ic|e1000}}.}}
+
To get the storage controller name and the port number, you can use the command {{ic|VBoxManage showvminfo ''VM_name''}}. Among the output you will get such a result (what you are looking for is in italic):
  
=== Sharing keyboard and mouse ===
+
{{bc|
 +
[...]
 +
Storage Controller Name (0):            IDE
 +
Storage Controller Type (0):            PIIX4
 +
Storage Controller Instance Number (0): 0
 +
Storage Controller Max Port Count (0):  2
 +
Storage Controller Port Count (0):      2
 +
Storage Controller Bootable (0):        on
 +
Storage Controller Name (1):            SATA
 +
Storage Controller Type (1):            IntelAhci
 +
Storage Controller Instance Number (1): 0
 +
Storage Controller Max Port Count (1):  30
 +
Storage Controller Port Count (1):      1
 +
Storage Controller Bootable (1):        on
 +
IDE (1, 0): Empty
 +
''SATA'' (''0'', 0): /home/wget/IT/Virtual_machines/GNU_Linux_distributions/ArchLinux_x64_EFI/Snapshots/{6bb17af7-e8a2-4bbf-baac-fbba05ebd704}.vdi (UUID: 6bb17af7-e8a2-4bbf-baac-fbba05ebd704)
 +
[...]}}
  
*To capture the keyboard and mouse, click the mouse inside the virtual machine display.
+
Download [http://gparted.org/download.php GParted live image] and mount it as a virtual CD/DVD disk file, boot your virtual machine, increase/move your partitions, umount GParted live and reboot.
*To uncapture, press right {{ic|Ctrl}}.
 
  
To get seamless mouse integration between host and guest, install the [[#Guest Additions]] inside the guest.
+
{{Note|On GPT disks, increasing the size of the disk will result in the backup GPT header not being at the end of the device. GParted will ask to fix this, click on ''Fix'' both times. On MBR disks, you do not have such a problem as this partition table as no trailer at the end of the disk.}}
  
=== Sharing files ===
+
Finally, unregister the virtual disk from VirtualBox and remove the file:
 +
$ VBoxManage closemedium disk ''old.vdi''
 +
$ rm ''old.vdi''
  
In the settings of the virtual machine go to shared folders tab and add the folders you want to share.
+
==== Increasing the size of VDI disks ====
 +
If your disk is a VDI one, run:
  
*NOTE: You need to install Guest Additions in order to use this feature.
+
$ VBoxManage modifyhd ''your_virtual_disk.vdi'' --resize ''the_new_size''
In a Linux host, ''Devices &rarr; Install Guest Additions''
 
Yes (when asked to download the CD image)
 
Mount (when asked to register and mount)
 
  
In a Linux host, create one or more folders for sharing files, then set the shared folders via the virtualbox menu (guest window).
+
Then jump back to the Gparted step, to increase the size of the partition on the virtual disk.
  
In a Windows guest, starting with VirtualBox 1.5.0, shared folders are browseable and are therefore visible in Windows Explorer. Open Windows Explorer and look for it under ''My Networking Places &rarr; Entire Network &rarr; VirtualBox Shared Folders''.
+
=== Replace a virtual disk manually from the .vbox file ===
  
Launch the Windows Explorer (run explorer command) to browse the network places -> expand with the (+) sign : entire network &rarr; VirtualBox shared folders &rarr; '''\\Vboxsvr''' &rarr; then you can now expand all your configured shared folders here, and set up shortcuts for Linux folders in the guest filesystem. You can alternatively use the "Add network place wizard", and browse to "VBoxsvr".
+
If you think that editing a simple ''XML'' file is more convenient than playing with the GUI or with {{ic|VBoxManage}} and you want to replace (or add) a virtual disk to your virtual machine, in the ''.vbox'' configuration file corresponding to your virtual machine, simply replace the GUID, the file location and the format to your needs:
  
Alternatively, on the Windows command line, you can also use the following:
+
{{hc|ArchLinux_vm.vbox|2=
net use x: \\VBOXSVR\sharename
+
<HardDisk uuid="''{670157e5-8bd4-4f7b-8b96-9ee412a712b5}''" location="''ArchLinux_vm.vdi''" format="''VDI''" type="Normal"/>
 +
}}
  
While {{ic|VBOXSVR}} is a fixed name, replace {{ic|x:}} with the drive letter that you want to use for the share, and sharename with the share name specified with VBoxManage.
+
then in the {{ic|<AttachedDevice>}} sub-tag of {{ic|<StorageController>}}, replace the GUID by the new one.
  
In a Windows guest, to improve loading and saving files (e.g. MS Office) by VirtualBox Shared Folders edit ''c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts'' as below:
+
{{hc|ArchLinux_vm.vbox|2=
127.0.0.1 localhost vboxsvr
+
<AttachedDevice type="HardDisk" port="0" device="0">
 +
  <Image uuid="''{670157e5-8bd4-4f7b-8b96-9ee412a712b5}''"/>
 +
</AttachedDevice>
 +
}}
  
In a Linux guest, use the following command:
+
{{Note|If you do not know the GUID of the drive you want to add, you can use the {{ic|VBoxManage showhdinfo ''file''}}. If you previously used {{ic|VBoxManage clonehd}} to copy/convert your virtual disk, this command should have outputted the GUID just after the copy/conversion completed. Using a random GUID does not work, as each [http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch05.html#cloningvdis UUID is stored inside each disk image].}}
# mount -t vboxsf [-o OPTIONS] sharename mountpoint
 
  (Notes: sharename is optional or same as selected in the VirtualBox-Dialog , mountpoint of the shared directory in the hosts filesystem)
 
:Automatically mounting a shared folder is possible through the linux-guest {{ic|/etc/fstab}} file. You may also specify the uid=#,gid=# (where # is replaced by the actual numerical uid and gid) to mount the share with normal user permissions instead of root permissions. (this can be helpful to mount parts of your host {{ic|~/home}} for use in your Linux-guest. To do this add an entry in the following format to the linux-guest {{ic|/etc/fstab}}:
 
  
sharename mountpoint vboxsf uid=#,gid=# 0 0
+
==== Transfer between Linux host and other OS ====
  
Replace {{ic|sharename}} with the share name specified with VBoxManage, and mountpoint with the path where you want the share to be mounted (e.g. /mnt/share). The usual mount rules apply, that is, create this directory first if it does not exist yet. Note that if you have told VirtualBox to "automatically mount" the shared folder, this step may not be necessary and your folder will be found somewhere under {{ic|/media}}.
+
The information about path to harddisks and the snapshots is stored between {{ic|<HardDisks> .... </HardDisks>}} tags in the file with the ''.vbox'' extension. You can edit them manually or use this script where you will need change only the path or use defaults, assumed that ''.vbox'' is in the same directory with a virtual harddisk and the snapshots folder. It will print out new configuration to stdout.
  
Beyond the standard options supplied by the mount command, the following are available:
+
{{bc|1=
iocharset=CHARSET
+
#!/bin/bash
to set the character set used for I/O operations (utf8 by default) and
+
NewPath="${PWD}/"
convertcp=CHARSET
+
Snapshots="Snapshots/"
to specify the character set used for the shared folder name (utf8 by default).
+
Filename="$1"
  
=== D3D acceleration in Windows guests ===
+
awk -v SetPath="$NewPath" -v SnapPath="$Snapshots" '{if(index($0,"<HardDisk uuid=") != 0){A=$3;split(A,B,"=");
 +
L=B[2];
 +
gsub(/\"/,"",L);
 +
  sub(/^.*\//,"",L);
 +
  sub(/^.*\\/,"",L);
 +
if(index($3,"{") != 0){SnapS=SnapPath}else{SnapS=""};
 +
  print $1" "$2" location="\"SetPath SnapS L"\" "$4" "$5}
 +
else print $0}' "$Filename"}}
  
Recent versions of Virtualbox have support for accelerating OpenGL inside guests.  This can be enabled with a simple checkbox in the machine's settings, right below where video ram is set, and installing the Virtualbox guest additions.  However, most Windows games use Direct3D (part of DirectX), not OpenGL, and are thus not helped by this method. However, it is possible to gain accelerated Direct3D in your Windows guests by borrowing the d3d libraries from Wine, which translate d3d calls into OpenGL, which is then accelerated.
+
{{Note|
 +
* If you will prepare virtual machine for use in Windows host then in the path name end you should use backslash \ instead of / .
 +
* The script detects snapshots by looking for {{ic|{}} in the file name.
 +
* To make it run on a new host you will need to add it first to the register by clicking on '''Machine -> Add...''' or use hotkeys Ctrl+A and then browse to ''.vbox'' file that contains configuration or use command line {{ic|VBoxManage registervm ''filename''.vbox}}}}
  
After enabling OpenGL acceleration as described above, go to http://www.nongnu.org/wined3d/ in your Windows guest and grab the "Latest version (Installer):". Reboot the guest into safe mode (press F8 before the Windows screen appears but after the Virtualbox screen disappears), and install wined3d, accepting the defaults during the install. (You may check the box for DirectX 10 support if you like, don't touch anything else.) Reboot back to normal mode and you should have accelerated Direct3D.
+
=== Clone a virtual disk and assigning a new UUID to it ===
  
{{Note | This hack may or may not work for some games depending on what hardware checks they make and what parts of D3D they use.}}
+
UUIDs are widely used by VirtualBox. Each virtual machines and each virtual disk of a virtual machine must have a different UUID. When you launch a virtual machine in VirtualBox, VirtualBox will keep track of all UUIDs of your virtual machine instance. See the [http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch08.html#vboxmanage-list VBoxManage list] to list the items registered with VirtualBox.
{{Note | This has only been tried on Windows XP and Windows 7 RC guests AFAIK, and does not work on the Windows 7 guest. If you have experience with this on a different windows version, please add that data here.}}
 
  
=== Virtual hard disks ===
+
If you cloned a virtual disk manually by copying the virtual disk file, you will need to assign a new UUID to the cloned virtual drive if you want to use the disk in the same virtual machine or even in another (if that one has already been opened, and thus registered, with VirtualBox).
  
==== Cloning a Disk Image and Reassigning a UUID ====
+
You can use this command to assign a new UUID to a virtual disk:
 +
$ VBoxManage internalcommands sethduuid ''/path/to/disk.vdi''
  
Assigns a new UUID to the given image file. This way, multiple copies of a container can be registered.
+
{{Tip|To avoid copying the virtual disk and assigning a new UUID to your file manually you can use [http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch08.html#vboxmanage-clonevdi VBoxManage clonehd].}}
  
$ VBoxManage internalcommands sethduuid /path/to/disk.vdi
+
{{Note|The commands above support all [[#Formats supported by VirtualBox|virtual disk formats supported by VirtualBox]].}}
  
==== Compacting Linux disks ====
+
== Tips and tricks ==
  
Boot the Linux guest VM and remove all bloat (unwanted packages, temp files, etc.).  When satisfied, wipe the freespace using dd or preferably dcfldd:
+
For advanced configuration, see [[VirtualBox/Tips and tricks]].
  
$ dcfldd if=/dev/zero of=fillfile bs=4M
+
== Troubleshooting ==
  
When the fillfile hits the limit of the virtual hdd, the vast majority of user-space (non-reserved blocks) will be filled.  Alternatively, run the command as root to get all of them.  Example message: "8192 blocks (8192Mb) written.dcfldd:: No space left on device."
+
=== Keyboard and mouse are locked into virtual machine ===
  
Once this occurs, simply remove the fill file and powerdown the VM:
+
This means your virtual machine has captured the input of your keyboard and your mouse. Simply press the right {{ic|Ctrl}} key and your input should control your host again.
  
$ rm -f fillfile && sudo shutdown -hF now
+
To control transparently your virtual machine with your mouse going back and forth your host, without having to press any key, and thus have a seamless integration, install the guest additions inside the guest. Read from the [[#Install the Guest Additions]] step if you guest is Arch Linux, otherwise read the official VirtualBox help.
  
{{Note| The -F switch will force a disk check upon a reboot which is advised following the compact operation.}}
+
=== No 64-bit OS client options ===
  
Now compact the disk:
+
When launching a VM client, and no 64-bit options are available, make sure your CPU virtualization capabilities (usually named {{ic|VT-x}}) are enabled in the BIOS.
  
$ VBoxManage modifyhd /path/to/your.vdi --compact
+
If you are using a Windows host, you may need to disable Hyper-V, as it prevents VirtualBox from using VT-x. [https://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/12350]
  
==== Compacting Windows disks ====
+
=== VirtualBox GUI does not match host GTK theme ===
  
See [http://www.mdl4.com/2010/04/virtualbox-compact-a-vdi-in-ubuntu this article].
+
See [[Uniform look for Qt and GTK applications]] for information about theming Qt-based applications like VirtualBox.
  
==== Increasing Windows disk size ====
+
=== Cannot send Ctrl+Alt+Fn to guest ===
  
{{Warning|This has only been tested with Windows XP and Windows 7 guests.}}
+
Your guest operating system is a GNU/Linux distribution and you want to open a new TTY shell by hitting {{ic|Ctrl+Alt+F2}} or exit your current X session with {{ic|Ctrl+Alt+Backspace}}. If you type these keyboard shortcuts without any adaptation, the guest will not receive any input and the host (if it is a GNU/Linux distribution too) will intercept these shortcut keys. To send {{ic|Ctrl+Alt+F2}} to the guest for example, simply hit your ''Host Key'' (usually the right {{ic|Ctrl}} key) and press {{ic|F2}} simultaneously.
  
If you find that you are running out of space due to the small hard drive size you selected when created your VM, you can take the following steps:
+
=== USB subsystem not working ===
  
Create a new vdi in ~/.VirtualBox/HardDisks by running:
+
Your user must be in the {{ic|vboxusers}} group and you need to install the [[#Extension pack|extension pack]] if you want USB 2 support. Then you will be able to enable USB 2 in the VM settings and add one or several filters for the devices you want to access from the guest OS.
# cd ~/.VirtualBox/HardDisks
 
# VBoxManage createhd -filename new.vdi --size 10000
 
  
where size is in mb, in this example 10000MB ~= 10GB, and new.vdi is name of new hard drive to be created.
+
If {{ic|VBoxManage list usbhost}} does not show any USB devices even if run as root, make sure that there is no old udev rules (from VirtualBox 4.x) in ''/etc/udev/rules.d/''. VirtualBox 5.0 installs udev rules to ''/usr/lib/udev/rules.d/''. You can use command like {{ic|pacman -Qo /usr/lib/udev/rules.d/60-vboxdrv.rules}} to determine if the udev rule file is outdated.
  
Next the old vdi needs to be cloned to the new vdi, this may take some time so wait while it occurs:
+
Sometimes, on old Linux hosts, the USB subsystem is not auto-detected resulting in an error {{ic|Could not load the Host USB Proxy service: VERR_NOT_FOUND}} or in a not visible USB drive on the host, [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=121377 even when the user is in the '''vboxusers''' group]. This problem is due to the fact that VirtualBox switched from ''usbfs'' to ''sysfs'' in version 3.0.8. If the host does not understand this change, you can revert to the old behaviour by defining the following environment variable in any file that is sourced by your shell (e.g. your {{ic|~/.bashrc}} if you are using ''bash''):
# VBoxManage clonehd old.vdi new.vdi --existing
 
  
Detach old harddrive and attach new hard drive, replace VMName with whatever you called your VM:
+
{{hc|~/.bashrc|VBOX_USB<nowiki>=</nowiki>usbfs}}
# VBoxManage modifyvm VMName --hda none
 
# VBoxManage modifyvm VMName --hda new.vdi
 
  
Boot the VM, run Partition Wizard 5 to resize the partition on the fly, and reboot.
+
Then make sure, the environment has been made aware of this change (reconnect, source the file manually, launch a new shell instance or reboot).
  
Remove old vdi from VirtualBox and delete
+
Also make sure that your user is a member of the {{ic|storage}} group.
# VBoxManage closemedium disk old.vdi
 
# rm old.vdi
 
  
==== Disk image format conversion ====
+
=== USB modem not working on host ===
  
The {{ic|qemu-img}} program can be used to convert images from one format to another or to add compression or encryption to an image. {{ic|qemu-img}} is provided by the {{Pkg|qemu}} package.
+
If you have a USB modem which is being used by the guest OS, killing the guest OS can cause the modem to become unusable by the host system. Killing and restarting {{ic|VBoxSVC}} should fix this problem.
  
===== QEMU to VDI =====
+
=== Access serial port from guest ===
  
From [[QEMU]] 0.12.x on, {{ic|qemu-img}} is able to convert directly to VDI and back, if necessary:
+
Check you permission for the serial port:
  $ qemu-img convert -O vdi test.qcow2 test.vdi
+
$ /bin/ls -l /dev/ttyS*
 +
crw-rw---- 1 root uucp 4, 64 Feb  3 09:12 /dev/ttyS0
 +
crw-rw---- 1 root uucp 4, 65 Feb  3 09:12 /dev/ttyS1
 +
crw-rw---- 1 root uucp 4, 66 Feb  3 09:12 /dev/ttyS2
 +
  crw-rw---- 1 root uucp 4, 67 Feb  3 09:12 /dev/ttyS3
  
===== VMware to VDI =====
+
Add your user to the {{ic|uucp}} [[group]].
  
You can
+
=== Guest freezes after starting Xorg ===
  $ VBoxManage clonehd source.vmdk target.vdi --format VDI
 
although recent versions of VirtualBox are able to use (and also create) .vmdk images directly.
 
  
=== Starting virtual machines with a key binding ===
+
Faulty or missing drivers may cause the guest to freeze after starting Xorg, see for example [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=1167838] and [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=156079]. Try disabling 3D acceleration in ''Settings > Display'', and check if all [[Xorg]] drivers are installed.
  
It can be useful to start the virtual machines directly rather than start the Virtual Box console. To do this, simply assign a keybinding in .xbindkeysrc to
+
=== Fullscreen mode shows blank screen ===
"VBoxManage startvm '''''vm-name'''''"
+
On some window managers ([[i3]], [[awesome]]), VirtualBox has issues with fullscreen mode properly due to the overlay bar. To work around this issue, disable "Show in Full-screen/Seamless" option in "Guest Settings > User Interface > Mini ToolBar". See the [https://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/14323 upstream bug report] for more information.
'''''keycode'''''
 
'''''keyname'''''
 
If you have a space in the vm name, then enclose the vm-name in single apostrophes. For eg.
 
"VBoxManage startvm 'Windows 7'"
 
  m:0x0 + c:163
 
XF86Mail
 
  
=== Detecting web-cams and other USB devices ===
+
=== Host freezes on virtual machine start ===
Make sure you filter any devices that are not a keyboard or a mouse so they do not start up at boot and this insures that Windows will detect the device at start-up.
 
  
=== Sending CTRL+ALT+F1 ===
+
{{Expansion|Needs a link to a bug report.}}
If your guest operating system is a GNU/Linux distribution and you want to open a new TTY shell or exit X via typing {{ic|Ctrl}}+{{ic|Alt}}+{{ic|F1}}, you can easily send this command to the guest simply by hitting your ''Host Key'' (usually the right {{ic|Ctrl}} key + {{ic|F1}} or {{ic|F2}}, according to what you need to do.
 
  
=== VirtualBox on a USB key ===
+
Possible causes/solutions :
When using VirtualBox on a USB key, for example to start an installed machine with an ISO image, you will manually have to create VDMKs from the existing drives. However, once the new VMDKs are saved and you move on to another machine, you may experience problems launching an appropriate machine again. To get rid of this issue, you can use the following script to launch VirtualBox. This script will clean up and unregister old VMDK files and it will create new, proper VMDKs for you:
+
* SMAP
{{bc|<nowiki>
+
This is a known incompatiblity with SMAP enabled kernels affecting (mostly) Intel Broadwell chipsets. A solution to this problem is disabling SMAP support in your kernel by appending the {{ic|nosmap}} option to your [[kernel parameters]].
#!/bin/bash
+
* Hardware Virtualisation
 +
Disabling hardware virtualisation (VT-x/AMD-V) may solve the problem.
 +
* Various Kernel bugs
 +
** Fuse mounted partitions (like ntfs) [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=185841], [https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=82951#c12]
  
# Erase old VMDK entries
+
Generally, such issues are observed after upgrading VirtualBox or linux kernel. Downgrading them to the previous versions of theirs might solve the problem.
rm ~/.VirtualBox/*.vmdk
 
  
# Clean up VBox-Registry
+
=== Linux guests have slow/distorted audio ===
sed -i '/sd/d' ~/.VirtualBox/VirtualBox.xml
 
  
# Remove old harddisks from existing machines
+
The AC97 audio driver within the Linux kernel occasionally guesses the wrong clock settings when running inside Virtual Box, leading to audio that is either too slow or too fast. To fix this, create a file in {{ic|/etc/modprobe.d}} with the following line:
find ~/.VirtualBox/Machines -name \*.xml | while read file; do
 
  line=`grep -e "type\=\"HardDisk\"" -n $file | cut -d ':' -f 1`
 
  if [ -n "$line" ]; then
 
    sed -i ${line}d $file
 
    sed -i ${line}d $file
 
    sed -i ${line}d $file
 
  fi
 
  sed -i "/rg/d" $file
 
done
 
  
# Delete prev-files created by VirtualBox
+
  options snd-intel8x0 ac97_clock=48000
find ~/.VirtualBox/Machines -name \*-prev -exec rm '{}' \;
 
  
# Recreate VMDKs
+
=== Analog microphone not working ===
ls -l /dev/disk/by-uuid | cut -d ' ' -f 9,11 | while read ln; do
 
  if [ -n "$ln" ]; then
 
    uuid=`echo "$ln" | cut -d ' ' -f 1`
 
    device=`echo "$ln" | cut -d ' ' -f 2 | cut -d '/' -f 3 | cut -b 1-3`
 
  
    # determine whether drive is mounted already
+
If the audio input from an analog microphone is working correctly on the host, but no sound seems to get through to the guest, despite the microphone device apparently being detected normally, installing a [[Sound system#Sound servers|sound server]] such as [[PulseAudio]] on the host might fix the problem.
    checkstr1=`mount | grep $uuid`
 
    checkstr2=`mount | grep $device`
 
    checkstr3=`ls ~/.VirtualBox/*.vmdk | grep $device`
 
    if [[ -z "$checkstr1" && -z "$checkstr2" && -z "$checkstr3" ]]; then
 
      VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename ~/.VirtualBox/$device.vmdk -rawdisk /dev/$device -register
 
    fi
 
  fi
 
done
 
  
# Start VirtualBox
+
If after installing [[PulseAudio]] the microphone still refuses to work, setting ''Host Audio Driver'' (under ''VirtualBox > Machine > Settings > Audio'') to ''ALSA Audio Driver'' might help.
VirtualBox
 
</nowiki>}}
 
Note that your user has to be added to the "disk" group to create VMDKs out of existing drives.
 
  
== Troubleshooting ==
+
=== Microphone not working after upgrade ===
  
=== Windows XP guest and old Nokia phones not working ===
+
There have been issues reported around sound input in 5.1.x versions. [https://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=78797]
  
To get working Windows XP and Nokia phones with PC Suite mode, VirtualBox needs two simple steps:
+
[[Downgrading]] may solve the problem. You can use {{aur|virtualbox-bin-5.0}} to ease downgrading.
  
'''1.''' Add a rule to [[udev]] with {{ic|/etc/udev/rules.d/40-permissions.rules}}:
+
=== Problems with images converted to ISO ===
LABEL="usb_serial_start"
 
ATTRS{idVendor}=="0403", ATTRS{idProduct}=="6001", \
 
GROUP="usbfs", MODE="0660", GROUP="dialout"
 
LABEL="usb_serial_end"
 
  
'''2.''' Create the group {{ic|usbfs}} and add its user to it
+
Some image formats cannot be reliably converted to ISO. For instance, {{Pkg|ccd2iso}} ignores .ccd and .sub files, which can result in disk images with broken files.
# groupadd usbfs
 
# usermod -a -G usbfs $USER
 
  
After logging out, connect a Nokia phone with PC Suite mode and start Windows XP to test the new rule.
+
In this case, you will either have to use [[CDemu]] for Linux inside VirtualBox or any other utility used to mount disk images.
  
=== Fix ISO images problems ===
+
=== Failed to create the host-only network interface ===
While VirtualBox can mount ISO images without problem, there are some image formats which cannot reliably be converted to ISO. For instance, ccd2iso ignores .ccd and .sub files, which can give disk images with broken files.
 
  
In this case, you will either have to use [[CDEmu]] for Linux inside VirtualBox or any other utility used to mount disk images.
+
Make sure all required kernel modules are loaded. See [[#Load the VirtualBox kernel modules]].
  
=== GUI does not match GTK Theme ===
+
=== Failed to insert module ===
  
See [[Uniform Look for Qt and GTK Applications]] for information about theming Qt based applications like Virtualbox or [[Skype]].
+
When you get the following error when trying to load modules:
  
=== OpenBSD ===
+
Failed to insert 'vboxdrv': Required key not available
  
Some people with older computers can have trouble running an OpenBSD VM, manifesting as bunch of segmentation faults and total unusability. Starting VirtualBox with the -norawr0 argument may solve the problem. You can do it like this:
+
[[#Sign_modules|Sign]] your modules or disable {{ic|CONFIG_MODULE_SIG_FORCE}} in your kernel config.
$ VBoxSDL -norawr0 -vm NameOfYourOpenBSDVM
 
  
 
=== VBOX_E_INVALID_OBJECT_STATE (0x80BB0007) ===
 
=== VBOX_E_INVALID_OBJECT_STATE (0x80BB0007) ===
  
This can occur if a VM is exited ungracefully. The solution to unlock the VM is trivial:
+
This can occur if a VM is exited ungracefully. Run the following command:
  $ VBoxManage controlvm <your virtual machine name> poweroff
+
  $ VBoxManage controlvm ''virtual_machine_name'' poweroff
 
 
=== USB subsystem is not working on the host or guest ===
 
  
Sometimes, on old Linux hosts, the USB subsystem is not auto-detected resulting in an error {{ic|Could not load the Host USB Proxy service: VERR_NOT_FOUND}} or in a not visible USB drive on the host, [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=121377 even when the user is in the '''vboxusers''' group]. This problem is due to the fact that VirtualBox switched from ''usbfs'' to ''sysfs'' in version 3.0.8. If the host doesn't understand this change, you can revert to the old behaviour by defining the following environment variable in any file that is sourced by your shell (e.g. your {{ic|~/.bashrc}} if you're using ''bash''):
+
=== NS_ERROR_FAILURE and missing menu items ===
  
{{hc|~/.bashrc|VBOX_USB<nowiki>=</nowiki>usbfs}}
+
This happens sometimes when selecting ''QCOW''/''QCOW2''/''QED'' disk format when creating a new virtual disk.
  
Then make sure, the environment has been made aware of this change (reconnect, source the file manually, launch a new shell instance or reboot).
+
If you encounter this message the first time you start the virtual machine:
  
Also make sure that your user is a member of the {{ic|storage}} group.
+
{{bc|Failed to open a session for the virtual machine debian.
 +
Could not open the medium '/home/.../VirtualBox VMs/debian/debian.qcow'.
 +
QCow: Reading the L1 table for image '/home/.../VirtualBox VMs/debian/debian.qcow' failed (VERR_EOF).
 +
VD: error VERR_EOF opening image file '/home/.../VirtualBox VMs/debian/debian.qcow' (VERR_EOF).
  
=== Failed to create the host-only network interface ===
+
Result Code:
 +
NS_ERROR_FAILURE (0x80004005)
 +
Component:
 +
Medium
 +
}}
  
To be able to create a ''Host-Only Network Adapter'' or a ''Bridged Network Adapter'', the kernel modules {{ic|vboxnetadp}} and {{ic|vboxnetflt}} need to be loaded, you also need to make sure the {{pkg|net-tools}} package is installed. You can load these kernel modules manually with:
+
Exit VirtualBox, delete all files of the new machine and from virtualbox config file remove the last line in {{ic|MachineRegistry}} menu (or the offending machine you are creating):
# modprobe -a vboxdrv vboxnetadp vboxnetflt
 
  
To load these modules automatically at boot, refer to [[Kernel_modules#Loading]] and use a program name of {{ic|virtualbox}}.
+
{{hc|~/.config/VirtualBox/VirtualBox.xml|2=
 +
...
 +
<MachineRegistry>
 +
  <MachineEntry uuid="{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}" src="/home/void/VirtualBox VMs/debian/debian.vbox"/>
 +
  <MachineEntry uuid="{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}" src="/home/void/VirtualBox VMs/ubuntu/ubuntu.vbox"/>
 +
  <strike><MachineEntry uuid="{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}" src="/home/void/VirtualBox VMs/lastvmcausingproblems/lastvmcausingproblems.qcow"/></strike>
 +
</MachineRegistry>
 +
...
 +
}}
  
=== WinXP: Bit-depth cannot be greater than 16 ===
+
=== Arch: pacstrap script fails ===
  
If you are running at 16-bit color depth, then the icons may appear fuzzy/choppy. However, upon attempting to change the color depth to a higher level, the system may restrict you to a lower resolution or simply not enable you to change the depth at all. To fix this, run {{ic|regedit}} in Windows and add the following key to the Windows XP VM's registry:
+
If you used ''pacstrap'' in the [[#Installation steps for Arch Linux guests]] to also [[#Install the Guest Additions]] '''before''' performing a first boot into the new guest, you will need to {{ic|umount -l /mnt/dev}} as root before using ''pacstrap'' again; a failure to do this will render it unusable.
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services]
 
"ColorDepth"=dword:00000004
 
  
Then update the color depth in the "desktop properties" window. If nothing happens, force the screen to redraw through some method (i.e. {{ic|Host+f}} to redraw/enter full screen).
+
=== OpenBSD unusable when virtualisation instructions unavailable ===
  
=== Mounting .vdi images ===
+
While OpenBSD is reported to work fine on other hypervisors without virtualisation instructions (VT-x AMD-V) enabled, an OpenBSD virtual machine running on VirtualBox without these instructions will be unusable,  manifesting with a bunch of segmentation faults. Starting VirtualBox with the ''-norawr0'' argument [https://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/3947 may solve the problem]. You can do it like this:
 +
$ VBoxSDL -norawr0 -vm ''name_of_OpenBSD_VM''
  
Mounting vdi images only works with fixed size (''static'') images; ''dynamic size'' images aren't easily mountable.
+
=== Windows host: VERR_ACCESS_DENIED ===
  
First we need one information from your .vdi image:
+
To access the raw VMDK image on a Windows host, run the VirtualBox GUI as administrator.
  
$ VBoxManage internalcommands dumphdinfo <your .vdi file location> | grep offData
+
=== Windows: "The specified path does not exist. Check the path and then try again." ===
Header: offBlocks=4096 offData=69632
 
  
Then, add to your {{ic|offData}} 32256. (e.g. 32256 + 69632 = 101888)
+
This error message often appears when running an .exe file which requires administrator priviliges from a shared folder in windows guests. See [https://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/5732 the bug report] for details.
  
Now you can mount your vdi image with the following command:
+
There are two workarounds:
  
# mount -t ext4 -o rw,noatime,noexec,loop,offset=101888 <your .vdi file location> /mnt/
+
# Disable UAC from Control Panel -> Action Center -> "Change User Account Control settings" from left side pane -> set slider to "Never notify" -> OK and reboot
 +
# Copy the file from the shared folder to the guest and run from there
  
=== Use serial port in guest OS ===
+
Other threads on the internet suggest to add VBOXSVR to the list of trusted sites, but this does not work with Windows 7 or newer.
  
Check you permission for the serial port:
+
=== Windows 8.x error code 0x000000C4===
$ /bin/ls -l /dev/ttyS*
 
crw-rw---- 1 root uucp 4, 64 Feb  3 09:12 /dev/ttyS0
 
crw-rw---- 1 root uucp 4, 65 Feb  3 09:12 /dev/ttyS1
 
crw-rw---- 1 root uucp 4, 66 Feb  3 09:12 /dev/ttyS2
 
crw-rw---- 1 root uucp 4, 67 Feb  3 09:12 /dev/ttyS3
 
  
Add your user to the {{ic|uucp}} group.
+
If you get this error code while booting, even if you choose OS Type Win 8, try to enable the {{ic|CMPXCHG16B}} CPU instruction:
# gpasswd -a $USER uucp
 
and log out and log in again.
 
  
=== Windows 8.x Error Code 0x000000C4===
+
$ vboxmanage setextradata ''virtual_machine_name'' VBoxInternal/CPUM/CMPXCHG16B 1
  
If you get this error code while booting, even if you choose OS Type Win 8, try to enable the {{ic|CMPXCHG16B}} CPU instruction:
+
=== Windows 8, 8.1 or 10 fails to install, boot or has error "ERR_DISK_FULL" ===
 +
Update the VM's settings by going to ''Settings > Storage > Controller:SATA'' and check "Use Host I/O Cache".
  
$ vboxmanage setextradata <your virtual machine name> VBoxInternal/CPUM/CMPXCHG16B 1
+
=== WinXP: Bit-depth cannot be greater than 16 ===
  
=== Windows 8 VM fails to boot with error "ERR_DISK_FULL" ===
+
If you are running at 16-bit color depth, then the icons may appear fuzzy/choppy. However, upon attempting to change the color depth to a higher level, the system may restrict you to a lower resolution or simply not enable you to change the depth at all. To fix this, run {{ic|regedit}} in Windows and add the following key to the Windows XP VM's registry:
 +
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services]
 +
"ColorDepth"=dword:00000004
  
Situation: Your Windows 8 VM refuses to start. VirtualBox throws an error stating the virtual disk is full. However, you are certain that the disk is not full.  
+
Then update the color depth in the "desktop properties" window. If nothing happens, force the screen to redraw through some method (i.e. {{ic|Host+f}} to redraw/enter full screen).
Bring up your VM's settings at ''Settings > Storage > Controller:SATA'' and select "Use Host I/O Cache".
 
  
== External links ==
+
== See also ==
  
 
* [https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/UserManual.html VirtualBox User Manual]
 
* [https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/UserManual.html VirtualBox User Manual]
 +
* [[Wikipedia:VirtualBox]]

Latest revision as of 07:06, 9 May 2017

VirtualBox is a hypervisor used to run operating systems in a special environment, called a virtual machine, on top of the existing operating system. VirtualBox is in constant development and new features are implemented continuously. It comes with a Qt GUI interface, as well as headless and SDL command-line tools for managing and running virtual machines.

In order to integrate functions of the host system to the guests, including shared folders and clipboard, video acceleration and a seamless window integration mode, guest additions are provided for some guest operating systems.

Contents

Installation steps for Arch Linux hosts

In order to launch VirtualBox virtual machines on your Arch Linux box, follow these installation steps.

Install the core packages

Install the virtualbox package. You will need to choose a package to provide host modules:

To compile the VirtualBox modules provided by virtualbox-host-dkms, it will also be necessary to install the appropriate headers package(s) for your installed kernel(s) (e.g. linux-lts-headers for linux-lts). [1] When either VirtualBox or the kernel is updated, the kernel modules will be automatically recompiled thanks to the DKMS Pacman hook.

Sign modules

When using a custom kernel with CONFIG_MODULE_SIG_FORCE option enabled, you must sign your modules with a key generated during kernel compilation.

Navigate to your kernel tree folder and execute the following command:

# for module in `ls /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/kernel/misc/{vboxdrv.ko,vboxnetadp.ko,vboxnetflt.ko,vboxpci.ko}` ; do ./scripts/sign-file sha1 certs/signing_key.pem certs/signing_key.x509 $module ; done
Note: Hashing algorithm does not have to match the one configured, but it must be built into the kernel.

Load the VirtualBox kernel modules

Since version 5.0.16, virtualbox-host-modules-arch and virtualbox-host-dkms use systemd-modules-load.service to load all four VirtualBox modules at boot time.

Note: If you do not want the VirtualBox modules to be loaded at boot time, you have to mask the default /usr/lib/modules-load.d/virtualbox-host-modules-arch.conf (or -dkms.conf) by creating an empty file (or symlink to /dev/null) with the same name in /etc/modules-load.d.

Among the kernel modules VirtualBox uses, there is a mandatory module named vboxdrv, which must be loaded before any virtual machines can run.

To load the module manually, run:

# modprobe vboxdrv

The following modules are optional but are recommended if you do not want to be bothered in some advanced configurations (precised here after): vboxnetadp, vboxnetflt and vboxpci.

  • vboxnetadp and vboxnetflt are both needed when you intend to use the bridged or host-only networking feature. More precisely, vboxnetadp is needed to create the host interface in the VirtualBox global preferences, and vboxnetflt is needed to launch a virtual machine using that network interface.
  • vboxpci is needed when your virtual machine needs to pass through a PCI device on your host.
Note: If the VirtualBox kernel modules were loaded in the kernel while you updated the modules, you need to reload them manually to use the new updated version. To do it, run vboxreload as root.

Finally, if you use the aforementioned "Host-only" or "bridge networking" feature, make sure net-tools is installed. VirtualBox actually uses ifconfig and route to assign the IP and route to the host interface configured with VBoxManage hostonlyif or via the GUI in Settings > Network > Host-only Networks > Edit host-only network (space) > Adapter.

Accessing host USB devices in guest

To use the USB ports of your host machine in your virtual machines, add users that will be authorized to use this feature to the vboxusers group.

Guest additions disc

It is also recommended to install the virtualbox-guest-iso package on the host running VirtualBox. This package will act as a disc image that can be used to install the guest additions onto guest systems other than Arch Linux. The .iso file will be located at /usr/lib/virtualbox/additions/VBoxGuestAdditions.iso, and may have to be mounted manually inside the virtual machine. Once mounted, you can run the guest additions installer inside the guest.

Extension pack

The Oracle Extension Pack provides additional features and is released under a non-free license only available for personal use. To install it, the virtualbox-ext-oracleAUR package is available, and a prebuilt version can be found in the seblu repository.

If you prefer to use the traditional and manual way: download the extension manually and install it via the GUI (File > Preferences > Extensions) or via VBoxManage extpack install <.vbox-extpack>, make sure you have a toolkit (like Polkit, gksu, etc.) to grant privileged access to VirtualBox. The installation of this extension requires root access.

Front-ends

VirtualBox comes with three front-ends:

  • If you want to use VirtualBox with the regular GUI, use VirtualBox.
  • If you want to launch and manache your virtual machines from the command-line, use the VBoxSDL command, which only provides a plain window for the virtual machine without any overlays.
  • If you want to use VirtualBox without running any GUI (e.g. on a server), use the VBoxHeadless command. With the VRDP extension you can still remotely access the displays of your virtual machines.

Finally, you can also use phpVirtualBox to administrate your virtual machines via a web interface.

Refer to the VirtualBox manual to learn how to create virtual machines.

Warning: If you intend to store virtual disk images on a Btrfs file system, before creating any images, you should consider disabling copy-on-Write for the destination directory of these images.

Installation steps for Arch Linux guests

Boot the Arch installation media through one of the virtual machine's virtual drives. Then, complete the installation of a basic Arch system as explained in the Installation guide.

Installation in EFI mode

If you want to install Arch Linux in EFI mode inside VirtualBox, in the settings of the virtual machine, choose System item from the panel on the left and Motherboard tab from the right panel, and check the checkbox Enable EFI (special OSes only). After selecting the kernel from the Arch Linux installation media's menu, the media will hang for a minute or two and will continue to boot the kernel normally afterwards. Be patient.

Once the system and the boot loader are installed, VirtualBox will first attempt to run /EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI from the ESP. If that first option fails, VirtualBox will then try the EFI shell script startup.nsh from the root of the ESP. This means that in order to boot the system you have the following options:

  • Launch the bootloader manually from the EFI shell every time;
  • Move the bootloader to the default /EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI path;
  • Create a script named startup.nsh at the ESP root containing the path to the boot loader application, e.g. \EFI\grub\grubx64.efi.
  • Boot directly from the ESP partition using a startup.nsh script.

Do not bother with the VirtualBox Boot Manager (accessible with F2 at boot), as it is buggy and incomplete. It doesn't store efivars set interactively. Therefore, EFI entries added to it manually in the firmware (accessed with F12 at boot time) or with efibootmgr will persist after a reboot but are lost when the VM is shut down.

See also UEFI VirtualBox installation boot problems.

Install the Guest Additions

VirtualBox Guest Additions provides drivers and applications that optimize the guest operating system including improved image resolution and better control of the mouse. Within the installed guest system, install:

Both packages will make you choose a package to provide guest modules:

To compile the virtualbox modules provided by virtualbox-guest-dkms, it will also be necessary to install the appropriate headers package(s) for your installed kernel(s) (e.g. linux-lts-headers for linux-lts). [2] When either VirtualBox or the kernel is updated, the kernel modules will be automatically recompiled thanks to the DKMS Pacman hook.

Note:
  • You can alternatively install the Guest Additions with the ISO from the virtualbox-guest-iso package, provided you installed this on the host system. To do this, go to the device menu click Insert Guest Additions CD Image.
  • To recompile the vbox kernel modules, run rcvboxdrv as root.

The guest additions running on your guest, and the VirtualBox application running on your host must have matching versions, otherwise the guest additions (like shared clipboard) may stop working. If you upgrade your guest (e.g. pacman -Syu), make sure your VirtualBox application on this host is also the latest version. "Check for updates" in the VirtualBox GUI is sometimes not sufficient; check the virtualbox.org website.

Set optimal framebuffer resolution

Tango-go-next.pngThis article or section is a candidate for moving to VirtualBox/Tips and tricks.Tango-go-next.png

Notes: please use the second argument of the template to provide more detailed indications. (Discuss in Talk:VirtualBox#)

Typically after installing Guest Additions, a fullscreen Arch guest running X will be set to the optimal resolution for your display; however, the virtual console's framebuffer will be set to a standard, often smaller, resolution detected from VirtualBox's custom VESA driver.

To use the virtual consoles at optimal resolution, Arch needs to recognize that resolution as valid, which in turn requires VirtualBox to pass this information along to the guest OS.

First, check if your desired resolution is not already recognized by running the command:

hwinfo --framebuffer

If the optimal resolution does not show up, then you will need to run the VBoxManage tool on the host machine and add "extra resolutions" to your virtual machine (on a Windows host, go to the VirtualBox installation directory to find VBoxManage.exe). For example:

VBoxManage setextradata "Arch Linux" "CustomVideoMode1" "1360x768x24"

The parameters "Arch Linux" and "1360x768x24" in the example above should be replaced with your VM name and the desired framebuffer resolution. Incidentally, this command allows for defining up to 16 extra resolutions ("CustomVideoMode1" through "CustomVideoMode16").

Afterwards, restart the virtual machine and run hwinfo --framebuffer once more to verify that the new resolutions have been recognized by your guest system (which does not guarantee they will all work, depending on your hardware limitations).

Finally, add a video=resolution kernel parameter to set the framebuffer to the new resolution, for example video=1360x768.

Merge-arrows-2.pngThis article or section is a candidate for merging with GRUB/Tips_and_tricks#Setting_the_framebuffer_resolution.Merge-arrows-2.png

Notes: please use the second argument of the template to provide more detailed indications. (Discuss in Talk:VirtualBox#)

If you use GRUB as your bootloader, you can edit /etc/default/grub to include this kernel parameter in the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT list, like so:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet video=1360x768"

The GRUB menu itself may also be easily set to optimal resolution, by editing the GRUB_GFXMODE option on the same configuration file:

GRUB_GFXMODE="1360x768x24"

On a standard Arch setup, you would then run grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg to commit these changes to the bootloader.

After these steps, the framebuffer resolution should be optimized for the GRUB menu and all virtual consoles.

Note: The GRUB settings GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX and vga will not fix the framebuffer, since they are overriden by virtue of Kernel Mode Setting, which is mandatory for using X under VirtualBox and only allows for setting the framebuffer resolution by setting the kernel parameter described above.

Load the VirtualBox kernel modules

To load the modules automatically, enable vboxservice.service which loads the modules and synchronizes the guest's system time with the host.

To load the modules manually, type:

# modprobe -a vboxguest vboxsf vboxvideo

Since version 5.0.16, virtualbox-guest-modules-arch and virtualbox-guest-dkms use systemd-modules-load service to load their modules at boot time.

Note: If you do not want the VirtualBox modules to be loaded at boot time, you have to mask the default /usr/lib/modules-load.d/virtualbox-guest-modules-arch.conf (or -dkms.conf) by creating an empty file (or symlink to /dev/null) with the same name in /etc/modules-load.d.

Launch the VirtualBox guest services

After the rather big installation step dealing with VirtualBox kernel modules, now you need to start the guest services. The guest services are actually just a binary executable called VBoxClient which will interact with your X Window System. VBoxClient manages the following features:

  • shared clipboard and drag and drop between the host and the guest;
  • seamless window mode;
  • the guest display is automatically resized according to the size of the guest window;
  • checking the VirtualBox host version

All of these features can be enabled independently with their dedicated flags:

$ VBoxClient --clipboard --draganddrop --seamless --display --checkhostversion

As a shortcut, the VBoxClient-all bash script enables all of these features.

virtualbox-guest-utils installs /etc/xdg/autostart/vboxclient.desktop that launches VBoxClient-all on logon. If your desktop environment or window manager does not support this scheme, you will need to set up autostarting yourself, see Autostarting#Graphical for more details.

VirtualBox can also synchronize the time between the host and the guest, to do this, start/enable the vboxservice.service.

Now, you should have a working Arch Linux guest. Note that features like clipboard sharing are disabled by default in VirtualBox, and you will need to turn them on in the per-VM settings if you actually want to use them (e.g. Settings > General > Advanced > Shared Clipboard).

Hardware acceleration

Hardware acceleration can be activated in the VirtualBox options. The GDM display manager 3.16+ is known to break hardware acceleration support. [3] So if you get issues with hardware acceleration, try out another display manager (lightdm seems to work fine). [4] [5]

Enable shared folders

Shared folders are managed on the host, in the settings of the Virtual Machine accessible via the GUI of VirtualBox, in the Shared Folders tab. There, Folder Path, the name of the mount point identified by Folder name, and options like Read-only, Auto-mount and Make permanent can be specified. These parameters can be defined with the VBoxManage command line utility. See there for more details.

No matter which method you will use to mount your folder, all methods require some steps first.

To avoid this issue /sbin/mount.vboxsf: mounting failed with the error: No such device, make sure the vboxsf kernel module is properly loaded. It should be, since we enabled all guest kernel modules previously.

Two additional steps are needed in order for the mount point to be accessible from users other than root:

Manual mounting

Use the following command to mount your folder in your Arch Linux guest:

# mount -t vboxsf shared_folder_name mount_point_on_guest_system

The vboxsf filesystem offers other options which can be displayed with this command:

# mount.vboxsf

For example if the user was not in the vboxsf group, we could have used this command to give access our mountpoint to him:

# mount -t vboxsf -o uid=1000,gid=1000 home /mnt/

Where uid and gid are values corresponding to the users we want to give access to. These values are obtained from the id command run against this user.

Automounting

Note: Automounting requires the vboxservice to be enabled/started.

In order for the automounting feature to work you must have checked the auto-mount checkbox in the GUI or used the optional --automount argument with the command VBoxManage sharedfolder.

The shared folder should now appear in /media/sf_shared_folder_name. If users in media cannot access the shared folders, check that media has permissions 755 or has group ownership vboxsf if using permission 750. This is currently not the default if media is created by installing the virtualbox-guest-utils.

You can use symlinks if you want to have a more convenient access and avoid to browse in that directory, e.g.:

$ ln -s /media/sf_shared_folder_name ~/my_documents

Mount at boot

You can mount your directory with fstab. However, to prevent startup problems with systemd, comment=systemd.automount should be added to /etc/fstab. This way, the shared folders are mounted only when those mount points are accessed and not during startup. This can avoid some problems, especially if the guest additions are not loaded yet when systemd read fstab and mount the partitions.

sharedFolderName  /path/to/mntPtOnGuestMachine  vboxsf  uid=user,gid=group,rw,dmode=700,fmode=600,comment=systemd.automount  0  0
  • sharedFolderName: the value from the VirtualMachine's Settings > SharedFolders > Edit > FolderName menu. This value can be different from the name of the real folder name on the host machine. To see the VirtualMachine's Settings go to the host OS VirtualBox application, select the corresponding virtual machine and click on Settings.
  • /path/to/mntPtOnGuestMachine: if not existing, this directory should be created manually (for example by using mkdir)
  • dmode/fmode are directory/file permissions for directories/files inside /path/to/mntPtOnGuestMachine.}}

As of 2012-08-02, mount.vboxsf does not support the nofail option:

desktop  /media/desktop  vboxsf  uid=user,gid=group,rw,dmode=700,fmode=600,nofail  0  0

SSH from host to guest

The network tab of the virtual machine settings contains, in "Advanced", a tool to create port forwarding. It is possible to use it to forward the Guest ssh port 22 to a Host port, let's say 3022. Then :

user@host$ ssh -p 3022 $USER@localhost

will establish a connection from Host to Guest.

SSHFS as alternative to the shared folder

Using this port forwarding and sshfs, it is straightforward to mount the Guest filesystem onto the Host one :

user@host$ sshfs -p 3022 $USER@localhost:$HOME ~/shared_folder

and then transfer files between both.

Virtual disks management

See also VirtualBox/Tips and tricks#Import/export VirtualBox virtual machines from/to other hypervisors.

Formats supported by VirtualBox

VirtualBox supports the following virtual disk formats:

  • VDI: The Virtual Disk Image is the VirtualBox own open container used by default when you create a virtual machine with VirtualBox.
  • VMDK: The Virtual Machine Disk has been initially developed by VMware for their products. The specification was initially closed source, but it became now an open format which is fully supported by VirtualBox. This format offers the ability to be split into several 2GB files. This feature is specially useful if you want to store the virtual machine on machines which do not support very large files. Other formats, excluding the HDD format from Parallels, do not provide such an equivalent feature.
  • VHD: The Virtual Hard Disk is the format used by Microsoft in Windows Virtual PC and Hyper-V. If you intend to use any of these Microsoft products, you will have to choose this format.
Tip: Since Windows 7, this format can be mounted directly without any additional application.
  • VHDX (read only): This is the eXtended version of the Virtual Hard Disk format developed by Microsoft, which has been released on 2012-09-04 with Hyper-V 3.0 coming with Windows Server 2012. This new version of the disk format does offer enhanced performance (better block alignment), larger blocks size, and journal support which brings power failure resiliency. VirtualBox should support this format in read only.
  • HDD (version 2): The HDD format is developed by Parallels Inc and used in their hypervisor solutions like Parallels Desktop for Mac. Newer versions of this format (i.e. 3 and 4) are not supported due to the lack of documentation for this proprietary format.
    Note: There is currently a controversy regarding the support of the version 2 of the format. While the official VirtualBox manual only reports the second version of the HDD file format as supported, Wikipedia's contributors are reporting the first version may work too. Help is welcome if you can perform some tests with the first version of the HDD format.
  • QED: The QEMU Enhanced Disk format is an old file format for QEMU, another free and open source hypervisor. This format was designed from 2010 in a way to provide a superior alternative to QCOW2 and others. This format features a fully asynchronous I/O path, strong data integrity, backing files, and sparse files. QED format is supported only for compatibility with virtual machines created with old versions of QEMU.
  • QCOW: The QEMU Copy On Write format is the current format for QEMU. The QCOW format does support zlib-based transparent compression and encryption (the latter is flawed and is not recommended). QCOW is available in two versions: QCOW and QCOW2. QCOW2 tends to supersede the first one. QCOW is currently fully supported by VirtualBox. QCOW2 comes in two revisions: QCOW2 0.10 and QCOW2 1.1 (which is the default when you create a virtual disk with QEMU). VirtualBox does not support QCOW2.
  • OVF: The Open Virtualization Format is an open format which has been designed for interoperability and distributions of virtual machines between different hypervisors. VirtualBox supports all revisions of this format via the VBoxManage import/export feature but with known limitations.

Disk image format conversion

VBoxManage clonehd can be used to convert between VDI, VMDK, VHD and RAW.

$ VBoxManage clonehd inputfile outputfile --format outputformat

For example to convert VDI to VMDK:

$ VBoxManage clonehd source.vdi destination.vmdk --format VMDK

QCOW

VirtualBox does not support QEMU's QCOW2 disk image format. To use a QCOW2 disk image with VirtualBox you therefore need to convert it, which you can do with qemu's qemu-img command. qemu-img can convert QCOW to / from VDI, VMDK, VHDX, RAW and various other formats (which you can see by running qemu-img --help).

$ qemu-img convert -O output_fmt inputfile outputfile

For example to convert QCOW2 to VDI:

$ qemu-img convert -O vdi source.qcow2 destination.vdi
Tip: The -p parameter is used to get the progression of the conversion task.

There are two revisions of QCOW2: 0.10 and 1.1. You can specify the revision to use with -o compat=revision.

Mount virtual disks

VDI

Mounting VDI images only works with fixed size images (a.k.a. static images); dynamic (dynamically size allocating) images are not easily mountable.

The offset of the partition (within the VDI) is needed, then add the value of offData to 32256 (e.g. 69632 + 32256 = 101888):

$ VBoxManage internalcommands dumphdinfo <storage.vdi> | grep "offData"

The can now be mounted with:

# mount -t ext4 -o rw,noatime,noexec,loop,offset=101888 <storage.vdi> /mntpoint/

You can also use mount.vdi script that, which you can use as (install script itself to /usr/bin/):

# mount -t vdi -o fstype=ext4,rw,noatime,noexec vdi_file_location /mnt/

Alternately you can use qemu's kernel module that can do this attrib:

# modprobe nbd max_part=16
# qemu-nbd -c /dev/nbd0 <storage.vdi>
# mount /dev/nbd0p1 /mnt/dir/
# # to unmount:
# umount /mnt/dir/
# qemu-nbd -d /dev/nbd0

If the partition nodes are not propagated try using partprobe /dev/nbd0; otherwise, a VDI partition can be mapped directly to a node by: qemu-nbd -P 1 -c /dev/nbd0 <storage.vdi>.

Compact virtual disks

Compacting virtual disks only works with .vdi files and basically consists of the following steps.

Boot your virtual machine and remove all bloat manually or by using cleaning tools like bleachbit which is available for Windows systems too.

Wiping free space with zeroes can be achieved with several tools:

  • If you were previously using Bleachbit, check the checkbox System > Free disk space in the GUI, or use bleachbit -c system.free_disk_space in CLI;
  • On UNIX-based systems, by using dd or preferably dcfldd (see here to learn the differences) :
# dcfldd if=/dev/zero of=/fillfile bs=4M
When fillfile reaches the limit of the partition, you will get a message like 1280 blocks (5120Mb) written.dcfldd:: No space left on device. This means that all of the user-space and non-reserved blocks of the partition will be filled with zeros. Using this command as root is important to make sure all free blocks have been overwritten. Indeed, by default, when using partitions with ext filesystem, a specified percentage of filesystem blocks is reserved for the super-user (see the -m argument in the mkfs.ext4 man pages or use tune2fs -l to see how much space is reserved for root applications).
When the aforementioned process has completed, you can remove the file fillfile you created.
  • On Windows, there are two tools available:
  • sdelete from the Sysinternals Suite, type sdelete -s -z c:, where you need to reexecute the command for each drive you have in your virtual machine;
  • or, if you love scripts, there is a PowerShell solution, but which still needs to be repeated for all drives.
PS> ./Write-ZeroesToFreeSpace.ps1 -Root c:\ -PercentFree 0
Note: This script must be run in a PowerShell environment with administrator privileges. By default, scripts cannot be run, ensure the execution policy is at least on RemoteSigned and not on Restricted. This can be checked with Get-ExecutionPolicy and the required policy can be set with Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned.

Once the free disk space have been wiped, shut down your virtual machine.

The next time you boot your virtual machine, it is recommended to do a filesystem check.

  • On UNIX-based systems, you can use fsck manually;
  • On Windows systems, you can use:
  • either chkdsk c: /F where c: needs to be replaced by each disk you need to scan and fix errors;
  • or FsckDskAll from here which is basically the same software as chkdsk, but without the need to repeat the command for all drives;

Now, remove the zeros from the vdi file with VBoxManage modifyhd:

$ VBoxManage modifyhd your_disk.vdi --compact
Note: If your virtual machine has snapshots, you need to apply the above command on each .vdi files you have.

Increase virtual disks

General procedure

If you are running out of space due to the small hard drive size you selected when you created your virtual machine, the solution adviced by the VirtualBox manual is to use VBoxManage modifyhd. However this command only works for VDI and VHD disks and only for the dynamically allocated variants. If you want to resize a fixed size virtual disk disk too, read on this trick which works either for a Windows or UNIX-like virtual machine.

First, create a new virtual disk next to the one you want to increase:

$ VBoxManage createhd -filename new.vdi --size 10000

where size is in MiB, in this example 10000MiB ~= 10GiB, and new.vdi is name of new hard drive to be created.

Next, the old virtual disk needs to be cloned to the new one which this may take some time:

$ VBoxManage clonehd old.vdi new.vdi --existing
Note: By default, this command uses the Standard (corresponding to dynamic allocated) file format variant and thus will not use the same file format variant as your source virtual disk. If your old.vdi has a fixed size and you want to keep this variant, add the parameter --variant Fixed.

Detach the old hard drive and attach new one, replace all mandatory italic arguments by your own:

$ VBoxManage storageattach VM_name --storagectl SATA --port 0 --medium none
$ VBoxManage storageattach VM_name --storagectl SATA --port 0 --medium new.vdi --type hdd

To get the storage controller name and the port number, you can use the command VBoxManage showvminfo VM_name. Among the output you will get such a result (what you are looking for is in italic):

[...]
Storage Controller Name (0):            IDE
Storage Controller Type (0):            PIIX4
Storage Controller Instance Number (0): 0
Storage Controller Max Port Count (0):  2
Storage Controller Port Count (0):      2
Storage Controller Bootable (0):        on
Storage Controller Name (1):            SATA
Storage Controller Type (1):            IntelAhci
Storage Controller Instance Number (1): 0
Storage Controller Max Port Count (1):  30
Storage Controller Port Count (1):      1
Storage Controller Bootable (1):        on
IDE (1, 0): Empty
SATA (0, 0): /home/wget/IT/Virtual_machines/GNU_Linux_distributions/ArchLinux_x64_EFI/Snapshots/{6bb17af7-e8a2-4bbf-baac-fbba05ebd704}.vdi (UUID: 6bb17af7-e8a2-4bbf-baac-fbba05ebd704)
[...]

Download GParted live image and mount it as a virtual CD/DVD disk file, boot your virtual machine, increase/move your partitions, umount GParted live and reboot.

Note: On GPT disks, increasing the size of the disk will result in the backup GPT header not being at the end of the device. GParted will ask to fix this, click on Fix both times. On MBR disks, you do not have such a problem as this partition table as no trailer at the end of the disk.

Finally, unregister the virtual disk from VirtualBox and remove the file:

$ VBoxManage closemedium disk old.vdi
$ rm old.vdi

Increasing the size of VDI disks

If your disk is a VDI one, run:

$ VBoxManage modifyhd your_virtual_disk.vdi --resize the_new_size

Then jump back to the Gparted step, to increase the size of the partition on the virtual disk.

Replace a virtual disk manually from the .vbox file

If you think that editing a simple XML file is more convenient than playing with the GUI or with VBoxManage and you want to replace (or add) a virtual disk to your virtual machine, in the .vbox configuration file corresponding to your virtual machine, simply replace the GUID, the file location and the format to your needs:

ArchLinux_vm.vbox
<HardDisk uuid="{670157e5-8bd4-4f7b-8b96-9ee412a712b5}" location="ArchLinux_vm.vdi" format="VDI" type="Normal"/>

then in the <AttachedDevice> sub-tag of <StorageController>, replace the GUID by the new one.

ArchLinux_vm.vbox
<AttachedDevice type="HardDisk" port="0" device="0">
  <Image uuid="{670157e5-8bd4-4f7b-8b96-9ee412a712b5}"/>
</AttachedDevice>
Note: If you do not know the GUID of the drive you want to add, you can use the VBoxManage showhdinfo file. If you previously used VBoxManage clonehd to copy/convert your virtual disk, this command should have outputted the GUID just after the copy/conversion completed. Using a random GUID does not work, as each UUID is stored inside each disk image.

Transfer between Linux host and other OS

The information about path to harddisks and the snapshots is stored between <HardDisks> .... </HardDisks> tags in the file with the .vbox extension. You can edit them manually or use this script where you will need change only the path or use defaults, assumed that .vbox is in the same directory with a virtual harddisk and the snapshots folder. It will print out new configuration to stdout.

#!/bin/bash
NewPath="${PWD}/"
Snapshots="Snapshots/"
Filename="$1"

 awk -v SetPath="$NewPath" -v SnapPath="$Snapshots" '{if(index($0,"<HardDisk uuid=") != 0){A=$3;split(A,B,"=");
L=B[2];
 gsub(/\"/,"",L);
  sub(/^.*\//,"",L);
  sub(/^.*\\/,"",L);
 if(index($3,"{") != 0){SnapS=SnapPath}else{SnapS=""};
  print $1" "$2" location="\"SetPath SnapS L"\" "$4" "$5}
else print $0}' "$Filename"
Note:
  • If you will prepare virtual machine for use in Windows host then in the path name end you should use backslash \ instead of / .
  • The script detects snapshots by looking for { in the file name.
  • To make it run on a new host you will need to add it first to the register by clicking on Machine -> Add... or use hotkeys Ctrl+A and then browse to .vbox file that contains configuration or use command line VBoxManage registervm filename.vbox

Clone a virtual disk and assigning a new UUID to it

UUIDs are widely used by VirtualBox. Each virtual machines and each virtual disk of a virtual machine must have a different UUID. When you launch a virtual machine in VirtualBox, VirtualBox will keep track of all UUIDs of your virtual machine instance. See the VBoxManage list to list the items registered with VirtualBox.

If you cloned a virtual disk manually by copying the virtual disk file, you will need to assign a new UUID to the cloned virtual drive if you want to use the disk in the same virtual machine or even in another (if that one has already been opened, and thus registered, with VirtualBox).

You can use this command to assign a new UUID to a virtual disk:

$ VBoxManage internalcommands sethduuid /path/to/disk.vdi
Tip: To avoid copying the virtual disk and assigning a new UUID to your file manually you can use VBoxManage clonehd.
Note: The commands above support all virtual disk formats supported by VirtualBox.

Tips and tricks

For advanced configuration, see VirtualBox/Tips and tricks.

Troubleshooting

Keyboard and mouse are locked into virtual machine

This means your virtual machine has captured the input of your keyboard and your mouse. Simply press the right Ctrl key and your input should control your host again.

To control transparently your virtual machine with your mouse going back and forth your host, without having to press any key, and thus have a seamless integration, install the guest additions inside the guest. Read from the #Install the Guest Additions step if you guest is Arch Linux, otherwise read the official VirtualBox help.

No 64-bit OS client options

When launching a VM client, and no 64-bit options are available, make sure your CPU virtualization capabilities (usually named VT-x) are enabled in the BIOS.

If you are using a Windows host, you may need to disable Hyper-V, as it prevents VirtualBox from using VT-x. [6]

VirtualBox GUI does not match host GTK theme

See Uniform look for Qt and GTK applications for information about theming Qt-based applications like VirtualBox.

Cannot send Ctrl+Alt+Fn to guest

Your guest operating system is a GNU/Linux distribution and you want to open a new TTY shell by hitting Ctrl+Alt+F2 or exit your current X session with Ctrl+Alt+Backspace. If you type these keyboard shortcuts without any adaptation, the guest will not receive any input and the host (if it is a GNU/Linux distribution too) will intercept these shortcut keys. To send Ctrl+Alt+F2 to the guest for example, simply hit your Host Key (usually the right Ctrl key) and press F2 simultaneously.

USB subsystem not working

Your user must be in the vboxusers group and you need to install the extension pack if you want USB 2 support. Then you will be able to enable USB 2 in the VM settings and add one or several filters for the devices you want to access from the guest OS.

If VBoxManage list usbhost does not show any USB devices even if run as root, make sure that there is no old udev rules (from VirtualBox 4.x) in /etc/udev/rules.d/. VirtualBox 5.0 installs udev rules to /usr/lib/udev/rules.d/. You can use command like pacman -Qo /usr/lib/udev/rules.d/60-vboxdrv.rules to determine if the udev rule file is outdated.

Sometimes, on old Linux hosts, the USB subsystem is not auto-detected resulting in an error Could not load the Host USB Proxy service: VERR_NOT_FOUND or in a not visible USB drive on the host, even when the user is in the vboxusers group. This problem is due to the fact that VirtualBox switched from usbfs to sysfs in version 3.0.8. If the host does not understand this change, you can revert to the old behaviour by defining the following environment variable in any file that is sourced by your shell (e.g. your ~/.bashrc if you are using bash):

~/.bashrc
VBOX_USB=usbfs

Then make sure, the environment has been made aware of this change (reconnect, source the file manually, launch a new shell instance or reboot).

Also make sure that your user is a member of the storage group.

USB modem not working on host

If you have a USB modem which is being used by the guest OS, killing the guest OS can cause the modem to become unusable by the host system. Killing and restarting VBoxSVC should fix this problem.

Access serial port from guest

Check you permission for the serial port:

$ /bin/ls -l /dev/ttyS*
crw-rw---- 1 root uucp 4, 64 Feb  3 09:12 /dev/ttyS0
crw-rw---- 1 root uucp 4, 65 Feb  3 09:12 /dev/ttyS1
crw-rw---- 1 root uucp 4, 66 Feb  3 09:12 /dev/ttyS2
crw-rw---- 1 root uucp 4, 67 Feb  3 09:12 /dev/ttyS3

Add your user to the uucp group.

Guest freezes after starting Xorg

Faulty or missing drivers may cause the guest to freeze after starting Xorg, see for example [7] and [8]. Try disabling 3D acceleration in Settings > Display, and check if all Xorg drivers are installed.

Fullscreen mode shows blank screen

On some window managers (i3, awesome), VirtualBox has issues with fullscreen mode properly due to the overlay bar. To work around this issue, disable "Show in Full-screen/Seamless" option in "Guest Settings > User Interface > Mini ToolBar". See the upstream bug report for more information.

Host freezes on virtual machine start

Tango-view-fullscreen.pngThis article or section needs expansion.Tango-view-fullscreen.png

Reason: Needs a link to a bug report. (Discuss in Talk:VirtualBox#)

Possible causes/solutions :

  • SMAP

This is a known incompatiblity with SMAP enabled kernels affecting (mostly) Intel Broadwell chipsets. A solution to this problem is disabling SMAP support in your kernel by appending the nosmap option to your kernel parameters.

  • Hardware Virtualisation

Disabling hardware virtualisation (VT-x/AMD-V) may solve the problem.

  • Various Kernel bugs
    • Fuse mounted partitions (like ntfs) [9], [10]

Generally, such issues are observed after upgrading VirtualBox or linux kernel. Downgrading them to the previous versions of theirs might solve the problem.

Linux guests have slow/distorted audio

The AC97 audio driver within the Linux kernel occasionally guesses the wrong clock settings when running inside Virtual Box, leading to audio that is either too slow or too fast. To fix this, create a file in /etc/modprobe.d with the following line:

options snd-intel8x0 ac97_clock=48000

Analog microphone not working

If the audio input from an analog microphone is working correctly on the host, but no sound seems to get through to the guest, despite the microphone device apparently being detected normally, installing a sound server such as PulseAudio on the host might fix the problem.

If after installing PulseAudio the microphone still refuses to work, setting Host Audio Driver (under VirtualBox > Machine > Settings > Audio) to ALSA Audio Driver might help.

Microphone not working after upgrade

There have been issues reported around sound input in 5.1.x versions. [11]

Downgrading may solve the problem. You can use virtualbox-bin-5.0AUR to ease downgrading.

Problems with images converted to ISO

Some image formats cannot be reliably converted to ISO. For instance, ccd2iso ignores .ccd and .sub files, which can result in disk images with broken files.

In this case, you will either have to use CDemu for Linux inside VirtualBox or any other utility used to mount disk images.

Failed to create the host-only network interface

Make sure all required kernel modules are loaded. See #Load the VirtualBox kernel modules.

Failed to insert module

When you get the following error when trying to load modules:

Failed to insert 'vboxdrv': Required key not available

Sign your modules or disable CONFIG_MODULE_SIG_FORCE in your kernel config.

VBOX_E_INVALID_OBJECT_STATE (0x80BB0007)

This can occur if a VM is exited ungracefully. Run the following command:

$ VBoxManage controlvm virtual_machine_name poweroff

NS_ERROR_FAILURE and missing menu items

This happens sometimes when selecting QCOW/QCOW2/QED disk format when creating a new virtual disk.

If you encounter this message the first time you start the virtual machine:

Failed to open a session for the virtual machine debian.
Could not open the medium '/home/.../VirtualBox VMs/debian/debian.qcow'.
QCow: Reading the L1 table for image '/home/.../VirtualBox VMs/debian/debian.qcow' failed (VERR_EOF).
VD: error VERR_EOF opening image file '/home/.../VirtualBox VMs/debian/debian.qcow' (VERR_EOF).

Result Code: 
NS_ERROR_FAILURE (0x80004005)
Component: 
Medium

Exit VirtualBox, delete all files of the new machine and from virtualbox config file remove the last line in MachineRegistry menu (or the offending machine you are creating):

~/.config/VirtualBox/VirtualBox.xml
...
<MachineRegistry>
  <MachineEntry uuid="{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}" src="/home/void/VirtualBox VMs/debian/debian.vbox"/>
  <MachineEntry uuid="{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}" src="/home/void/VirtualBox VMs/ubuntu/ubuntu.vbox"/>
  <MachineEntry uuid="{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}" src="/home/void/VirtualBox VMs/lastvmcausingproblems/lastvmcausingproblems.qcow"/>
</MachineRegistry>
...

Arch: pacstrap script fails

If you used pacstrap in the #Installation steps for Arch Linux guests to also #Install the Guest Additions before performing a first boot into the new guest, you will need to umount -l /mnt/dev as root before using pacstrap again; a failure to do this will render it unusable.

OpenBSD unusable when virtualisation instructions unavailable

While OpenBSD is reported to work fine on other hypervisors without virtualisation instructions (VT-x AMD-V) enabled, an OpenBSD virtual machine running on VirtualBox without these instructions will be unusable, manifesting with a bunch of segmentation faults. Starting VirtualBox with the -norawr0 argument may solve the problem. You can do it like this:

$ VBoxSDL -norawr0 -vm name_of_OpenBSD_VM

Windows host: VERR_ACCESS_DENIED

To access the raw VMDK image on a Windows host, run the VirtualBox GUI as administrator.

Windows: "The specified path does not exist. Check the path and then try again."

This error message often appears when running an .exe file which requires administrator priviliges from a shared folder in windows guests. See the bug report for details.

There are two workarounds:

  1. Disable UAC from Control Panel -> Action Center -> "Change User Account Control settings" from left side pane -> set slider to "Never notify" -> OK and reboot
  2. Copy the file from the shared folder to the guest and run from there

Other threads on the internet suggest to add VBOXSVR to the list of trusted sites, but this does not work with Windows 7 or newer.

Windows 8.x error code 0x000000C4

If you get this error code while booting, even if you choose OS Type Win 8, try to enable the CMPXCHG16B CPU instruction:

$ vboxmanage setextradata virtual_machine_name VBoxInternal/CPUM/CMPXCHG16B 1

Windows 8, 8.1 or 10 fails to install, boot or has error "ERR_DISK_FULL"

Update the VM's settings by going to Settings > Storage > Controller:SATA and check "Use Host I/O Cache".

WinXP: Bit-depth cannot be greater than 16

If you are running at 16-bit color depth, then the icons may appear fuzzy/choppy. However, upon attempting to change the color depth to a higher level, the system may restrict you to a lower resolution or simply not enable you to change the depth at all. To fix this, run regedit in Windows and add the following key to the Windows XP VM's registry:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services]
"ColorDepth"=dword:00000004

Then update the color depth in the "desktop properties" window. If nothing happens, force the screen to redraw through some method (i.e. Host+f to redraw/enter full screen).

See also