Difference between revisions of "VirtualBox"

From ArchWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
m (Fixed a typo.)
(note about "Check for updates" is sometimes not pointing to the latest version)
 
(376 intermediate revisions by 93 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
 
[[Category:Emulators]]
 
[[Category:Emulators]]
[[Category:Virtualization]]
+
[[Category:Hypervisors]]
 
[[cs:VirtualBox]]
 
[[cs:VirtualBox]]
 
[[de:VirtualBox]]
 
[[de:VirtualBox]]
Line 13: Line 13:
 
[[zh-CN:VirtualBox]]
 
[[zh-CN:VirtualBox]]
 
{{Related articles start}}
 
{{Related articles start}}
 +
{{Related|VirtualBox/Tips and tricks}}
 +
{{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.
+
[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 ==
Line 29: Line 27:
 
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 ===
+
=== Install the core packages ===
  
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.
+
[[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}}
  
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]].
+
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.
  
=== VirtualBox kernel modules ===
+
You can also install the {{Pkg|qt5-x11extras}} 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]].
  
Next, in order for VirtualBox to virtualize your guest installation, you will need to add [[kernel modules]] to your host kernel.
+
=== Sign modules ===
  
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.
+
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.
  
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.
+
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
  
==== Hosts running an official kernel ====
+
{{Note|Hashing algorithm does not have to match the one configured, but it must be built into the kernel.}}
  
* 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.
+
=== Load the VirtualBox kernel modules ===
* 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 ====
+
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 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.
+
{{Note|If you don't 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}}.}}
  
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.
+
Among the [[kernel modules]] VirtualBox uses, there is a mandatory module named {{ic|vboxdrv}}, which must be loaded before any virtual machines can run.
  
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).
+
To load the module manually, run:
 +
# modprobe vboxdrv
  
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}}.
+
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}}.
* 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:
+
* {{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.
# 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:
+
* {{ic|vboxpci}} is needed when your virtual machine needs to pass through a PCI device on your host.
{{bc|<nowiki># dkms install vboxhost/$(pacman -Q virtualbox|awk {'print $2'}|sed 's/\-.\+//') -k $(uname -rm|sed 's/\ /\//')</nowiki>}}
+
}}
+
  
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:
+
{{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.}}
# 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.}}
+
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''.
  
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.
+
=== Accessing host USB devices in guest ===
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.}}
+
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]].
  
=== Load the VirtualBox kernel modules ===
+
=== Guest additions disc ===
  
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.
+
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.
  
To load the module manually:
+
=== Extension pack ===
# modprobe vboxdrv
+
  
{{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}}.}}
+
The Oracle Extension Pack which provides [https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch01.html#intro-installing additional features], is released under a non-free license and '''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.
  
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:
+
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].
{{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.
+
 
+
{{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.}}
+
 
+
=== Add usernames to the vboxusers group ===
+
 
+
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:
+
# gpasswd -a $USER vboxusers
+
 
+
=== 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.
+
  
 
=== Use the right front-end ===
 
=== Use the right front-end ===
Line 107: Line 85:
 
Now, you are ready to use VirtualBox. Congratulations!
 
Now, you are ready to use VirtualBox. Congratulations!
  
Multiple front-ends are available to you which two are available by default:
+
Multiple front-ends are available to you of which two are available by default:
 
* 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 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 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 (note: VRDP is only enabled if the extension pack is installed).
  
If you installed the {{Pkg|qt4}} optional dependency, you also have a nice looking GUI interface with menus which is usable with the mouse.
+
If you installed the {{Pkg|qt5-x11extras}} optional dependency, you can run {{ic|VirtualBox}} and have a nice-looking GUI interface with menus usable via the mouse.
  
 
Finally, you can use [[PhpVirtualBox]] to administrate your virtual machines via a web interface.
 
Finally, you can 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.
 
Refer to the [https://www.virtualbox.org/manual 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 [[Btrfs#Copy-On-Write_.28CoW.29|Copy-on-Write]] for the destination directory of these images.}}
  
 
== Installation steps for Arch Linux guests ==
 
== Installation steps for Arch Linux guests ==
  
Follow these installation steps to install VirtualBox additions on your fresh Arch Linux guest installation.
+
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 [[Beginners' guide]] or the [[Installation guide]].
  
=== Install the Guest Additions ===
+
==== Installation in EFI mode ====
  
On other GNU/Linux distribution, the Guest Additions can be installed in two different ways:
+
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.
* 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.
+
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:
  
=== VirtualBox guest kernel modules ===
+
* [[Unified Extensible Firmware Interface#UEFI Shell|Launch the bootloader manually]] from the EFI shell every time;
 +
* Move the bootloader to the default {{ic|/EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI}} path;
 +
* Create the {{ic|startup.nsh}} script at the ESP root containing the path to the boot loader application, e.g. {{ic|\EFI\grub\grubx64.efi}}.
  
==== Guests running an official kernel ====
+
Do not bother with the VirtualBox Boot Manager (accessible with {{ic|F2}} at boot): EFI entries added to it manually at boot or with {{Pkg|efibootmgr}} will persist after a reboot [https://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/11177 but are lost when the VM is shut down].
  
* 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.
+
See also [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=158003 UEFI Virtualbox installation boot problems].
* 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 ====
+
=== Install the Guest Additions ===
  
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.
+
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
  
=== Load the Virtualbox kernel modules ===
+
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 load the modules manually, type:
+
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.
# 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:
+
{{Note|<nowiki></nowiki>
{{hc|/etc/modules-load.d/virtualbox.conf|
+
* 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.
vboxguest
+
* To recompile the vbox kernel modules, run {{ic|rcvboxdrv}} as root.
vboxsf
+
}}
vboxvideo}}
+
  
=== Launch the VirtualBox guest services ===
+
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.
  
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:
+
=== Set optimal framebuffer resolution ===
* the shared clipboard and the drag and drop between the host and the guest;
+
* the seamless window mode;
+
* the fact that the guest display is automatically resized according to the size of the guest window;
+
* and finally checking the VirtualBox host version.
+
  
All these features can be enabled indepently and manually with their dedicated flags.
+
{{Move|VirtualBox/Tips and tricks}}
$ VBoxClient --clipboard --draganddrop --seamless --display --checkhostversion
+
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.
  
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.
+
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.
$ VBoxClient-all
+
  
To start that script automatically when system starts,
+
First, check if your desired resolution is not already recognized by running the command:
* 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]] -);
+
hwinfo --framebuffer
* 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!
+
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:
  
== Export VirtualBox virtual machines to other hypervisors ==
+
VBoxManage setextradata "Arch Linux" "CustomVideoMode1" "1360x768x24"
  
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.
+
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").
  
=== Remove additions ===
+
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).
  
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.
+
Finally, add a {{ic|1=video=''resolution''}} kernel parameter (https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Kernel_parameters) to set the framebuffer to the new resolution, for example {{ic|1=video=1360x768}}.  
  
{{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.}}
+
{{Merge|GRUB/Tips_and_tricks#Setting_the_framebuffer_resolution}}
  
=== Use the right virtual disk format ===
+
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:
  
==== Supported formats by VirtualBox ====
+
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet video=1360x768"
  
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:
+
The GRUB menu itself may also be easily set to optimal resolution, by editing
 +
the {{ic|GRUB_GFXMODE}} option on the same configuration file:
  
* 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.
+
GRUB_GFXMODE="1360x768x24"
  
* 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.
+
On a standard Arch setup, you would then run {{ic|grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg}} to commit these changes to the bootloader.
:{{Tip|Since Windows 7, this format can be mounted directly without any additional application.}}  
+
  
* Version 2 of the HDD format used by Parallels (Desktop for Mac).
+
After these steps, the framebuffer resolution should be optimized for the GRUB menu and all virtual consoles.
  
* QED and QCOW used by QEMU.
+
{{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.}}
  
The format you will need to choose depends on the hypervisor that will be used.
+
=== Load the Virtualbox kernel modules ===
  
==== Specific virtual disk format differences ====
+
To load the modules automatically, [[enable]] the {{ic|vboxservice}} service which loads the modules and synchronizes the guest's system time with the host.
  
Before converting your virtual drive, please keep in mind these specific virtual disk format differences:
+
To load the modules manually, type:
 +
# modprobe -a vboxguest vboxsf vboxvideo
  
* 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.
+
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.
  
* 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.
+
{{Note|If you don't 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}}.}}
  
==== Convert your virtual disk format ====
+
=== Launch the VirtualBox guest services ===
  
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.
+
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:
 +
* 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
  
  $ VBoxManage clonehd ''ArchLinux_VM.vdi'' ''ArchLinux_VM.vmdk'' --format ''VMDK''
+
All of these features can be enabled independently with their dedicated flags:
 +
  $ VBoxClient --clipboard --draganddrop --seamless --display --checkhostversion
  
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]].
+
As a shortcut, the {{ic|VBoxClient-all}} bash script enables all of these features.
  
=== Create the VM configuration for your hypervisor ===
+
{{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 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.
+
VirtualBox can also synchronize the time between the host and the guest, to do this, [[start/enable]] the {{ic|vboxservice.service}}.
  
{{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.
+
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'').
  
{{hc|ArchLinux_vm.vmx|2=
+
=== Hardware acceleration ===
firmware = "efi"
+
}}
+
}}
+
  
Finally, ask your hypervisor to use the existing virtual disk you have converted and launch the virtual machine.
+
Hardware acceleration can be activated from the VirtualBox options on the host computer. Note the [[GDM]] display manager 3.16+ is known to [https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=749390 break] hardware acceleration support. 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]
{{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 ==
+
If you want to share folders between your host and your Arch Linux guest, read on.
  
=== Using USB webcam / microphone ===
+
=== Enable shared folders ===
  
{{Note|You will need to have VirtualBox extension pack installed before following the steps below. See [[#Extension pack]] for details.}}
+
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].
  
# Make sure the virtual machine is not running and your webcam / microphone is not being used.
+
No matter which method you will use to mount your folder, all methods require some steps first.
# 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 ===
+
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.
  
My experience with this configuration was pretty terrible, but it does work.
+
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]].
  
''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.
+
==== Manual mounting ====
  
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:
+
Use the following command to mount your folder in your Arch Linux guest:
 +
# mount -t vboxsf ''shared_folder_name'' ''mount_point_on_guest_system''
  
{{hc|\startup.nsh|
+
The vboxsf filesystem offers other options which can be displayed with this command:
HD16a0a1:\EFI\refind\refindx64.efi}}
+
# mount.vboxsf
  
Here I'm using consistent mapping name (HD16a0a1). It is probably a good idea, because they do survive configuration changes.
+
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/
  
{{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.}}
+
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.
  
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>
+
==== Automounting ====
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 ===
+
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}}.
  
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
+
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}}.
# systemctl enable vboxservice
+
  
To start immediately, run
+
You can use symlinks if you want to have a more convenient access and avoid to browse in that directory, e.g.:
  # systemctl start vboxservice
+
  $ ln -s /media/sf_''shared_folder_name'' ~/''my_documents''
  
You also need run this daemon in order to use the auto-mounting feature of shared folders that are mentioned above.
+
==== Mount at boot ====
  
=== Enable shared folders ===
+
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
  
Shared folders are managed via the VirtualBox program on the host. They may be added, auto-mounted and made read-only from there.
+
* {{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''}}.}}
  
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.
+
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
  
# groupadd vboxsf
+
== Virtual disks management ==
# gpasswd -a $USER vboxsf
+
  
{{Note|For '''automounting''' to work, you have to enable the '''vboxservice''' service.}}
+
See also [[VirtualBox/Tips and tricks#Import/export VirtualBox virtual machines from/to other hypervisors]].
  
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:
+
=== Formats supported by VirtualBox ===
  
$ ln -s /media/sf_Dropbox/* ~/dropbox
+
VirtualBox supports the following virtual disk formats:
  
The {{ic|VBoxLinuxAdditions.run}} script provided in the Guest Additions iso does this for you, however, Arch does not recommend using it.
+
* VDI: The Virtual Disk Image is the VirtualBox own open container used by default when you create a virtual machine with VirtualBox.
  
==== Manually mounting ====
+
* 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.
  
Look at the following for more info: [http://virtuatopia.com/index.php/VirtualBox_Shared_Folders]
+
* 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.}}
  
Syntax:
+
* 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].
mount -t vboxsf <shared-folder-name> <mount-point-on-guest-system>
+
  
If you get an error like:
+
* Version 2 of the HDD: 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.}}
  /sbin/mount.vboxsf: mounting failed with the error: No such device
+
  
Try:
+
* 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.
modprobe vboxsf
+
  
For additional info, see [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=70780 this post].
+
* 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 has flaw and is not recommended). QCOW is available in two versions: QCOW and QCOW2. The latter 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 this QCOW2 format (both revisions have been tried).
  
 +
* 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].
  
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).
+
* 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].
  
desktop  /media/desktop    vboxsf  uid=user,gid=group,rw,dmode=700,fmode=600,comment=systemd.automount 0 0
+
=== Disk image format conversion ===
  
Don't waste your time to test the {{ic|nofail}} option. {{ic|mount.vboxsf}} is not able to handle this (2012-08-20).
+
==== VMDK to VDI and VDI to VMDK ====
  
desktop  /media/desktop    vboxsf  uid=user,gid=group,rw,dmode=700,fmode=600,nofail 0 0
+
VirtualBox can handle back and forth conversion between VDI and VMDK by itself with [https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch08.html#vboxmanage-clonevdi VBoxManage clonehd].
  
=== Replace the virtual disk manually from the ''.vbox'' file ===
+
VMDK to VDI:
  
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:
+
$ VBoxManage clonehd ''source.vmdk'' ''destination.vdi'' --format VDI
  
{{hc|ArchLinux_vm.vbox|2=
+
VDI to VMDK:
<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.
+
$ VBoxManage clonehd ''source.vdi'' ''destination.vmdk'' --format VMDK
  
{{hc|ArchLinux_vm.vbox|2=
+
==== VHD to VDI and VDI to VHD ====
<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, 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].}}
+
VirtualBox can handle conversion back and forth this format with [https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch08.html#vboxmanage-clonevdi VBoxManage clonehd] too.
  
=== Starting virtual machines with a service ===
+
VHD to VDI:
  
Find hereafter the implementation details of a systemd service that will be used to consider a virtual machine as a service.
+
$ VBoxManage clonehd ''source.vhd'' ''destination.vdi'' --format VDI
  
{{hc|/etc/systemd/system/vboxvmservice@.service|<nowiki>
+
VDI to VHD:
[Unit]
+
Description=VBox Virtual Machine %i Service
+
Requires=systemd-modules-load.service
+
After=systemd-modules-load.service
+
  
[Service]
+
$ VBoxManage clonehd ''source.vdi'' ''destination.vhd'' --format VHD
User=</nowiki>{{ic|'''<user>'''}}<nowiki>
+
Group=vboxusers
+
ExecStart=/usr/bin/VBoxHeadless -s %i
+
ExecStop=/usr/bin/VBoxManage controlvm %i savestate
+
  
[Install]
+
==== QCOW2 to VDI and VDI to QCOW2 ====
WantedBy=multi-user.target</nowiki>}}
+
  
{{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.}}
+
[https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch08.html#vboxmanage-clonevdi VBoxManage clonehd] cannot handle the QEMU format conversion; we will thus rely on another tool. The {{ic|qemu-img}} command from {{Pkg|qemu}} can be used to convert images back and forth from VDI to QCOW2. {{Note|{{ic|qemu-img}} can handle a bunch of other formats too. According to the {{ic|qemu-img --help}}, here are the supported formats this tool supports: "''vvfat vpc vmdk vhdx vdi ssh sheepdog sheepdog sheepdog raw host_cdrom host_floppy host_device file qed qcow2 qcow parallels nbd nbd nbd iscsi dmg tftp ftps ftp https http cow cloop bochs blkverify blkdebug'".}}
  
To enable the service that will launch the virtual machine at next boot, use:
+
QCOW2 to VDI:
# systemctl enable vboxvmservice@'''your virtual machine name'''
+
  
To start the service that will launch directly the virtual machine, use:
+
  $ qemu-img convert -pO vdi ''source.qcow2'' ''destination.vdi''
  # systemctl start vboxvmservice@'''your virtual machine name'''
+
  
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.
+
VDI to QCOW2:
  
=== Extension pack ===
+
$ qemu-img convert -pO qcow2 ''source.vdi'' ''destination.qcow2''
  
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.
+
As QCOW2 comes in two revisions (see [[#Formats supported by VirtualBox]], use the flag {{ic|1=-o compat=}} to specify the revision.
  
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.
+
$ qemu-img convert -pO qcow2 ''source.vdi'' ''destination.qcow2'' -o compat=0.10
 +
or
 +
$ qemu-img convert -pO qcow2 ''source.vdi'' ''destination.qcow2'' -o compat=1.1
  
Additionally you can install the Extension Pack from the command line using VBoxManage.
+
{{Tip|The {{ic|-p}} parameter is used to get the progression of the conversion task.}}
  
VBoxManage extpack install <tarball> |
+
=== Mount virtual disks ===
                    uninstall [--force] <name> |
+
                    cleanup
+
As an alternative, you could also use {{AUR|virtualbox-ext-oracle}} from the [[AUR]].
+
  
=== Accessing a guest server ===
+
==== VDI ====
  
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:
+
Mounting vdi images only works with fixed size images (a.k.a. static images); dynamic (dynamically size allocating) images are not easily mountable.
$ 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.  
+
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):
  
{{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}}.}}
+
$ VBoxManage internalcommands dumphdinfo <storage.vdi> | grep "offData"
  
=== Sharing keyboard and mouse ===
+
The can now be mounted with:
  
*To capture the keyboard and mouse, click the mouse inside the virtual machine display.
+
# mount -t ext4 -o rw,noatime,noexec,loop,offset=101888 <storage.vdi> /mntpoint/
*To uncapture, press right {{ic|Ctrl}}.
+
  
To get seamless mouse integration between host and guest, install the [[#Guest Additions]] inside the guest.
+
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/}}):
  
=== Sharing files ===
+
# mount -t vdi -o fstype=ext4,rw,noatime,noexec ''vdi_file_location'' ''/mnt/''
  
In the settings of the virtual machine go to shared folders tab and add the folders you want to share.
+
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]:
  
*NOTE: You need to install Guest Additions in order to use this feature.
+
# modprobe nbd max_part=16
  In a Linux host, ''Devices &rarr; Install Guest Additions''
+
# qemu-nbd -c /dev/nbd0 <storage.vdi>
  Yes (when asked to download the CD image)
+
  # mount /dev/nbd0p1 /mnt/dir/
  Mount (when asked to register and mount)
+
  # # to unmount:
 +
  # umount /mnt/dir/
 +
# qemu-nbd -d /dev/nbd0
  
In a Linux host, create one or more folders for sharing files, then set the shared folders via the virtualbox menu (guest window).
+
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>}}.
  
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''.
+
=== Compact virtual disks ===
  
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".
+
Compacting virtual disks only works with {{ic|.vdi}} files and basically consists in the following steps.
  
Alternatively, on the Windows command line, you can also use the following:
+
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].
net use x: \\VBOXSVR\sharename
+
  
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.
+
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 {{ic|bleachbit -c system.free_disk_space}} in CLI;
 +
* On UNIX-based systems, by using {{ic|dd}} or preferably {{Pkg|dcfldd}} (see [http://superuser.com/a/355322 here] to learn the differences) :
 +
:{{bc|1=# dcfldd if=/dev/zero of=''/fillfile'' bs=4M}}
 +
: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.
  
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:
+
* On Windows, there are two tools available:
127.0.0.1 localhost vboxsvr
+
:*{{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}}.}}
  
In a Linux guest, use the following command:
+
Once the free disk space have been wiped, shut down your virtual machine.
# 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
+
The next time you boot your virtual machine, it is recommended to do a filesystem check.
 +
* 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;
  
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}}.
+
Now, remove the zeros from the {{ic|vdi}} file with [https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch08.html#vboxmanage-modifyvdi VBoxManage modifyhd]:
 +
$ VBoxManage modifyhd ''your_disk.vdi'' --compact
  
Beyond the standard options supplied by the mount command, the following are available:
+
{{Note|If your virtual machine has snapshots, you need to apply the above command on each {{ic|.vdi}} files you have.}}
iocharset=CHARSET
+
to set the character set used for I/O operations (utf8 by default) and
+
convertcp=CHARSET
+
to specify the character set used for the shared folder name (utf8 by default).
+
  
=== D3D acceleration in Windows guests ===
+
=== Increase virtual disks ===
  
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. 
+
==== General procedure ====
  
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.  
+
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.
  
{{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.}}
+
First, create a new virtual disk next to the one you want to increase:
{{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.}}
+
  $ VBoxManage createhd -filename ''new.vdi'' --size ''10000''
  
=== Virtual hard disks ===
+
where size is in MiB, in this example 10000MiB ~= 10GiB, and ''new.vdi'' is name of new hard drive to be created.
  
==== Cloning a Disk Image and Reassigning a UUID ====
+
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
  
Assigns a new UUID to the given image file. This way, multiple copies of a container can be registered.
+
{{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 internalcommands sethduuid /path/to/disk.vdi
+
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
  
==== Compacting Linux disks ====
+
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):
  
Boot the Linux guest VM and remove all bloat (unwanted packages, temp files, etc.). When satisfied, wipe the freespace using dd or preferably dcfldd:
+
{{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)
 +
[...]}}
  
$ dcfldd if=/dev/zero of=fillfile bs=4M
+
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.
  
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."
+
{{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.}}
  
Once this occurs, simply remove the fill file and powerdown the VM:
+
Finally, unregister the virtual disk from VirtualBox and remove the file:
 +
$ VBoxManage closemedium disk ''old.vdi''
 +
$ rm ''old.vdi''
  
$ rm -f fillfile && sudo shutdown -hF now
+
==== Increase size for VDI disks ====
 +
If your disk is a vdi one, simply run:
  
{{Note| The -F switch will force a disk check upon a reboot which is advised following the compact operation.}}
+
$ VBoxManage modifyhd ''your_virtual_disk.vdi'' --resize ''the_new_size''
  
Now compact the disk:
+
Then jump back to the Gparted step, to increase the size of the partition on the virtual disk.
  
$ VBoxManage modifyhd /path/to/your.vdi --compact
+
=== Replace a virtual disk manually from the .vbox file ===
  
==== Compacting Windows disks ====
+
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:
  
See [http://www.mdl4.com/2010/04/virtualbox-compact-a-vdi-in-ubuntu this article].
+
{{hc|ArchLinux_vm.vbox|2=
 +
<HardDisk uuid="''{670157e5-8bd4-4f7b-8b96-9ee412a712b5}''" location="''ArchLinux_vm.vdi''" format="''VDI''" type="Normal"/>
 +
}}
  
==== Increasing Windows disk size ====
+
then in the {{ic|<AttachedDevice>}} sub-tag of {{ic|<StorageController>}}, replace the GUID by the new one.
  
{{Warning|This has only been tested with Windows XP and Windows 7 guests.}}
+
{{hc|ArchLinux_vm.vbox|2=
 +
<AttachedDevice type="HardDisk" port="0" device="0">
 +
  <Image uuid="''{670157e5-8bd4-4f7b-8b96-9ee412a712b5}''"/>
 +
</AttachedDevice>
 +
}}
  
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:
+
{{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].}}
  
Create a new vdi in ~/.VirtualBox/HardDisks by running:
+
==== Transfer between Linux host and other 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.
+
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.
  
Next the old vdi needs to be cloned to the new vdi, this may take some time so wait while it occurs:
+
{{bc|1=
# VBoxManage clonehd old.vdi new.vdi --existing
+
#!/bin/bash
 +
NewPath="${PWD}/"
 +
Snapshots="Snapshots/"
 +
Filename="$1"
  
Detach old harddrive and attach new hard drive, replace VMName with whatever you called your VM:
+
  awk -v SetPath="$NewPath" -v SnapPath="$Snapshots" '{if(index($0,"<HardDisk uuid=") != 0){A=$3;split(A,B,"=");
  # VBoxManage modifyvm VMName --hda none
+
L=B[2];
  # VBoxManage modifyvm VMName --hda new.vdi
+
  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"}}
  
Boot the VM, run Partition Wizard 5 to resize the partition on the fly, and reboot.
+
{{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}}}}
  
Remove old vdi from VirtualBox and delete
+
=== Clone a virtual disk and assigning a new UUID to it ===
# VBoxManage closemedium disk old.vdi
+
# rm old.vdi
+
  
==== Disk image format conversion ====
+
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, the latter will keep track of all UUID 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.
  
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 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).
  
===== QEMU to VDI =====
+
You can use this command to assign a new UUID to your virtual disk:
 +
$ VBoxManage internalcommands sethduuid ''/path/to/disk.vdi''
  
From [[QEMU]] 0.12.x on, {{ic|qemu-img}} is able to convert directly to VDI and back, if necessary:
+
{{Tip|In the future, to avoid copying the virtual disk and assigning a new UUID to your file manually, use [http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch08.html#vboxmanage-clonevdi VBoxManage clonehd] instead.}}
$ qemu-img convert -O vdi test.qcow2 test.vdi
+
  
===== VMware to VDI =====
+
{{Note|The commands above supports [[#Formats supported by VirtualBox|all virtual disk formats supported by VirtualBox]].}}
  
You can
+
== Tips and tricks ==
  $ 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 ===
+
For advanced configuration, see [[VirtualBox/Tips and tricks]].
  
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
+
== Troubleshooting ==
"VBoxManage startvm '''''vm-name'''''"
+
'''''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 ===
+
=== VERR_ACCESS_DENIED ===
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 ===
+
To access the raw vmdk image on a windows host, run the VirtualBox GUI as administrator.
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 ===
+
=== pacstrap script fails ===  
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:
+
{{bc|<nowiki>
+
#!/bin/bash
+
  
# Erase old VMDK entries
+
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.
rm ~/.VirtualBox/*.vmdk
+
  
# Clean up VBox-Registry
+
=== Keyboard and mouse are blocked in my virtual machine ===
sed -i '/sd/d' ~/.VirtualBox/VirtualBox.xml
+
  
# Remove old harddisks from existing machines
+
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.
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
+
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.
find  ~/.VirtualBox/Machines -name \*-prev -exec rm '{}' \;
+
  
# Recreate VMDKs
+
=== Cannot send CTRL+ALT+Fn key to my virtual machine ===
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
+
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.
    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
+
=== Fix ISO images problems ===
VirtualBox
+
</nowiki>}}
+
Note that your user has to be added to the "disk" group to create VMDKs out of existing drives.
+
  
== Troubleshooting ==
 
 
=== Windows XP guest and old Nokia phones not working ===
 
 
To get working Windows XP and Nokia phones with PC Suite mode, VirtualBox needs two simple steps:
 
 
'''1.''' Add a rule to [[udev]] with {{ic|/etc/udev/rules.d/40-permissions.rules}}:
 
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
 
# 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.
 
 
=== Fix ISO images problems ===
 
 
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.  
 
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.
 
In this case, you will either have to use [[CDEmu]] for Linux inside VirtualBox or any other utility used to mount disk images.
  
=== GUI does not match GTK Theme ===
+
=== VirtualBox GUI does not match my GTK Theme ===
  
See [[Uniform Look for Qt and GTK Applications]] for information about theming Qt based applications like Virtualbox or [[Skype]].
+
See [[Uniform Look for Qt and GTK Applications]] for information about theming Qt based applications like Virtualbox.
  
=== OpenBSD ===
+
=== OpenBSD unusable when virtualisation instructions unavailable ===
  
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:
+
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 NameOfYourOpenBSDVM
+
  $ VBoxSDL -norawr0 -vm ''name_of_OpenBSD_VM''
  
 
=== 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. The solution to unlock the VM is trivial:
  $ VBoxManage controlvm <your virtual machine name> poweroff
+
  $ VBoxManage controlvm ''virtual_machine_name'' poweroff
  
 
=== USB subsystem is not working on the host or guest ===
 
=== 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''):
+
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.
 +
 
 +
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.
 +
 
 +
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''):
  
 
{{hc|~/.bashrc|VBOX_USB<nowiki>=</nowiki>usbfs}}
 
{{hc|~/.bashrc|VBOX_USB<nowiki>=</nowiki>usbfs}}
Line 620: Line 558:
 
=== Failed to create the host-only network interface ===
 
=== Failed to create the host-only network interface ===
  
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:
+
Make sure all required kernel modules are loaded. See [[#Load the VirtualBox kernel modules]].
# 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}}.
+
  
 
=== WinXP: Bit-depth cannot be greater than 16 ===
 
=== WinXP: Bit-depth cannot be greater than 16 ===
Line 632: Line 567:
  
 
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).
 
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).
 
=== Mounting .vdi images ===
 
 
Mounting vdi images only works with fixed size (''static'') images; ''dynamic size'' images aren't easily mountable.
 
 
First we need one information from your .vdi image:
 
 
$ VBoxManage internalcommands dumphdinfo <your .vdi file location> | grep offData
 
Header: offBlocks=4096 offData=69632
 
 
Then, add to your {{ic|offData}} 32256. (e.g. 32256 + 69632 = 101888)
 
 
Now you can mount your vdi image with the following command:
 
 
# mount -t ext4 -o rw,noatime,noexec,loop,offset=101888 <your .vdi file location> /mnt/
 
  
 
=== Use serial port in guest OS ===
 
=== Use serial port in guest OS ===
Line 657: Line 577:
 
  crw-rw---- 1 root uucp 4, 67 Feb  3 09:12 /dev/ttyS3
 
  crw-rw---- 1 root uucp 4, 67 Feb  3 09:12 /dev/ttyS3
  
Add your user to the {{ic|uucp}} group.
+
Add your user to the {{ic|uucp}} [[group]].
# gpasswd -a $USER uucp
+
and log out and log in again.
+
  
 
=== Windows 8.x Error Code 0x000000C4===
 
=== Windows 8.x Error Code 0x000000C4===
Line 665: Line 583:
 
If you get this error code while booting, even if you choose OS Type Win 8, try to enable the {{ic|CMPXCHG16B}} CPU instruction:
 
If you get this error code while booting, even if you choose OS Type Win 8, try to enable the {{ic|CMPXCHG16B}} CPU instruction:
  
  $ vboxmanage setextradata <your virtual machine name> VBoxInternal/CPUM/CMPXCHG16B 1
+
  $ 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".
 +
 
 +
=== 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 {{ic|/etc/modprobe.d}} with the following line:
 +
 
 +
options snd-intel8x0 ac97_clock=48000
 +
 
 +
=== Guest freezes after starting Xorg ===
 +
 
 +
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.
 +
 
 +
=== "NS_ERROR_FAILURE" and missing menu items ===
 +
 
 +
If you encounter this message when first time starting the virtual machine:
 +
 
 +
{{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).
 +
 
 +
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 {{ic|MachineRegistry}} menu (or the offending machine you are creating):
 +
 
 +
{{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>
 +
...
 +
}}
 +
 
 +
This happens sometimes when selecting ''QCOW''/''QCOW2''/''QED'' disk format when creating a new virutal disk.
 +
 
 +
=== USB modem ===
 +
 
 +
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.
 +
 
 +
=== "The specified path does not exist. Check the path and then try again." error in Windows guests ===
 +
 
 +
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.
 +
 
 +
There are two workarounds:
 +
 
 +
# 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
 +
 
 +
Other threads on the internet suggest to add VBOXSVR to the list of trusted sites, but this doesn't work with Windows 7 or newer.
 +
 
 +
=== 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 {{ic|VT-x}}) are enabled in the BIOS.
 +
 
 +
If you're 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]
 +
 
 +
=== Host OS freezes on Virtual Machine start ===
 +
 
 +
{{Expansion|Needs a link to a bug report; vague expressions like "currently" and "at the moment of writing" are of no help.}}
 +
 
 +
Possible causes/solutions :
 +
* SMAP
 +
This is a known incompatiblity with SMAP enabled kernels affecting (mostly) Intel Broadwell chipsets. The matter is currently being investigated, with a wide variety of WIP vboxhost module patches out in the wild that are meant to solve the issue. At the moment of writing though, the only 100% guaranteed solution to this problem is disabling SMAP support in your kernel by appending the "nosmap" option to your kernel boot command line.
 +
* 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]
 +
 
 +
Generally, such issues are observed after upgrading VirtualBox or linux kernel. Downgrading them to the previous versions of theirs might solve the problem.
 +
 
 +
=== The virtual machine has terminated unexpectedly during startup with exit code 1 (0x1) ===
 +
 
 +
When trying to launch a virtual machine, an error message like the following appears:
 +
 
 +
{{bc|The virtual machine has terminated unexpectedly during startup with exit code 1 (0x1)
 +
NS_ERROR_FAILURE 0x80004005
 +
Component: MachineWrap
 +
Interface: IMachine}}
 +
 
 +
This may occur after upgrading the {{Pkg|virtualbox}} or {{Pkg|virtualbox-host-modules}} package. Try reloading the {{ic|vboxdrv}} module:
 +
 
 +
{{bc|# modprobe -r vboxdrv
 +
# modprobe vboxdrv
 +
}}
 +
 
 +
=== Analog microphone not working in guest ===
 +
 
 +
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.
 +
 
 +
=== Fullscreen mode shows blank guest screen ===
 +
On some window managers ([[i3]]), VirtualBox has issues with fullscreen mode properly due to the overlay bar.  To workaround this issue, disable "Show in Full-screen/Seamless" option in "Guest Settings --> User Interface --> Mini ToolBar".  See [https://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/14323 the upstream bug report] for more information.
  
=== Windows 8 VM fails to boot with error "ERR_DISK_FULL" ===
+
=== Failed to insert module ===
  
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.
+
If you encounter problem when loading modules as follow:
Bring up your VM's settings at ''Settings > Storage > Controller:SATA'' and select "Use Host I/O Cache".
+
Failed to insert 'vboxdrv': Required key not available
 +
Make sure you signed your modules or disable {{ic|CONFIG_MODULE_SIG_FORCE}} in your kernel config.
  
== 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 17:00, 22 July 2016

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.

You can also install the qt5-x11extras 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. See below to learn the differences.

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 don't 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 which provides additional features, is released under a non-free license and 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.

Use the right front-end

Now, you are ready to use VirtualBox. Congratulations!

Multiple front-ends are available to you of which two are available by default:

  • If you want to use VirtualBox in command-line only (only launch and change settings of existing virtual machines), you can use the 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 VBoxHeadless which produces no visible output on the host at all, but instead only delivers VRDP data (note: VRDP is only enabled if the extension pack is installed).

If you installed the qt5-x11extras optional dependency, you can run VirtualBox and have a nice-looking GUI interface with menus usable via the mouse.

Finally, you can 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 Beginners' guide or 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 the startup.nsh script at the ESP root containing the path to the boot loader application, e.g. \EFI\grub\grubx64.efi.

Do not bother with the VirtualBox Boot Manager (accessible with F2 at boot): EFI entries added to it manually at boot 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 (https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Kernel_parameters) 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 the 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 don't 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 from the VirtualBox options on the host computer. Note the GDM display manager 3.16+ is known to break hardware acceleration support. So if you get issues with hardware acceleration, try out another display manager (lightdm seems to work fine).[3] [4]

If you want to share folders between your host and your Arch Linux guest, read on.

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

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

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.
  • Version 2 of the HDD: 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 has flaw and is not recommended). QCOW is available in two versions: QCOW and QCOW2. The latter 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 this QCOW2 format (both revisions have been tried).
  • 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

VMDK to VDI and VDI to VMDK

VirtualBox can handle back and forth conversion between VDI and VMDK by itself with VBoxManage clonehd.

VMDK to VDI:

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

VDI to VMDK:

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

VHD to VDI and VDI to VHD

VirtualBox can handle conversion back and forth this format with VBoxManage clonehd too.

VHD to VDI:

$ VBoxManage clonehd source.vhd destination.vdi --format VDI

VDI to VHD:

$ VBoxManage clonehd source.vdi destination.vhd --format VHD

QCOW2 to VDI and VDI to QCOW2

VBoxManage clonehd cannot handle the QEMU format conversion; we will thus rely on another tool. The qemu-img command from qemu can be used to convert images back and forth from VDI to QCOW2.
Note: qemu-img can handle a bunch of other formats too. According to the qemu-img --help, here are the supported formats this tool supports: "vvfat vpc vmdk vhdx vdi ssh sheepdog sheepdog sheepdog raw host_cdrom host_floppy host_device file qed qcow2 qcow parallels nbd nbd nbd iscsi dmg tftp ftps ftp https http cow cloop bochs blkverify blkdebug'".

QCOW2 to VDI:

$ qemu-img convert -pO vdi source.qcow2 destination.vdi

VDI to QCOW2:

$ qemu-img convert -pO qcow2 source.vdi destination.qcow2

As QCOW2 comes in two revisions (see #Formats supported by VirtualBox, use the flag -o compat= to specify the revision.

$ qemu-img convert -pO qcow2 source.vdi destination.qcow2 -o compat=0.10

or

$ qemu-img convert -pO qcow2 source.vdi destination.qcow2 -o compat=1.1
Tip: The -p parameter is used to get the progression of the conversion task.

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 in 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

Increase size for VDI disks

If your disk is a vdi one, simply 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, the latter will keep track of all UUID 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 your virtual disk:

$ VBoxManage internalcommands sethduuid /path/to/disk.vdi
Tip: In the future, to avoid copying the virtual disk and assigning a new UUID to your file manually, use VBoxManage clonehd instead.
Note: The commands above supports all virtual disk formats supported by VirtualBox.

Tips and tricks

For advanced configuration, see VirtualBox/Tips and tricks.

Troubleshooting

VERR_ACCESS_DENIED

To access the raw vmdk image on a windows host, run the VirtualBox GUI as administrator.

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.

Keyboard and mouse are blocked in my 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.

Cannot send CTRL+ALT+Fn key to my virtual machine

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.

Fix ISO images problems

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.

VirtualBox GUI does not match my GTK Theme

See Uniform Look for Qt and GTK Applications for information about theming Qt based applications like Virtualbox.

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

VBOX_E_INVALID_OBJECT_STATE (0x80BB0007)

This can occur if a VM is exited ungracefully. The solution to unlock the VM is trivial:

$ VBoxManage controlvm virtual_machine_name poweroff

USB subsystem is not working on the host or guest

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.

Failed to create the host-only network interface

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

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).

Use serial port in guest OS

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.

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".

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

Guest freezes after starting Xorg

Faulty or missing drivers may cause the guest to freeze after starting Xorg, see for example [5] and [6]. Try disabling 3D acceleration in Settings > Display, and check if all Xorg drivers are installed.

"NS_ERROR_FAILURE" and missing menu items

If you encounter this message when first time starting 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>
...

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

USB modem

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.

"The specified path does not exist. Check the path and then try again." error in Windows guests

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 doesn't work with Windows 7 or newer.

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're using a Windows host, you may need to disable Hyper-V, as it prevents VirtualBox from using VT-x. [7]

Host OS 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; vague expressions like "currently" and "at the moment of writing" are of no help. (Discuss in Talk:VirtualBox#)

Possible causes/solutions :

  • SMAP

This is a known incompatiblity with SMAP enabled kernels affecting (mostly) Intel Broadwell chipsets. The matter is currently being investigated, with a wide variety of WIP vboxhost module patches out in the wild that are meant to solve the issue. At the moment of writing though, the only 100% guaranteed solution to this problem is disabling SMAP support in your kernel by appending the "nosmap" option to your kernel boot command line.

  • Hardware Virtualisation

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

  • Various Kernel bugs
    • Fuse mounted partitions (like ntfs) [8], [9]

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

The virtual machine has terminated unexpectedly during startup with exit code 1 (0x1)

When trying to launch a virtual machine, an error message like the following appears:

The virtual machine has terminated unexpectedly during startup with exit code 1 (0x1)
NS_ERROR_FAILURE 0x80004005
Component: MachineWrap
Interface: IMachine

This may occur after upgrading the virtualbox or virtualbox-host-modules package. Try reloading the vboxdrv module:

# modprobe -r vboxdrv
# modprobe vboxdrv

Analog microphone not working in guest

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.

Fullscreen mode shows blank guest screen

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

Failed to insert module

If you encounter problem when loading modules as follow:

Failed to insert 'vboxdrv': Required key not available

Make sure you signed your modules or disable CONFIG_MODULE_SIG_FORCE in your kernel config.

See also