VirtualBox is a powerful, feature-rich, and free virtualization software that allows you to run multiple operating systems simultaneously on your computer. One of the features that VirtualBox provides is the ability to change the default location where your virtual machines (VMs) are stored. This article will guide you through the process of changing the default VM location using the command line.
Yes, it is possible to change the default VM location in VirtualBox via the command line. You can use the
vboxmanage setproperty command to modify the
machinefolder property and specify the new directory where you want to store your VMs. However, please note that this command will only affect VMs created after the property has been set and it will not move already created VMs.
Understanding the Default VM Location in VirtualBox
By default, VirtualBox stores all your VMs in a directory named “VirtualBox VMs” in your home directory. However, you might want to change this location due to various reasons such as running out of disk space or organizing your VMs in a different directory.
Changing the Default VM Location
To change the default VM location, you need to use the
vboxmanage command-line utility that comes with VirtualBox. The specific property you need to set is
Here is an example command:
vboxmanage setproperty machinefolder /path/to/directory/
In this command,
/path/to/directory/ should be replaced with the absolute path to the directory where you want to store your VMs.
vboxmanage setproperty command is used to modify global VirtualBox settings. The
machinefolder property specifies the default directory for VMs.
Please note that this command will only affect VMs created after the
machinefolder property has been set. It will not move already created VMs.
Verifying the Current Default VM Location
To verify the current settings or find out the current default VM location, you can use the following command:
vboxmanage list systemproperties | grep folder
This command will display the current settings, including the default VM location. The
vboxmanage list systemproperties command lists all global VirtualBox settings. The
grep folder part is used to filter the output and show only lines that contain the word ‘folder’.
Moving Existing VMs
If you want to move your existing VMs to the new location, you will have to do it manually. You can use the
mv command to move your VMs.
mv /path/to/old/directory/* /path/to/new/directory/
/path/to/old/directory/ with the current VM location and
/path/to/new/directory/ with the new location.
Using Symbolic Links
If you prefer to reconfigure the location without actually moving the VMs, you can consider creating a symbolic link. For example, you can create a symlink from
~/VirtualBox\ VMs to another directory. This way, VirtualBox will still look for VMs in the default location, but they will be stored in the new directory.
Here is an example command to create a symbolic link:
ln -s /path/to/directory/ ~/VirtualBox\ VMs
In conclusion, changing the default VM location in VirtualBox via the command line is a straightforward process. Whether you’re running out of space or just want to organize your VMs differently, this guide should have provided you with the necessary steps to achieve your goal.
Yes, you can change the default VM location in VirtualBox using the GUI. To do this, open VirtualBox, go to File -> Preferences -> General, and under the "Default Machine Folder" section, click the folder icon to choose a new location.
No, changing the default VM location will not affect your existing virtual machines. The new location will only be used for newly created virtual machines. If you want to move your existing virtual machines to the new location, you will have to do it manually.
Yes, you can change the default VM location to a network drive or a shared folder. However, please note that VirtualBox might have limitations or performance issues when running virtual machines from remote storage. It is recommended to have the VMs stored on a local drive for optimal performance.
Yes, you can revert the default VM location back to the original location. To do this, you can either use the
vboxmanage setproperty command to set the
machinefolder property to the original location or use the GUI method mentioned in the first question and choose the original location.
Yes, you can have different default VM locations for different VirtualBox installations. Each VirtualBox installation has its own set of configuration files, including the default VM location. So, you can set a different default VM location for each installation if desired.