VirtualBox is a powerful and widely used virtualization tool that allows you to create and manage virtual machines (VMs) on your physical machine. However, one common challenge that users often face is how to start these virtual machines automatically when the system boots up. In this article, we will guide you through the process of setting up your Ubuntu system to automatically start your VirtualBox machines on boot.
To automatically start VirtualBox machines on boot in Ubuntu, you need to create a VirtualBox configuration file, set up the autostart configuration, set permissions, add users to the vboxusers group, set the autostart database path, enable autostart for individual VMs, and restart the vboxautostart-service. Following these steps will ensure that your VirtualBox machines start automatically when your Ubuntu system boots up.
Before we begin, ensure that you have VirtualBox installed on your Ubuntu system. If you have not installed it yet, you can download it from the official VirtualBox website.
Step 1: Create the VirtualBox Configuration File
The first step is to create a configuration file that VirtualBox will use to manage the autostart process. Open your terminal and type the following command:
sudo nano /etc/default/virtualbox
This command opens the
nano text editor with administrative privileges to create a new file at
/etc/default/virtualbox. In this file, add the following lines:
VBOXAUTOSTART_DB variable sets the path to the autostart database directory, while
VBOXAUTOSTART_CONFIG points to the configuration file that will be used by the autostart service.
Step 2: Set Up the Autostart Configuration
Next, create the autostart configuration file by typing:
sudo nano /etc/vbox/vbox.cfg
In this file, add the following line:
default_policy = allow
default_policy variable sets the default autostart policy. In this case, we set it to
allow, which means all virtual machines are allowed to autostart.
Step 3: Set Permissions
Now, set the correct permissions on the
/etc/vbox directory using the following commands:
sudo chgrp vboxusers /etc/vbox sudo chmod 1775 /etc/vbox
chgrp command changes the group ownership of the
/etc/vbox directory to
vboxusers, which is the default group for VirtualBox users. The
chmod command sets the directory’s permissions to
1775, which allows the group to read, write, and execute files in the directory.
Step 4: Add Users to the vboxusers Group
Add each user who will be using VirtualBox to the
sudo usermod -a -G vboxusers USERNAME
USERNAME with the actual username. This command adds the user to the
vboxusers group, giving them the necessary permissions to use VirtualBox.
Step 5: Set the Autostart Database Path
Set the path to the autostart database directory for each user:
VBoxManage setproperty autostartdbpath /etc/vbox
VBoxManage setproperty autostartdbpath command sets the path to the autostart database directory.
Step 6: Enable Autostart for Individual VMs
Now, enable autostart for each virtual machine that you want to start automatically:
VBoxManage modifyvm <uuid|vmname> --autostart-enabled on
<uuid|vmname> with the UUID or name of the virtual machine. The
--autostart-enabled on flag enables the autostart feature for the specified virtual machine.
Step 7: Restart the vboxautostart-service
Finally, restart the vboxautostart-service to apply the changes:
sudo service vboxautostart-service restart
This command restarts the vboxautostart-service, which is responsible for starting virtual machines automatically.
After following these steps, your VirtualBox machines should start automatically when your Ubuntu system boots up. This can save you time and make your workflow more efficient, especially if you rely on virtual machines for your daily tasks. Remember to replace the placeholders in the commands with your actual usernames and virtual machine names. Happy virtualizing!
Yes, this method should work for other Linux distributions as well, as long as you have VirtualBox installed and follow the steps accordingly.
You can modify the autostart policy for individual virtual machines by using the command
VBoxManage modifyvm <uuid|vmname> --autostart-policy <policy>. Replace
<uuid|vmname> with the UUID or name of the virtual machine and
<policy> with either
ignore to set the desired autostart policy.
To disable the autostart feature for a specific virtual machine, use the command
VBoxManage modifyvm <uuid|vmname> --autostart-enabled off. Replace
<uuid|vmname> with the UUID or name of the virtual machine.
Yes, you can set different autostart policies for different virtual machines by using the
VBoxManage modifyvm command and specifying the desired policy for each virtual machine individually.
You can use the command
VBoxManage list vms --details to list all the virtual machines on your system and check the "Autostart" column to see if the autostart feature is enabled for each virtual machine.
No, this method is specifically for automatically starting virtual machines on system boot. If you want to start virtual machines on specific user login, you would need to use other methods or scripts tailored for that purpose.