Andrew Holden on 30 Dec 2009 06:18:20 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] VBox USB issue

Yes, I agree with this. I just set this up on Ubuntu Jaunty for
iTunes/iPod support and it works perfectly but you need the non-free
version (it's still free as in beer but it's closed source). The other
little nugget I found was that you have to add Virtualbox to your user

USB: if you are having trouble accessing USB devices in a guest, make
sure that you are a member of the vboxusers system group.

There are a couple of good step by step help guides to doing that.

Also, I know we all hate to reboot our Linux boxes but I found that
after all these changes were made a reboot made Virtualbox show up in
the application menu and also made the USB devices show non-gray in
the device list. Yay - I was happy even if uptime was reset to zero...

Oh, and I just realized that it sounds like you're not even seeing
your devices grayed out in the device menu, I think that might mean
you have to set up USB filters in the main Virtualbox application
(with the VM shut down). I think that's what tells Virtualbox whether
that particular USB device is available to that VM - otherwise it
could get confused. You may not need to do that, but it's a

Hope this all helps,


On Wed, Dec 30, 2009 at 8:39 AM, Casey Bralla <> wrote:
> On Wednesday 30 December 2009 8:33:10 am Arthur S. Alexion wrote:
>> On Tuesday 29 December 2009 19:30:31 Casey Bralla wrote:
>> > On Tuesday 29 December 2009 5:32:25 pm Arthur S. Alexion wrote:
>> > > The menu item for mounting USB devices in the VM never seems to detect
>> > >  them. Sharing of folders on the host does.  So if I mount a USB device
>> > > on the host and share the mount point, I can achieve this.  Problem is,
>> > > each device creates its own mount point usually based on file system
>> > > label, and the mount point doesn't exist until the device is plugged in
>> > > so there is no hot plugging using this work around.  I have to plug in
>> > > a device, let it mount, share the mount point, and then launch the VM.
>> > > If I want to plug in something else which may create a different mount
>> > > point, I can't.
>> > > Any ideas for making this work better?
>> >
>> > Do you mean VirtualBox?
>> Yes, sorry.
>> > I never have any trouble with USB devices in
>> > VirtualBox.  (Inf act, I have less problem with Windows clients than I do
>> >  with  native Linux.)
>> >
>> > Are you selecting the USB device from the top menu in VirtualBox?
>> That is what I am trying to do, but none appear there.
>> I am using Kubuntu 9.10 as the host.  The host detects the plugged in
>>  device. I have tried accessing the USB from VirtualBox both when mounted
>>  on the host system and not.  Nothing appears in the available device list
>>  on the menu you mention.
>> It will access them, if I mount them as host shares, as I mentioned.
>> Am I missing something obvious in my VBox setup?
>> > When I
>> >  do  that, the guest operating system always detects it almost
>> > immediately.
> OK, I understand now (I think <grin>).
> You are probably using the "ose" version of VirtualBox, which does not include
> USB support.  The ose version is the fully GPL'd open source system.    In
> order to get USB support, you have to download the binary version from
>   They have Debian packages, which I presume will work in
> Ubuntu.   Their download page shows you how to add the VirtualBox repository
> to your /etc/apt/sources.list file.   Once there, Ubuntu can automatically
> download and install it just like any other package.
> --
> Casey Bralla
> Chief Nerd in Residence
> The NerdWorld Organisation
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