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I am using a separate HDD as a disk for my Virtualbox machine. I have made a vmdk using the tutorial provided in the VirtualBox manual, but in order for the machine to run I have to constantly change the owner and group of the /dev/sdb device to the user I am logged in with.

Time after time permissions get reset back to root:disk, and I'm not certain when exactly that happens. What can I do to change the owner and group permanently or maybe to not have to do it at all?

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Either you use the whole device ( /dev/sdb ) or you create a vmdk file, not both. If you have a vmdk file then you need permissions for that file, not /dev/sdb. – psusi Dec 14 '12 at 15:19
@psusi, no, you need to create a vmdk in both cases, check out the docs I have linked to. – Igor Zinov'yev Dec 14 '12 at 19:02
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The probably simplest and best way to fix the problem is adding your user to disk group.

sudo adduser %user disk

Then logoff and login back, you should able to interact with hard drive from Virtualbox.

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This solution has occurred to me, but what confused me initially was the device's permissions. They are set to brw-rw---, doesn't that mean that only root can boot from this device? – Igor Zinov'yev Dec 14 '12 at 19:04
No, the second set of permissions rw- are for the group (disk). – Javier Rivera Dec 18 '12 at 8:55

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