So I want to use my flashdrive in Windows XP, which I am currently running in Virtualbox, but when I open up the settings to enable usb usage, I get an error:

Failed to access the USB subsystem.
VirtualBox is not currently allowed to access USB devices. You can change this by adding your user to the 'vboxusers' group. Please see the user manual for a more detailed explanation

Result Code: 
NS_ERROR_FAILURE (0x00004005)
IHost {30678943-32df-4830-b413-931b25ac86a0}
IMachine {22781af3-1c96-4126-9edf-67a020e0e858}

Does anyone know how to fix this!? Please help! :S


In your host, run this command:

sudo usermod -a -G vboxusers $USER

Now perform a logout (always required after add current user to a group).

After login, check that you are in the vboxusers group with this command, make sure that vboxusers is in the shown list:

groups $USER
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  • 2
    i am getting error: usermod: group 'vboxusers' does not exist – Edward Torvalds Dec 29 '14 at 14:42
  • adduser: The group `vboxusers' does not exist. Now what? – endolith Oct 7 '16 at 18:16
  • 2
    Oh wait, this is something you run in the host OS, not the guest OS? – endolith Oct 7 '16 at 18:20
  • Actually, for Linux guests + hosts (not exactly the question but helpful), you need to do BOTH sudo usermod -a -G vboxusers "$USER" on the host AND sudo usermod -a -G vboxsf "$USER" on the guest after extension pack install and then reboot the guest. – KrisWebDev Jan 5 at 8:11

This works for me and my problem with VirtualBox was solved

sudo usermod -a -G vboxsf "$USER"
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  • i am getting error: usermod: group 'vboxsf' does not exist – Edward Torvalds Dec 29 '14 at 14:42
  • I don't know why installing VirtualBox does not add that group for you, maybe will it be good idea to add group manually first – Serjik Dec 30 '14 at 5:08
  1. Add the user as suggested by other answer using usermod command.
  2. Run the command id. You should see vboxusers in the list.
  3. If you don't see that, you may restart your computer and try id again.

When you get vboxusers listed as a result of running id, you're good to use USB with virtual box.

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  • Instead of restarting, simply logging off and on again also works. – nsane Oct 12 '16 at 18:35
  • id That will give you uid=1000([username]) gid=1000([username]) groups=1000([username]),10(wheel),18(dialout),497(plugdev) if vboxusers is missing in that then add
  • usermod -a -G vboxusers [username]

This should resolve

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1º. In a terminal run:

    sudo adduser $USER vboxusers

2º. Reboot all systems.

| improve this answer | |

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