I installed virtualbox in Ubuntu 12.04, in which I installed Windows XP. However I am unable to see VirtualBox on desktop when logging in a different user account and consequently unable to access Windows XP.

How do I access Windows XP running in VirtualBox from another user account on the same PC?

  • Are you sure that you've installed it correctly ? try logout/login or a PC reboot. Also, open a terminal (CTRL+ALT+T) and issue this command apt-cache search virtualbox | grep -i installed and see(also show us) what returns. – NickTux Jan 1 '14 at 16:37

Virtual machines are installed in Virtual Box on a per user basis. This means that the virtual machine runs with the user account it was created and started.

To access a running virtual machine from a different user account we have two options:

  1. Run an SSH server on the guest to control the guest OS via SSH from a different account (or through the network).
  2. Use the desktop remote viewing protocol (RDP) of Virtual Box to have access to the graphical desktop of the guest.

Steps to run and access a guest via RDP

  1. Install the Oracle Extension Pack.
  2. Enable RDP for the guest machine.

    • Virtual Box Manager: Enable RDP in Settings > Display > Remote Display
      enter image description here
    • Command line:

      VBoxManage modifyvm "name_of_guest" --vrde on
  3. Start the guest OS from your main user account.

  4. Switch to your other user.
  5. Run a remote desktop viewer (e.g. Remmina which is installed by default).
    • Connect to localhost:3389 (or another port if defined differently in 2.)
    • Use the name and password of the account from which Virtual Box is running. enter image description here
    • Adjust display geometry or color settings according to your needs.

This way we can access and control a running virtual machine over the network from any remote computer too.

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