enter image description hereenter image description hereIm running Ubuntu 13.10 with Virtual Box running Windows 7. Have a shared hard drive set up between the two.

I have set up the virtual box the best I could, and have been searching endlessly on iPhone forums and windows help to find out why it wont detect my iphone or any other USB, but they give stupid answers like 'check the cord is plugged in' and 'restart you phone' or 'go into device manager' etc

Im thinking now its because im running a partition. (i understood a partition runs exactly like another operating system with everything you need and can do.

Any one encountered this problem and how did you overcome it?

P.S: Guest additions and Extension Pack installed

I have installed windows for 3 reasons.

  • to run iTunes for my iPhone 3g (cause wine didnt work)
  • to run a citrix work server that doesnt accept linux
  • to run ableton live (music creator)
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  • Most definitely the problem is because you run from a virtual box. For me it is a long time ago that I used VirtualBox so probably someone else can explain how but you have to explicitly bond the usb device to your virtual box. – Requist Feb 23 '14 at 16:24
  • I was mucking around with VirtualBox last week, so I think my answer should work... – Wilf Feb 23 '14 at 16:41
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    The command to add yourself (carlos) to vboxusers would be sudo usermod -aG vboxusers carlos. Also see askubuntu.com/questions/25596/set-up-usb-for-virtualbox – Takkat Feb 23 '14 at 21:36
  • @Takkat - Oops, I didn't realise there was a duplicate answer... – Wilf Feb 23 '14 at 22:10
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    neither did I! After typing this comand tho Takkat it did not ask for my password. did not even think terminal just came up with another basic comand line (my computer name) How can i check this worked? Im following the steps in your link. cheers – Carlos Dunick Feb 23 '14 at 22:13

First have to install the extension pack for Ubuntu as @rusty says in the comment below. Then install the VirtualBox extensions pack - open the virtual machine, and install the guest additions pack as explained here.

You have to set up virtual-box for USB access - Close any running Virtual Machines (as in Shutdown, not saved state), Open VirtualBox settings, by clicking settings when the right VM is selected:
enter image description here

You then need to tick all the boxes under USB: Look under USB in the settings

To add devices click the green '+' to the right - you might as well add all that are listed by it.

Then when you are running the VirtualBox, plug in the devices, and then right-click on the USB icon in the bottom right and select the ones you want:
enter image description here
Unmount the devices in the host system first

Works for Android (mostly), Windows XP, 7 and 8(.1) :D - Haven't tried my phone, but the camera seems to work, and I can use my memory stick to copy stuff on and off the virtual machine as I can't be bothered to set up a shared thing.

N.B. If it says you need to add your user to the vboxusers group, you need to run:

sudo usermod -a -G vboxusers USERNAME

This will add the USERNAME you specify to the vboxusers group, so you have permission to access the USB devices from inside a VM.

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  • hey thanks for the info, ive been trying to follow your simple steps but one thing keeps getting in the way. It says i need to install an extension pack... and when i try to it errors up. I install a lower version and that installs fine but still virtual box does not show any devices in settings - usb device filters. will attach a screenshot – Carlos Dunick Feb 23 '14 at 18:22
  • how the upgrade does not install. when i click 'Enable USB 2.0 (EHCI) Controller' it says that i need to install virtual box extensions pack. – Carlos Dunick Feb 23 '14 at 18:44
  • no worries i appreciate the help – Carlos Dunick Feb 23 '14 at 18:57
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    you can use the URL - http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/*.*.*/ (replace *.*.* with the vBox version to match your case e.g. 4.3.6 as in http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/4.3.6/) and from the resulting page you can download the package Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-*.*.*-?????.vbox-extpack to your disk and install it by double clicking and following the wizard, or open the package with the vBox application.. – precise Feb 23 '14 at 19:07
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    Thanks @rusty - forgot that bit - you should be able to find the version of VirtualBox by running this: dpkg -l virtualbox. – Wilf Feb 23 '14 at 19:48

Installing just VirtualBox alone does not give you seamless movement between host OS and guest nor does it allow USB devices to work; without installing Guest Additions. Guest Additions are installed in the Guest OS whereas VirtualBox is/was installed on the host.

The short answer to your question is:

a) Go to the help files chapter 4 click here

b) OR Now that you know.....search for "Guest Additions and USB and Virtualbox" anywhere especially on this forum, as there are MANY that ask/ have asked...

c) Since there does not seem to be an updated guide, and you likely had no idea about Guest Additions; here are the The Highly Su-ggested Pointers: taken from the efforts of others on this forum and directly from the source, Oracle. (I have just cut out all the additional info to hopefully help)

Read the following and keep in mind: Switching versions of Virtualbox will NOT delete your windows 7 vm or any virtual machine which you have CLOSED, by SAVING. You can easily add your Virtualbox created VM(s) and compatible VM(s) to your new VirtualBox. To be clear...When you update or change the version of Virtualbox, DO NOT EVER delete or format or otherwise permanently remove any in-production virtual machine(s), or currently used virtual hard drive(s) or physical drive(s) when you have important information anywhere on the drive (real or virtual) which you do not want to lose. ALWAYS, Always, always.... Make sure important information is backed up no matter what you are doing with any device.

Okay, did you install the VB directly from a package downloaded from the Oracle website, OR more likely the package that is found in the Ubuntu Software Center (USC) on Ubuntu? I assume you have VB downloaded and installed, but you did not know about Guest Additions.iso?

Both VB and Guest Additions are Oracle products and completely free of charge. You should (but not required) use the Oracle website official version.

NOTE: If you have already gone to the Oracle VB official site and installed the Oracle version from them directly, skip to Section 2 at bottom of this response, and see if the Guest Additions.ISO is already available to you.

The following information is cut directly from Oracle's site,Linux Install

Look for the section titled: Debian-based Linux distributions Do the following, once you are on that site (since the information will be up to date & I could not paste exactly what it says on the VirtualBox site, go the the site linked above find the sections with the following, and do what it says. I have just cut out all the additional info to hopefully help)

  1. Add one of the following lines according to your distribution to your /etc/apt/sources.list: deb http: //download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian saucy contrib deb http: //download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian raring contrib deb http: //download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian quantal contrib*

  2. The Oracle public key for apt-secure needs downloaded and added by entering the following in terminal (Again, goto Oracle link above to see this formatted properly)

    wget -q http:// download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian/oracle_vbox.asc -O- | sudo apt-key add -

  3. To install VirtualBox now, do

    sudo apt-get update

    sudo apt-get install virtualbox-4.3

NOTE: Ubuntu/Debian users might want to install the dkms package to ensure that the VirtualBox host kernel modules (vboxdrv, vboxnetflt and vboxnetadp) are properly updated if the linux kernel version changes during the next apt-get upgrade. For Debian it is available in Lenny backports and in the normal repository for Squeeze and later. The dkms package can be installed through the Synaptic Package manager or through the following command:

sudo apt-get install dkms

You are Done adding the correct version, next:

Section 2

Now follow the directions in your help for VB chapter 4 for installing Guest Additions which says simply:

  1. In the "Devices" menu in the virtual machine's menu bar, VirtualBox has a handy menu item named "Insert Guest Additions CD image", which mounts the Guest Additions ISO file inside your virtual machine. A Windows guest should then automatically start the Guest Additions installer, which installs the Guest Additions into your Windows guest.

  2. You will then need to restart the Windows virtual machine.

  3. log back in to the vm, and check under devices on the vm toolbar. You will see devices currently attached to your host that are capable of being attached to your VM (they have to actually be plugged into your host first, and you will need to download the drivers for the USB device in you host, if the device is not included as standard for Windows OS)

That wasn't so bad, was it? It required a few more steps but your Virtualbox will forever get updates directly from Oracle as they release stable updates (direct from the source is always fastest and safest), and automatically will be installed via USC's Updater, or by terminal on demand demand everytime you apt-get update/upgrade

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Hi I am using virtualbox 4.2.16-dfsg under Xubuntu 13.10, I installed the vb version from a pacakge, intalled guest aditions on the guest machine and installed exact the same version of the extension pack from the Oracel site.

If you run on the terminal:

VBoxManage list extpacks

You should see only one package and it should be usable: true, if not you have to work around it first.

I enabled the EHCI Controller but i didn't make any filter or something like that.

Then like other user told you give VB permissions to read USB drivers:

sudo usermod -aG vboxusers <username> 

next, reboot and enjoy.

Here is a screenshot of seamless mode running iTunes and syncing my iPhone 5 :


see at the bottom the usb devices list.

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  • Nicely done, Have you ever been able to use more than 1 USB device at a time? – Carlos Dunick Mar 14 '14 at 6:15

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