Trying a simple export of a vm yields an inexplicable error, please see below. Host is ubuntu 14.04, virtual box is version 4.3.20, guest is win7, internal disk format is vmdk, and of course the guest is shut down. I am running as me (not root), there is plenty of free disk space everywhere, the current working directory is my home directory, I have read and write permission for my home directory, for the "VirtualBox VMs" directory, and for all the files in that directory. (I made absolutely sure by doing chmod -R og+r "VirtualBox VMs".)

% vboxmanage export win7x64 -o win7x64_new.ova 
Progress state: E_ACCESSDENIED
VBoxManage: error: Appliance write failed
VBoxManage: error: The object is not ready
VBoxManage: error: Details: code E_ACCESSDENIED (0x80070005), component Medium, interface IMedium
VBoxManage: error: Context: "int handleExportAppliance(HandlerArg*)" at line 1121 of file VBoxManageAppliance.cpp

Google turns up so few similar issues that I'm confident I must be doing something wrong, something has gone sick, etc. Please tell me, there's no Virtualbox service to restart on ubuntu, right?

  • Was the VM running at the time of export? (I don't think it should).
    – Jos
    Mar 8, 2015 at 11:29
  • @jos that's right, the guest was not running; clarified question. Mar 8, 2015 at 11:35

1 Answer 1


oho. Found a running VirtualBox management GUI process /usr/lib/virtualbox/VirtualBox that wasn't connected to my Vncserver session, just idling along doing goodess-knows-what, with no way to look at it. That's a bit of sickness.

All my VMs were down, so I hunted down and stopped all virtual box processes that I owned. Then retried the export. Success!

I suspect that the running manager kept some file open within the VM's directory, and when the exporter tried to get a lock, it failed; but that's just a SWAG.


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