For my VirtualBox 5.0.14, I downloaded and installed the Extension Pack (All Supported Platforms) and I also became a member of "vboxusers". From what I have read up on the matter, these ought to have sufficed for the Windows XP SP3 running in the VM to detect a USB device but this is not happening.

A few more details:

Originally the USB Settings in the VM allowed only USB 1.0, but now it allows both USB 2.0 and 3.0. This I think is sufficient proof that the extension pack has been properly installed.

For becoming a member of the vboxusers group I used the command "sudo apt-get genome-system-tools" in the terminal and then opened "Users and Groups" from the dash. I then clicked "Manage Groups", found and selected "vboxusers" from the list and clicked "Add". At this point, however, I was presented with a choice I didn't fully understand: I was asked to provide a Group Name once again! So once I entered just "VirtualBox" and at the second time "Windows XP" (my guest OS).

I hope someone more experienced can help diagnose the problem and suggest a remedy.

  • What you did is that you added two new groups VirtualBox and Windows XP where in fact you should have added yourself, i.e. username to the existing group vboxusers. See askubuntu.com/a/25600/3940 on how to do that. – Takkat Feb 5 '16 at 13:37
  • @Takkat. -- I know. But confusion arose from the fact that in the same box where I was asked to fill in "Group Name", my name Subrata Basu had already appeared highlighted. On clicking "OK", the Group Name field remained empty and I was told "A group name must be specified". After reading your response I tried typing in the shorter version of my name "subrata" (which seems to be my username), but I was informed "The group subrata already exists; try a different group name". – user255726 Feb 5 '16 at 15:43
  • After adding yourself to the groupvboxusers with sudo usermod -aG vboxusers <your_username_here> you need to reboot the host. Also note that some USB devices can not be passed through to the VM. You should test with more than one device (e.g. a pendrive). – Takkat Feb 5 '16 at 16:42

Open a terminal and execute this command :

sudo usermod -G vboxsf -a $USER 

Now the guest should detect the USB device.

Update addressing the circumstance that you have chosen the wrong repository for VirtualBox :

Open Software & Updates -> Other Software -> Highlight the VirtualBox entry - click on Remove.

Reload to update the repositories.

Completely uninstall VirtualBox :

sudo apt-get purge "^virtualbox-.*"  

Download and register the ORACLE public key :

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

Add the ORACLE VirtualBox repository to the software sources :

echo "deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian trusty contrib" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/oracle-vbox.list

Update the repositories :

sudo apt-get update

Install VirtualBox 5.0 :

sudo apt-get install virtualbox-5.0  

Now reboot the system.

Note for other users reading this answer, in case they use another Ubuntu edition as 14.04 :

You have to replace trusty with the Ubuntu edition you are using when adding the repository !

As of Ubuntu 16.04 the ORACLE public key to download and register has changed :

oracle_vbox.asc has to be replaced with oracle_vbox_2016.asc !

  • My entire correspondence with you, i.e., all the comments, have vanished! Wonder why!! Anyhow, here's another problem. I've installed Guest Additions but the way I'm ACCESSING the shared folders on the host is too roundabout: Windows Explorer>My Network Places>Entire Network>\\VBOXSVR\... etc. Can you suggest a shorter way? And, surprisingly, I can't access the shared folder by going directly to My Network Places -- it has to be via Windows Explorer>My Network Places. Can you tell why? – user255726 Feb 15 '16 at 15:30
  • @user255726 : The comments of our discussion must have been deleted by the moderators . From within Windows unfortunately I don't know another way to access the folders ... and also not the reason why ... :) – cl-netbox Feb 15 '16 at 15:34

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