How to use USB with Oracle VirtualBox (PUEL)

  12 years ago

First follow the following steps to prepare your system to share USB with the virtual machines in VirtualBox (Personal Use and Evaluation License version):

  1. Be sure you installed the closed source VirtualBox (the one from the Software Manager is OK);
  2. Install the Guest Additions (on the virtual machine menu Devices > Install Guest Additions);
  3. Give your user the proper permissions (Menu > Administration > Users and Groups > Manage Groups), by adding the group "vboxusers" to your user (using the "Properties" button).

After this is done, you can simply add USB devices to your virtual machine by right clicking over the USB icon on the bottom of the virtual machine screen.

jacksparling 4 years ago

thank you. it work. If you can't find 'manage groups' in users and groups. type 'sudo apt-get install gnome-system-tools'

ben2talk 5 years ago

Users and Groups > Manage Groups
Doesn't exist...
After 'Users and Groups' I see a window 'Users' and 'Groups' tabs only, no 'Manage Groups'.

thefritz 6 years ago

"This is OUTDATED info and should be deleted. On LM 17.3 There is no longer any "vboxusers" group, only a "vboxsf" group... "

That is seemingly wrong. At least for Mint 18. Membership in vboxusers is (still) required to access the USB-devices. Tried it a minute ago.

E3V3A 6 years ago

This is OUTDATED info and should be deleted. On LM 17.3 There is no longer any "vboxusers" group, only a "vboxsf" group...

MagicMint 7 years ago

@megerbyte: Of course there are System Settings› Administration› Users and Groups.

jahid_0903014 9 years ago


Rufus 10 years ago

In Virtualbox 4.2 you may add a new USB device via the USB settings dialog. Simply click on the small icon with a "+"-sign. If the device is already plugged in, you can chose it from a pop-up menu. Otherwise you can set a filter containing the manufacturer code. Get the code by typing "lsusb" into a terminal window in Linux Mint.

tomhenderson 10 years ago

Didn't work. In some cases, Linux refuses to recognize a device in modes that it can't understand. The USB device in question for my situation is an Android smartphone in "Windows Media Mode" and it's not passed along to VBox as a device. It might as well be deaf.

dojero 12 years ago

I think this is incomplete. While it will work with some USB devices, it will not permit the use of all devices. If you have trouble, add your user name to the lp group as well as the vboxusers group. Then you must log out and log in to Linux again in order for the change to take effect.

lgthomas 12 years ago

This post was usefull to me in setting up iTunes to work with my iPod and iPad.


thx1138 12 years ago

"Use USB with Sun VirtualBox (using other repos)" is a more appropiate Headline. You don't mention the PUEL stuff and all information you provide is on any sites you like using google with virtualbox linux usb.
Totally pointless.

mcduarte2000 12 years ago

Well, it took me some hours to discover this, as most pages would say to do much more complicated things.

remoulder 12 years ago

Hardly a tutorial!