Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I see the the "Devices" tab has "USB Devices" and there it lists my USB drive, but it is gray and can not be selected. Perms on the device in /media are 0700 and it is owned by myuserid:myuserid

VirtualBox obviously is communicating with the device because it lists it as a "Sandisk MobileMate Reader". I have the latest Vbox (3.2.8) and have the 3.2.8 additions loaded as well. For what it's worth, CD/DVD and network devices work as expected with the XP virtual machine. The USB device is readable from Ubuntu (10.4 LTS) with no problems and is readable on non-virtual XP box. What am I missing here?

share|improve this question
Do you have the OSE or the PUEL edition ? – Sathya Sep 9 '10 at 4:21
I downloaded virtualbox-3.2_3.2.8-64453~Ubuntu~lucid_amd64.deb from and installed it with pkg mgr gui. I assume that makes it the PUEL edition? – hotei Sep 9 '10 at 13:48
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Got it working. A closer inspection of the documentation explained why I had problems:

  1. needed to add myuserid to the vboxusers group.
  2. needed to make sure the device was NOT visible to the host (i.e. "eject" it but don't actually remove the USB plug).

Overall I'm very impressed with VirtualBox. In this case a friendly warning or two might have been helpful (like they do if you move a virtual_CD.iso out from under a VM) but the solution was in the documentation so I can't complain more than a little bit.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.