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'm planning to set up a virtual machine on my new desktop for my other family members so that it wouldn't get viruses or strange applications installed while I'm not around.

They need access to the printer/scanner/all-in-one too, which is physically connected to the desktop. Will they be able to print from within the virtual machine or do they need to access the Host OS to do such a thing?

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

If the computers are running windows, you should be able to share the printer on the host machine and print to it using the guest. You'll probably have to set up a bridged or host-only addaptor on the guest for it to work as a virtual LAN.

You could also try capturing the printer (if it is USB), although this means installing the drivers for the printer in the virtual machine and have to use the PUEL versions to have USB support.

share|improve this answer

Adding a virtual machine is exactly the same as adding a new physical computer. To share resources, the two "computers" must be connected through a network (even if a virtual network with no physical cables).

The physical machine needs to share the printer on the network, and the VM needs to have access to this shared printer resource.

I could add more info and pointers if I knew which operating systems are on both physical and virtual computers.

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.