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I want to know how to start a VirtualBox Virtual Machine (VM) from the command line (using Windows 7) as well as shut it down with the operating system.

What is an easy way to achieve this?

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Actually VirtualBox will recognize a host system shutdown initiated by the user – Sebastian Godelet May 10 '13 at 14:31
up vote 29 down vote accepted

Here's the command I run from a shortcut I have on my desktop. This should work from a command line as well.

"C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage.exe" startvm <NameOfVMHere>

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Thanks a million! this command actually has everything anybody would ever do with a VM ^^ – Sebastian Godelet Nov 30 '10 at 14:30
vboxmanage startvm "winxppro Clone"
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Could you expand on the answer? It only answers to start-up and not the shut down. – suspectus Jun 23 '13 at 8:56
Please provide a bit more explanation about why your post answers the question. – teylyn Jun 23 '13 at 9:30

I will try to elaborate on @Philippe answer:
Try adding -- before the startvm The command: vboxmanage startvm <machine_name> will start the server which name is "machine_name".
For example if you have a machine that called UbuntuServer then the command will look like so: vboxmanage --startvm UbuntuServer

Note vboxmanage should be in you path to run this command. Add if to your path if not (on my mac it was added with the installation of virtual box.

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