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How could we close GUI session in virtual box without shutting down the virtual machine. I have a lot of Linux instances I only need to connect to one of them.

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Do you want to change to a different terminal? Ctrl-alt-F1 is your friend. – Robert Jan 6 '12 at 8:07
No, I want to close the GUI session and the VM doesn't shut down. Like what we do in xen or kvm. – Majid Azimi Jan 6 '12 at 8:10

This has already been answered already, but...

With Virtualbox 4.2 and later, there is a quiet little option to start the VM in headless mode. Simply select your VM, then while holding SHIFT down, click Start. This will run the VM in headless mode. Note that there is still no way to "detach" from the VM in GUI mode, but you can suspend the VM with Save State and restart in headless mode.

Better yet, only run in headless mode and use RDP/VNC to manage. phpVirtualBox is a decent web interface to remotely manage VirtualBox instances.


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As of VBox 5.0 you can close the window and it will prompt you for action including "run in background"

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Hmmm...I don't see this option. – Dave Mackey Apr 24 at 0:00
There is no such option – Yar May 27 at 12:53
This option appears for me only if I start the VM with a "Detachable Start" – antishok Jun 3 at 8:36
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I asked this question in ask.fedora:

Don't open a GUI session in the first place, use the headless version of VirtualBox:

Otherwise, when you close your session, you close all the programs you were running inside, including the hypervisor.

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in virtual box 5, click the arrow next to the "Start" button, select "Detachable Start" will have "run in background" option.

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Could you include a screenshot? – Burgi Jun 2 at 7:33

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