I have Linux inside a Virtual Box on a Mac. Whenever I press the "Play/Pause" media key, even if I'm inside the Linux VM, the Mac iTunes app opens. This makes it impossible to use media keys inside my VM.

I've googled, but all I can find is old Virtual Box tickets (filed years ago but never fixed) complaining about this bug. It appears there's no "official" way to get Virtual Box to pass the key presses through.

So, my question is, is there an "unofficial" way? For instance, I use the BetterTouchTool on the Mac to let me convert a "lower bottom touchpad press" from my Mac mouse in to a "middle-click" that I can use in Linux. Is there any keyboard app(s) I can install on Mac and/or in Linux to let me press some combination of keys (optionally with a mouse gesture of some sort) to make my VM act like I'd pressed a media key?


I have the same issue and haven't found an ideal solution yet.

How about mapping some key combination to the media features? I use Super+F10 for mute, Super+F11 for volume down, etc.

Then you could change the system setting in the OSX Host to use all Fn keys as normal Fn keys for a two button shortcut in Ubuntu Guest (Super+F10), or leave the Fn keys as media keys in OSX and use a three button shortcut in the guest (Super+Fn+F10).

  • I guess this is the best option available, although it is disappointing that there's no way to use the actual media keys. Thanks – machineghost Jan 28 '16 at 20:55

I don't have a OS X system to test this with (but it works on vbox on windows, and won't hurt to try) , but if you're primarily working in the VM, turning off autocapture should do the trick - least when I tried a shortcut on windows. Go to "Input" -> "Keyboard" -> keyboard settings, then unselect "Auto Capture Keyboard". You'll need to hit right ctrl to get out of the VM, but that's not really that annoying.

  • 2
    Unfortunately un-checking autocapture doesn't make the media keys work :( – machineghost Jan 22 '16 at 18:21

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