I am trying to run Virtual Box VM inside VMWare VM (Windows Server 2008 64 bit)

I am getting below error on booting virtual box vm.

Stderr: VBoxManage.exe: error: VT-x is not available (VERR_VMX_NO_VMX) VBoxManage.exe: error: Details: code E_FAIL (0x80004005), component ConsoleWrap, interface IConsole

I have enabled VT-X virtualization setting on the VMWare VM. and Hyper-V is not installed on VMWare VM (Windows Server 2008).

Also on the Virtual Box - i could see options for installing only 32 bit guests (Even though Windows Server 2008 is 64 bit)

I am not sure what else i could be missing?

  • 1
    Check your version of VMWare. Nested Virtualization might or might not be supported in different kinds of scenarios.
    – Seth
    Nov 18, 2016 at 6:34
  • You have VMware workstation or VMvisor and what version?
    – vembutech
    Nov 18, 2016 at 9:55

3 Answers 3


At 2018, VirtualBox does not support nested virtualization. There is a feature request for a while, but it is not implemented nowadays.

According to different reports, nested virtualization are supported to run in other systems. For instance:

William Lam has a blog page with several articles on nested virtualization.


Virtual Box 6.0

Support for Nested Virtualization

This release adds support for nested virtualization. This feature is only available on host systems that use an AMD CPU.

Nested virtualization enables you to install a hypervisor, such as Oracle VM VirtualBox, Oracle VM Server or KVM, on an Oracle VM VirtualBox guest. You can then create and run virtual machines (VMs) in the guest VM.

Configure nested virtualization by using the VirtualBox Manager or the --nested-hw-virt option of the VBoxManage modifyvm command. See Nested Virtualization.

See https://docs.oracle.com/en/virtualization/virtualbox/6.0/relnotes/nested-virt-support.html

... and it seems that VirtualBox can run inside VirtualBox as of v6.1 also with Intel CPUs.

  • Ok, so VirtualBox may be able to run inside other hypervisors but only if have an AMD CPU? Or if you have an Intel CPU and are running VirtualBox within VirtualBox.
    – Paul
    23 hours ago
  • I find this link docs.oracle.com/en/virtualization/virtualbox/6.0/admin/… which sounds like they are only talking about exposing hardware virtualization support thru VirtualBox (i.e., making it available to guest VM's running on top of VIrtualBox). This would imply running other hypervisors within VirtualBox, not nesting VirtualBox inside another hypervisor.
    – Paul
    23 hours ago
  • communities.vmware.com/t5/Nested-Virtualization/… seems to indicate this should work, with certain version caveats. That is, if VirtualBox plays nicely as a guest.
    – Paul
    23 hours ago

Assuming that VirtualBox plays nicely in a guest VM, it sounds like running it in VMware Workstation should work, with certain version caveats. https://communities.vmware.com/t5/Nested-Virtualization/Nested-VMware-Workstation-and-64-bit-guests/td-p/1754713

There are also articles on ESX. I have no idea if this works in VMware Player; I believe it uses the same engine but it may not expose as much functionality.

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