Is it possible to hide the window of a VirtualBox VM until it has finished starting? Or, until X seconds have passed? I want to use "seamless" mode and make it even more seamless by not showing the VM boot up.

Linux host and guest in my case, but if there's a way to do this it'll probably work on any OS.

  • 2
    Does starting in headless mode give you what you want? No window is created for the booting VM, but you can always ask for it to be displayed later, eg after boot. – AlwaysLearning Jun 22 '17 at 3:12
  • @KingZoingo That sounds perfect! If you write a short guide on how to do this as an answer, I'll accept it. – Aaron Franke Jun 22 '17 at 14:34

I think that headless mode is what you want. It starts the VM, but doesn't start the window that would show you the console and/or the GUI of the machine. You can invoke it from the CLI like this, for a VM called testVM:

VBoxManage startvm testVM --type headless

and to power off/save state:

VBoxManage controlvm testVM power off


VBoxManage controlvm testVM savestate

If you have the Extension Pack installed on the host, it attaches am RDP server to each VM at boot, which means that if you find that you do need the console/GUI, you can RDP to your VM and get in.

| improve this answer | |
  • Is there a way to show the display without RDP? – Aaron Franke Oct 24 '17 at 21:50
  • I believe that replacing headless with "separate" in the first command above will do what you want. However the 'separate' verb modifier is marked as experimental in my copy of the virtualbox docs. – AlwaysLearning Oct 25 '17 at 3:57

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