I have installed VirtualBox on Ubuntu 11.04. I launched it from the console and added a virtual Windows XP. Everything was working okay, but when I added VirtualBox as a shortcut to my menu it opens without this Windows virtual machine.

Why is this and how would I change the shortcut so I can see my VM?

  • How did you start it from the console exactly? Which commands did you type? Were you logged in as another user when you did so?
    – slhck
    Sep 26, 2011 at 11:21
  • I have just type virtualbox Sep 26, 2011 at 12:02
  • Quick test. When you open a fresh new terminal and enter sudo virtualbox, do you see your VM there? Now, if you enter just virtualbox, are they gone now?
    – slhck
    Sep 26, 2011 at 12:04
  • Yest VM is there when I open new terminal Sep 26, 2011 at 12:05
  • yes XP is there Sep 26, 2011 at 12:07

2 Answers 2


You configured your VirtualBox installation as the wrong user, i.e. root. You were probably starting VirtualBox with sudo virtualbox and therefore your whole configuration was written to /root/.VirtualBox instead of /home/your-username/.VirtualBox.

  • First, stop all instances of VirtualBox.
  • According to VirtualBox 4.0 documentation, you should find your VM in root's home folder, which we'll open with this command:

    gksudo nautilus /root/VirtualBox\ VMs &
  • Here, you should see a directory for the Windows VM. Take that directory, and copy it to /home/your-username/VirtualBox VMs. Close the Nautilus window.

  • Then, take ownership of this folder again. Might not be necessary, but doesn't hurt.

    sudo chown -R your-username /home/your-username/VirtualBox\ VMs/
  • Now, restart VirtualBox over the normal menu shortcut or by running virtualbox from the Terminal. Are you able see your VM now?

  • It didn't help, still I cant see my XP Sep 26, 2011 at 12:54
  • Does your /home/your-username/VirtualBox VMs folder now contain the Windows machine? Are you the owner of said folder (by looking at its permissions)? You could also try to set up a new VM and choose the .vdi file that is now in your home folder as the disk.
    – slhck
    Sep 26, 2011 at 13:10
  • I tried to export from root and import on my acount by there was some errors, so I decied to reinstall XP on this acount. Thanks for helping Sep 26, 2011 at 13:42

This can happen when you install the VM as an user different from the one you used to launch VirtualBox. This happened to me when I had used vagrant to create my VMs as user X, and then tried to check the VM installation status on VirtualBox as user Y.

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