I'd like to use custom icons to better distinguish machines running the same OS from each other, in VirtualBox. is this possible? If so, what file(s) do I need to add/edit?


I've got two Windows 7 VMs. One I use as a sandbox for testing various things, and the other I use for when I need to connect to work (ideally, my personal system - the host machine - never directly connects). I'd like to have perhaps a beaker for the sandbox, and a suitcase for the work machine.

I've got two Ubuntu VMs. One is BackTrack Linux, the other is a build I'm using to learn more about the OS. I wouldn't mind keeping the regular icon for the latter, but I'd like to use one of BackTrack's icons or images for the former.

I'm running VirtualBox 4.1.6 on Windows 7 x64.

  • As far as distinguishing between machines and changing the icon, you can use the answer from @koshua. Change the Name, Type, and Version settings under Settings->General->Basic to something different. I have confirmed that it does work to change the icon and I have found no problems. Also, a moderator at the VirtualBox forums confirms that there are no issues changing this setting after initial setup. > by mpack » 25. Apr 2011, 05:31 > > The drop down list shows OS categories, not an exhaustive list of > individual OS editi
    – talyric
    May 30, 2013 at 21:28

3 Answers 3


You can easily change the VM icon in the VirtualBox CLI by doing this command:

VBoxManage modifyvm  "VM Name" --iconfile D:\icon.png
  • This works great on VirtualBox 5.2.16 (MacOS 10.13).
    – Mycah
    Jul 23, 2018 at 21:15
  • 3
    Works with VirtualBox 6.0.6. For those who want to go back to the original icon (file "os_...") => virtualbox.org/browser/vbox/trunk/src/VBox/Frontends/VirtualBox/…
    – Pollitzer
    Apr 20, 2019 at 14:51
  • 1
    That worked. Note that the VM needs to not be running for the command to be accepted. It would be great if they could add that feature in the UI, though. Mar 23, 2021 at 23:13
  • Although this worked for the icon displayed in the VirtualBox UI, it really didn't work for the icon displayed in the external OS UI dock. As such, it doesn't really help.
    – Asclepius
    Dec 31, 2021 at 17:30

You can change OS type in description in Settings->General->Basic. It's just a descriptive parameter and doesnt influence VM work from what I have seen.

I was looking for a solution too, but it seems that's the only way to change it. Btw Solaris icons are really nice :)


You also have the option to start the machine via a desktop link, and then customizing the icon via right-click -> Properties. When you start the VM using this link, the custom icon will also appear in the task bar.

This is very useful if you are running several VM's at the same time, and you want to distinguish them in the task bar.

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    – DavidPostill
    Jun 25, 2015 at 13:08

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