Question on Assigning USB HW to Virtual boxes

Dan Egli ddavidegli at
Mon Oct 7 02:54:26 MDT 2013

On October 3, 2013, Todd Millecam wrote:

> Virtual box lets you configure individual USB devices to be seen by VMs,

> reported by the USB controller. By default, it can see them in all

> boxes, but won't attempt to access them or make them available to the

> OS until you say so. It gives you a list of what it sees, and waits for

> you to click on it to plug it in (and eject it when you're done).

> I believe once you activate it and make it visible to the guest OS, it is

> just a USB pass-through. In my experience, I've been able to see USB

> devices in my guest OS the same way I'd see them on the host OS (if

> the same OS, that is).

That sounds like a likely candidate. I've only used VMWare server before
(the free one, not expensive GSX server), so I have no experience with
Virtual Box. Can you tell me five things about it?

1) Will it allow you to setup a network interface that acts as a pass
through to the host network (i.e. if the HOST box gets as it's
IP, can the guest OS use, on the same network) without using
bridges or the like?

2) Does it simply pass the MAC of the HOST network interface as the MAC to
the guest boxes (VMWare server does that), or does it generate new MAC
addresses for it's boxes? If it does generate new MAC addresses, is there a
place where those can be seen/changed on the HOST file system?

3) Does VirtualBox allow you to start it, and it's machines, as soon as the
computer boots up?

4) Does VirtualBox allow for Copy-on-Write to it's hdd image files? (VMWare
server doesn't, but I hear GSX server does)

5) Does VirtualBox maintain the USB connections between system boots? I.e.
if the system goes down (say due to power failure), then comes back up,
will the rebooted systems automatically get their assigned USB devices
back? Or would I have to reconnect them manually?

I appreciate the information on this! It's going to be a big help!

--- Dan

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