VirtualBox USB in Ubuntu Hardy

How to get USB working?

For those who are used to working in the Terminal it will be easy for you to complete the following. For those who are not familiar with using the Terminal, now is a good time to start using it. 🙂

To get USB Devices working in VirtualBox you need to do the following:

    Setup VirtualBox USB Support:

USB is disabled by default, so you’ll probably want to enable it. Otherwise you’ll get an error when you go into the “Settings” of your virtual machine. To correct this, you’ll need to edit the file:

1. Open the Terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal)
2. Copy/Paste the following into the Terminal and hit Enter

sudo gedit /etc/init.d/

3. You should see a section which looks like this:

# Magic to make /proc/bus/usb work
#mkdir -p /dev/bus/usb/.usbfs
#domount usbfs “” /dev/bus/usb/.usbfs -obusmode=0700,devmode=0600,listmode=0644
#ln -s .usbfs/devices /dev/bus/usb/devices
#mount –rbind /dev/bus/usb /proc/bus/usb

Make it look like the following by uncommenting the shown lines:

# Magic to make /proc/bus/usb work
mkdir -p /dev/bus/usb/.usbfs
domount usbfs “” /dev/bus/usb/.usbfs -obusmode=0700,devmode=0600,listmode=0644
ln -s .usbfs/devices /dev/bus/usb/devices
mount –rbind /dev/bus/usb /proc/bus/usb

4. Save and Close the text file.

You can try logging off and logging back on, then test the USB in VirtualBox. If its still not working (as was the case with us) proceed to do the following:

1. With your Terminal open Copy/Paste the following:

grep vbox /etc/group

You should an output like this one:


Note that the number, 124, is the vboxusers ID.

2. Now you will need to open /etc/fstab by entering this in the Terminal:

sudo gedit /etc/fstab

Once the file is open add the following code to the bottom on the file:

## usbfs is the USB group in fstab file:
none /proc/bus/usb usbfs devgid=124,devmode=664 0 0

3. Save and Close the text file.

4. Now enter the following into the Terminal to open and edit another file:

sudo gedit /etc/init.d/

Find the following line of text in the file:

# Mount spufs, if Cell Broadband processor is detected

Now paste the following code above that line of text:

## Mount the usbfs for use with Virtual Box
domount usbfs usbdevfs /proc/bus/usb -onoexec,nosuid,nodev,devgid=124,devmode=664

5. Save and Close the text file.

6. Reboot your computer and your USB in VirtualBox should be working!
*Note: if you don’t want to reboot you can try executing this command through ALT-F2:
sudo /etc/init.d/

UPDATE (13/12/08):
I had to do this on one machine after doing the above and being able to see all the USB devices through Virtualbox but not being able to mount them as they were all grayed out. Here is what I did to fix that.

Go to System > Administration > Users and Groups
Then click on the “unlock” button and enter in your sudo password.

Now click on “Manage Groups” whcih will open a new window in which you need to scroll down till you find the group called “vboxusers”. Double click “vboxusers” to go into the properties and make sure the tick-box beside your username is ticked and not empty. Mine was not ticked so I had to tick it and then click on “OK” and then close the other windows.

Lastly, log out and back in again and try mounting USB devices in your virtual machine again. Worked for me!


Banshee vs Exaile

I had started out using Xmms and Rythymbox as my Music players in Ubuntu Linux … that was until I tried out Exaile.

Exaile is a lightweight, no-nonsense audio player with all the features I ever needed for playing music. You can download and install Exaile straight from the Ubuntu repositories via Synaptic or Add/Remove Applications.

About a week ago I decided to give Banshee a try and initially liked the simplicity of the layout and thought it worked pretty smoothly. I haggled a bit trying to find the volume control, but finally found it. Then I tried to figure out where the graphical equalizer was and was almost a bit upset when I found out that Banshee does not have one in Ubuntu 8.04.

Banshee will have that feature in Ubuntu 8.10 …. or so I have heard.

So for now I am sticking to Exaile as my favorite Audio Player in Ubuntu.