USB Devices in VirtualBox

I’ve been using VirtualBox for a while now after finding it in Automatix in Ubuntu. Anyway, until now, I’ve been perfectly happy not using USB devices with it. For the most part, I still am, but I was curious how hard it was to set up, so I looked it up. Here’s what I found (originally posted here).

  • Install the other OS
  • Create a group called “usbfs” and add yourself to it: groupadd usbfs; usermod -aG usbfs <username>
  • Edit /etc/fstab and add the following, changing the group ID to match that of the usbfs group you just added (tail /etc/group): none /proc/bus/usb usbfs devgid=1002,devmode=664 0 0 # 1002 is the USB group ID
  • In terminal, issue the following command to see available USB devices: VBoxManage list usbhost
  • Use the output of this command to set up the filters for USB devices under VirtualBox.
  • Reboot your machine. This is required to both recognize the new group and new mounting options

NOTE USB devices have to be unmounted before the virtual machine can recognize them

There it is. Now, simply unmount the USB device from the host OS before booting the guest and you’re good to go.