How to Enable and Access USB Devices in VirtualBox VM

Have you tried to connect a USB device to a VirtualBox (VM) virtual machine, but it is not detected? It’s actually a very common problem that affected me when I started using VirtualBox. The main problem is that VirtualBox Plug’n’Play does not work correctly and Windows can’t find the right driver for the USB device. The solution is to configure the correct filter in VirtualBox settings.

It is important to understand how to work with virtual hard drives and external memory inside a virtual machine. We have already explained how to create primary and secondary virtual hard drives and assign them to the virtual machine. If you missed these articles, we strongly recommend you to read them on our website.

In this article we will show you how to access a USB flash drive in your virtual machine. To show you how to do this we plug a 16GB USB flash drive into a USB port on our host computer and load it into the virtual machine. The name of the usb stick is 16, so let’s get started.

Installing the latest version of VirtualBox

First of all, we want to make sure that the latest version of VirtualBox is installed. To do this, delete the current version with the command

Clear the sudo apt virtual box



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Once this has been done, use the command to add the required deposit:

sudo add-apt repository “deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian contrib”.

Where UBUNTU-RELEASE is the version of Ubuntu that you use. If you are not sure which version of Ubuntu you have installed, type lsb_release -a.

Then use the command to load and install the :

wget -q http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian/oracle_vbox.asc -O- | sudo apt-key add –

Now we can install the latest version with the following commands:

update sudo apt-get
sudo apt install virtualbox-5.2 dkms

How to access a local USB dongle in VirtualBox

You may have heard that VirtualBox 5.0 is USB compatible. Here we provide a simple guide to using USB in VirtualBox.

  • As an option (to take advantage of USB 3.0 speed) you can install VirtualBox Extension Pack for free.
  • After installation, boot the virtual machine (be it Windows, Linux or any other supported guest operating system).
  • Connect the required USB device to the USB port of the host computer.
  • Now go to “Devices -> USB” and click on “USB device for sharing”.

If VirtualBox allows USB connection, the shared USB device will appear in the guest’s operating system. The VirtualBox will detect the USB device and you will get full access to its functionality from the guest operating system. In this way, you can connect the USB remotely to the VirtualBox.

Keep in mind that only one machine can access the USB device at a time.