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Thread: Grayed out (unavailable) USB devices in Sun VirtualBox 3.0.10 with 9.10 Karmic Host

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Grayed out (unavailable) USB devices in Sun VirtualBox 3.0.10 with 9.10 Karmic Host

    1. IF USB device doesn't appear to the guest OS and is unavailable inside the guest OS.

    2. and/or IF In the Guest window, under Devices->USB Devices, your USB devices appear but are grayed out...

    3. Try this:
    1. In the host (Karmic 9.10 for example), System->Administration->Users and Groups
    2. Click on the Keys Icon (to right of Help) and give your password.
    3. Select (highlight) your normal user line (the one with /home/xxx)
    4. Click Manage Groups.
    5. In the Groups settings List Box, navigate down to vboxusers
    6. With vboxusers high lighted, click properties
    7. Click the check box next to your normal user to indicate you want the normal user to be a member of the vboxusers group.
    8. reboot the host.


    Hopefully, your USB devices should be visible inside your guest OS. For example, in XP, my USB flash drive device appears in My Computer as KINGSTON (E:) inside XP.

    Please note that you have to tell VirtualBox allow your USB device under Details -> USB/Device Filters, first. Just click on the button Details Tab button USB, check Enable USB controller then click the USB+ icon at the right and place a check by the USB device you want your guest to have access to.

    Also note this applies to the Non-Open Source Version of virtual box (the one installed from the repository) The version you can get directly from SUN allows USB devices to be ported through to the guest. OSE version does not.

    Another note: If you have your USB thumb drive mounted in the host (mine is Karmic) an Icon will appear on the desktop. If you have successfully completed the steps above, when you start the guest, the Karmic host desktop USB icon disaappears to later return when you shut down the guest! (That is so neat! Bravo Ubuntu)

    Yes, I can read your mind... If I could run Quicken directly under Karmic, I wouldn't need XP!!. I'm totally Linux except for Quicken and Turbo Tax.
    Last edited by LarryJ2; November 7th, 2009 at 04:42 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Grayed out (unavailable) USB devices in Sun VirtualBox 3.0.10 with 9.10 Karmic H

    Nice one Larry!

    Just to add to your post, if you install Virtualbox Guest additions it will give you the ability to left click the USB icon in the status bar at the bottom and select which USB Devices are passed through to the guest OS.

    To install:
    Select "Install Guest Additions" from the Devices menu.
    or if that doesn't work install the .EXE from the CD/DVD drive within the Guest OS.

    The Guest additions also give you a lot more functionality which is certainly woth an investigate!

    By the way the above applies to the non free version, I don't think you have the option on the OSE version.

    Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it in for me!

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    Smile Re: Grayed out (unavailable) USB devices in Sun VirtualBox 3.0.10 with 9.10 Karmic H

    D'oh!! Should have realized that reinstalling the O/S might have reset the group membership... I remember doing this in the past but I don't recall having to do it for recent versions of VB... did something change? I son't know who to contact @ Sun but seems like getting that group membership ought to be scriptable, or maybe there should be a README that pops up to tell dummies like me what to do after installing.

    Anyhow thanks for the fix, it's much needed!
    -Tyler

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    Re: Grayed out (unavailable) USB devices in Sun VirtualBox 3.0.10 with 9.10 Karmic H

    davec64 and all:

    That's my understanding also. You have to agree to Sun's User License (PEUL) before you can download the non-free binary from Sun, which provides USB support. From http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Editions
    Closed-source features ¶

    * USB support

    VirtualBox implements a virtual USB controller and supports passing through USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 devices to virtual machines.
    Sun at some point may start charging us hobby users but it's such a nice program that I would be willing to pay.

    LJ
    Last edited by LarryJ2; November 7th, 2009 at 08:22 PM. Reason: Spelling

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    Red face Re: Grayed out (unavailable) USB devices in Sun VirtualBox 3.0.10 with 9.10 Karmic H

    Hi! I am new to the forum so I apologise if I am going over old ground but I have read a lot on this over the last few days and I am none the wiser! I have had most experience (and that isnt much) with dual booting Ubuntu 9.04 with XP but recently rebuilt my PC with 9.10 with a view to go strictly Linux! Obviously there are still those Windows apps that I need to run and saw Virtualbox as an option.

    So my XP VM is running fine but still cannot view a usb device within my VM. I do not appear to have a vmusers group within Ubuntu when Virtualbox was installed so I cannot make myself a member of that. There does not appear to be any reference to usb devices in the VirtualBox console other than on the device menu of the VM itself. The usb option is not greyed out but when you select it the sub menu is empty and in fact greyed out.

    I installed Virtualbox 3.0.10 from the software repository within Ubuntu rather than download it from the Virtualbox website (which is what I have done in the past when I first took a look at virtualbox). Does anyone feel that could make a difference?

    I would appreciate any ideas that anyone may have? By the way I am planning a new build on another (hopefully slightly more butch PC) and am thinking of reverting back to 9.04 as I have performance reservations with 9.10!! Not sure what people make of that?

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    Smile Re: Grayed out (unavailable) USB devices in Sun VirtualBox 3.0.10 with 9.10 Karmic H

    I am not sure but I think my problem could lie with intalling the OSE version of Virtualbox rather than the full one?

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    Re: Grayed out (unavailable) USB devices in Sun VirtualBox 3.0.10 with 9.10 Karmic H

    FozzIT:

    Yes, I think you arrived at the correct deduction. As I understand it, there is no USB support in the OSE / Repository version of VirtualBox. However, USB support is available in the currently free but licensed version you can download from Sun. LJ

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    Wink Re: Grayed out (unavailable) USB devices in Sun VirtualBox 3.0.10 with 9.10 Karmic H

    Thanks again! I will be hopefully performing the new install over the weekend so I will let you know! It's all a learning curve but it keeps things interesting!

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    Question Re: Grayed out (unavailable) USB devices in Sun VirtualBox 3.0.10 with 9.10 Karmic H

    Oh and does anyone feel that 9.10 is tad more hungry than 9.04? Or is it just me?

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    Re: Grayed out (unavailable) USB devices in Sun VirtualBox 3.0.10 with 9.10 Karmic H

    Quote Originally Posted by FozzIT View Post
    Oh and does anyone feel that 9.10 is tad more hungry than 9.04? Or is it just me?
    I didn't find that - but on first install, it was slower because of the wrong nVidia driver being installed, I had to manually check the recommended 18x driver - after that it seemed lighter and faster. Nautilus is still a pig.

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