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Thread: USB ports don't work on Virtual Machine :-?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    USB ports don't work on Virtual Machine :-?

    Hi,
    In order to use Garmin Express, I have successfully installed a virtual machine (IE 11 on W7) on Ubuntu 14.04 following these instructions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjdkWT033W0

    Nevertheless, I am unable to get the usb ports to work on the virtual machine (VM). When I try to configure the USB port, I get the message "no devices available". This happens only to the VM. Otherwise, all my usb ports work fine on Ubuntu. So, despite the fact that the USB controller is enabled, it looks like the VM just cannot see those ports (see pic attached).

    I know nothing about VMs. Any ideas about how to make the VM see my devices connected through USB?

    Thank you.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Thanks for your patience.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    1,793
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    Xubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: USB ports don't work on Virtual Machine :-?

    That looks like VirtualBox you're using, right?
    If so, few things to check:
    1) Have you installed Guest Additions inside the VM? (with VM running: Devices > Insert guest additions CD; then inside the VM, select to run the program from the CD)
    2) Is your Ubuntu (host) user account in the 'vboxusers' group?
    3) Under "Sistema" in that settings window you took picture of, is anything disabled/greyed out in any of the 3 tabs there? (it shouldn't be)

  3. #3
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    Re: USB ports don't work on Virtual Machine :-?

    Thread Moved to Virtualisation seems a better fit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: USB ports don't work on Virtual Machine :-?

    Thank you for your quick reply, halogen2.
    Yes, apologies, I forgot to mention that it is Virtual Box (version 5.0.20 r106931e).
    The rest of the answers are as follows:

    1) I have not installed Guest Additions inside the VM. I do not have a CD reader in my laptop (Samsung ATIV PRO 9 ssd). Should I download and install anything extra via usb from Ubuntu?

    2) I am running Virtual Box from my only Ubuntu user. I do have root privileges when running Ubuntu, as long as I type "sudo" at the beginning of the commands line. I have not created any "vboxusers" group in Ubuntu. I have just followed the instructions from this tutorial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjdkWT033W0. Should I create a group? I am not sure about how that works.

    3) Under Sistema there is nothing greyed out. I have attached three more pics, showing the three tabs under System. I hope this helps.

    Thank you.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Thanks for your patience.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Xubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: USB ports don't work on Virtual Machine :-?

    You're welcome!

    1) No need to download or install anything else on your host, and no need for a physical CD. The Guest Additions CD image should be part of your existing VirtualBox installation.
    Just make sure your VM has a virtual optical drive, which it will by default (look under "Almacenamiento" to double-check).

    2) VirtualBox should have created the vboxusers group. Check if you're there by running this command in a terminal:
    Code:
    id
    If its output doesn't mention vboxusers, just add yourself to it:
    Code:
    sudo adduser <yourusername> vboxusers
    Then shut down any running VMs & quit VirtualBox, then log out & log back in.

    3) Great, your BIOS/EFI settings should be OK for using VirtualBox

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Buenos Aires, Argentina
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    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Thumbs up Re: USB ports don't work on Virtual Machine :-?

    Thank you halogen2! That solved the issue.

    I will describe what I did so that others can benefit from it as well. Following your steps:

    1) I checked and the VM had an optical drive.
    2) I ran
    Code:
    id
    The outcome did not show any vboxusers group, so I ran
    Code:
    sudo adduser <myusername> vboxusers
    I restarted my laptop. The issue was solved! I could see my Garmin watch (and all devices connected through USB). This is just amazing, because I can update/sync my sports watch in Ubuntu.

    Side note 1: My initial question is solved and I will mark this thread as such. Still, I have a final question: When I open Virtualbox, I am prompted to install a newer version (see pic). I have no experience with Virtualbox. For the Ubuntu releases, I always wait until the Long Term Support version is released, for stability reasons (this is my main computer). Would it be safe to install this new version of Virtualbox, or would I run the risk to break everything?

    Side note 2: I am a permanent newbie since 2008. I have no words enough to express my gratitude to this forum. You people are just awesome!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Thanks for your patience.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Xubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: USB ports don't work on Virtual Machine :-?

    You're welcome, and thanks for posting the solution!

    Still, I have a final question: When I open Virtualbox, I am prompted to install a newer version (see pic). I have no experience with Virtualbox. For the Ubuntu releases, I always wait until the Long Term Support version is released, for stability reasons (this is my main computer). Would it be safe to install this new version of Virtualbox, or would I run the risk to break everything?
    First step is to decide if you care about the update: https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Changelog
    If so, or if you're experiencing a VirtualBox related issue you think a VirtualBox update might resolve, then try updating VirtualBox, but be prepared for in case the update doesn't work out:
    - Make sure you have an installer (.deb or whatever you used) for your current VirtualBox version on hand
    - Backup your system, including VMs, before updating. This is very important!

    After updating VirtualBox, if all seems well then install the new Guest Additions in any VMs you've installed Guest Additions.

    (Another note, I personally have uninstalled the existing VirtualBox before installing a newer version. I don't know how necessary that is, but something to maybe keep in mind. If you do this too, make the backup before uninstalling.)

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: USB ports don't work on Virtual Machine :-?

    Guest additions? Did you mean the appropriate Extension Pack? (current method from version 4,3 on)

    Linux version of Virtualbox-- unistall, then install new. Dos not affect VM Guests, as they are in the user's home directories... or in a shared storage space. (not in the program directory).
    Concurrent coexistance of Windows, Linux and Unix...
    Ubuntu user # 33563, Linux user # 533637
    Sticky: [all variants] Graphics Resolution- Upgrade /Blank Screen after reboot

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: USB ports don't work on Virtual Machine :-?

    Thank you, halogen2. I appreciate your advice.
    I have just installed VirtualBox for syncing my sports watch. And now that things are working fine, I guess there is no reason for me to update.

    Maybe in the future I will find other uses for VirtualBox in Ubuntu.
    Thanks again for helping me solve this issue. I love Ubuntuforums. It would be impossible for me to use Ubuntu as my main OS without you.

    All the best and until the next time.
    Cheers.
    Thanks for your patience.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Xubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: USB ports don't work on Virtual Machine :-?

    Quote Originally Posted by MAFoElffen View Post
    Guest additions? Did you mean the appropriate Extension Pack? (current method from version 4,3 on)
    Thanks, actually I mean both but I keep forgetting the Extension Pack is there
    Guest Additions and Extension Pack have both existed since I started using VirtualBox (version 4.1.x I think?), and both provide different sets of functionality.

    @Pablo W: for faster USB and other virtual hardware enhancements, get the version 5.0.20 extension pack from here if you haven't already. (Extension Pack version must match VirtualBox version in order to be stable.)
    More explanation about Extension Pack is found here
    Last edited by halogen2; June 18th, 2016 at 07:47 PM.

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