VirtualBox™ is an actively developed, complete virtualization package, that is available for most operating systems including Windows, MacOS, Linux and FreeBSD. It is equally capable of running Windows or UNIX-like guests. It is released as open source software, but with closed-source components available in a separate extension pack. These components include support for USB 2.0 devices. More information may be found on the “Downloads” page of the VirtualBox™ wiki. Currently, these extensions are not available for FreeBSD.
VirtualBox™ is available as a FreeBSD package or port in emulators/virtualbox-ose. The port can be installed using these commands:
make install clean
One useful option in the port's configuration menu is the
GuestAdditions suite of programs. These
provide a number of useful features in guest operating
systems, like mouse pointer integration (allowing the mouse to
be shared between host and guest without the need to press a
special keyboard shortcut to switch) and faster video
rendering, especially in Windows guests. The guest
additions are available in the
menu, after the installation of the guest is finished.
A few configuration changes are needed before
VirtualBox™ is started for the
first time. The port installs a kernel module in
must be loaded into the running kernel:
To ensure the module is always loaded after a reboot,
add this line to
To use the kernel modules that allow bridged or host-only
networking, add this line to
/etc/rc.conf and reboot the
group is created during installation of
VirtualBox™. All users that need
access to VirtualBox™ will have to
be added as members of this group.
be used to add new members:
pw groupmod vboxusers -m
The default permissions for
/dev/vboxnetctl are restrictive and need
to be changed for bridged networking:
chown root:vboxusers /dev/vboxnetctl
chmod 0660 /dev/vboxnetctl
To make this permissions change permanent, add these
own vboxnetctl root:vboxusers perm vboxnetctl 0660
To launch VirtualBox™, type from a Xorg session:
For more information on configuring and using VirtualBox™, refer to the official website. For FreeBSD-specific information and troubleshooting instructions, refer to the relevant page in the FreeBSD wiki.
VirtualBox™ can be configured to pass USB devices through to the guest operating system. The host controller of the OSE version is limited to emulating USB 1.1 devices until the extension pack supporting USB 2.0 and 3.0 devices becomes available on FreeBSD.
For VirtualBox™ to be
aware of USB devices attached to the
machine, the user needs to be a member of the
pw groupmod operator -m
Restart the login session and VirtualBox™ for these changes to take effect, and create USB filters as necessary.
Access to the host
DVD/CD drives from
guests is achieved through the sharing of the physical drives.
Within VirtualBox™, this is set up from the Storage window in
the Settings of the virtual machine. If needed, create an
CD/DVD device first.
Then choose the Host Drive from the popup menu for the virtual
CD/DVD drive selection.
A checkbox labeled
Passthrough will appear.
This allows the virtual machine to use the hardware directly.
For example, audio CDs or the burner will
only function if this option is selected.
HAL needs to run for
DVD/CD functions to
work, so enable it in
start it if it is not already running:
service hald start
In order for users to be able to use
DVD/CD functions, they
need access to
This is usually achieved by making the user a member of
Permissions to these devices have to be corrected by adding
these lines to
perm cd* 0660 perm xpt0 0660 perm pass* 0660
service devfs restart