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VBoxManage - Manage VirtualBox VMs From The Command Line

VirtualBox is a fantastic tool, previously I had been using it from the GUI. However, recently I started running it remotely on a server and using VNC to connect and manage the virtual machines. I decided that I would rather use the command line for this task as well. However, remembering all the commands is proving difficult. So I’m going to create a list and hopefully help myself and others along the way.

List Virtual Machines

VBoxManage list vms

It’s also possible to add the “long” argument to see all the information about the virtual machines.

VBoxManage list vms -l

Check which virtual machines are running

VBoxManage list runningvms

Getting Virtual Machine Information

VBoxManage showvminfo master-1

Delete a Virtual Machine

It’s also possible to delete a VM if it’s no longer needed.

VBoxManage unregistervm --delete master-1

Virtual Machine Locked

Sometimes when doing an operation on the VM it might complain that it’s locked.

vboxmanage startvm master-1 --type emergencystop


If you haven’t already check out vagrant, it makes managing Virtual Machines really convenient and easy. Sometimes you may still need to use VBoxManage to sort out some issues or to delete a machine though.