How to start a certain VM DIRECTLY by doubleclick?

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How to start a certain VM DIRECTLY by doubleclick?

Postby pstein » 22. Oct 2009, 18:35

Currently I (have to) start VirtualBox App at first, then select a VM and start it in a second step.

How can I directly from WinExplorer start a certain VM WITHOUT having to start VirtualBox Main App at first?

To which app do I have to bind/link the *.VDI extension?

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Re: How to start a certain VM DIRECTLY by doubleclick?

Postby vbox4me2 » 22. Oct 2009, 19:40

Make a shortcut to vboxheadless or virtualbox.exe and add start parameters, see the Manual.
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Re: How to start a certain VM DIRECTLY by doubleclick?

Postby pstein » 23. Oct 2009, 09:26

vbox4me2 wrote:Make a shortcut to vboxheadless or virtualbox.exe and add start parameters, see the Manual.


Hmm, I have read the manual (on http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/UserManual.html) but didn't found a hint on how to pass a *.VDI as parameter.

Furthermore I wonder if a simple shortcut to vboxheadless makes sense. I epect that I have to pass somehow the name of a certain VM to vboxheadless.exe.

How exactly?

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Re: How to start a certain VM DIRECTLY by doubleclick?

Postby Etepetete » 23. Oct 2009, 14:12

pstein wrote:but didn't found a hint on how to pass a *.VDI as parameter


That is because you don't start a Virtual Disk Image (VDI) you start a Virtual Machine. Read the section "Using VBoxManage to control virtual machines" in the manual.
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Re: How to start a certain VM DIRECTLY by doubleclick?

Postby Sasquatch » 23. Oct 2009, 14:44

pstein wrote:
vbox4me2 wrote:Make a shortcut to vboxheadless or virtualbox.exe and add start parameters, see the Manual.


Hmm, I have read the manual (on http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/UserManual.html) but didn't found a hint on how to pass a *.VDI as parameter.
How exactly?

I've never been able to boot a single hard drive without a motherboard, memory and CPU. As said above, you need a whole machine, not just the hard drive.
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Re: How to start a certain VM DIRECTLY by doubleclick?

Postby MarkCranness » 23. Oct 2009, 23:02

vbox4me2 wrote:Make a shortcut to vboxheadless or virtualbox.exe and add start parameters, see the Manual.

There is a problem with the manual (or at least with the 3.0.8 Windows manual): It does not say how to use VirtualBox.exe to directly start a VM; you must instead guess or infer how to use it based on what the manual *does* say about VBoxSDL and VBoxHeadless.
The Manual wrote:8.8 VBoxManage startvm
This command starts a virtual machine that is currently in the "Powered off" or "Saved" states.
Note: This is provided for backwards compatibility only. We recommend to start virtual machines directly by running the respective front-end, as you might otherwise miss important error and state information that VirtualBox may display on the console. ...
The Manual wrote:7.3. VBoxSDL, the simplified VM displayer
To start a virtual machine with VBoxSDL instead of the VirtualBox GUI, enter the following on a command line:
VBoxSDL --startvm <vm>
The Manual wrote:7.4.2. VBoxHeadless, the VRDP-only server
... The recommended way, however, is to use VBoxHeadless directly, as follows:
VBoxHeadless --startvm <uuid|name>
The Manual doesn't say wrote:VirtualBox --startvm <uuid|name>
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Re: How to start a certain VM DIRECTLY by doubleclick?

Postby Sasquatch » 24. Oct 2009, 00:13

That's because it's a Windows only option and undocumented (as you figured). We don't know what other options there are, other than the startvm parameter.
Hmm, just ran VirtualBox --help on my Linux terminal, guess what? This is what I got as output:
Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
VirtualBox --help
Sun VirtualBox Graphical User Interface 3.0.8
(C) 2005-2009 Sun Microsystems, Inc.
All rights reserved.

Usage:
  --startvm <vmname|UUID>    start a VM by specifying its UUID or name
  --rmode sdl|image          select different render mode (default is sdl)
  --dbg                      enable the GUI debug menu
  --debug                    like --dbg and show debug windows at VM startup
  --debug-command-line       like --dbg and show command line window at VM startup
  --debug-statistics         like --dbg and show statistics window at VM startup
  --no-debug                 disable the GUI debug menu and debug windows
  --start-paused             start the VM in the paused state
  --start-running            start the VM running (for overriding --debug*)

The following environment variables are evaluated:
  VBOX_GUI_DBG_ENABLED       enable the GUI debug menu if set
  VBOX_GUI_DBG_AUTO_SHOW     show debug windows at VM startup
  VBOX_GUI_NO_DEBUGGER       disable the GUI debug menu and debug windows

So, only a few options that are worthwhile. They aren't listed in the manual because they don't have any purpose for users like changing VM settings. They are more like debug options for the devs.
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Re: How to start a certain VM DIRECTLY by doubleclick?

Postby MarkCranness » 24. Oct 2009, 08:09

On Windows, none of --help -help -h /h /? -? produce any help messages or dialog (it just opens the GUI).

Edit: The code indicates that all OSs use 'VirtualBox --startvm' to start a VM, not just Unix/mac/etc, so I think it should be official instructions in the manual.
http://www.virtualbox.org/browser/trunk ... .cpp#L4060

Ticket updated: http://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/3593#comment:2
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