This CD (iso file) can be used to boot a USB HDD in VirtualBox.
After creating a new virtual machine, select the USB section of that device’s settings and add a new USB device which would be the USB HDD. Then start the machine, boot from the bootable CD created before, and then the boot process continues and the OS found on the HDD would load.
- The boot CD might not detect the USB HDD if the UUID tip in the guide’s comments was not applied.
- Saving the machine state doesn’t work.
As suggested earlier in the forum, with the help of a Virtualbox command creating a small ".vmdk" file (which points to that USB drive), you can also boot the USB drive's Linux from within Virtualbox.
However, the Windows user account which runs Virtualbox needs Administrator rights in order to use the vmdk file.
On some Windows XP machines I've got Virtualbox running without Administrator rights and I still would like to boot this USB drive from within Virtualbox, but it won't work.
Is it possible?
To these Virtualboxes there's also attached a small virtual harddrive (real .vdi file) with a mini Xubuntu Linux. This could act as a starter. But how would you edit the GRUB2 loader so that it loads an USB driver and then boot from the USB drive (USB ports are enabled in the Virtualbox) ?
To be more clear: When I boot the mini Xubuntu from the virtual harddrive, at boot time there's no USB device available, but if Xubuntu has been loaded I can see and access the USB drive. So there must be some USB driver which sees that USB device within Virtualbox?
(P.S. PLOP within Virtualbox doesn't work on that USB device. No matter of USB 1 or 2 setting. It just hangs, like some posters already noticed.)
1. Go to http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanagerdl.html , and download the most recent .zip .
2. Extract it, and navigate to /intsall/plpbtin.iso .
3. Add the ISO in the VM, and install PLoP to the virtual hard disk (option 1)
4. Now, when you turn on the VM, it gives you an option to boot USB, Floppy, Hard Drive, and CD.
If you are using Vista/Windows 7, due to access limitation rights you should run the VB with admin credentials. And it should work.
cd "C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox"
VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename /home/thomas/.VirtualBox/usb.vmdk -rawdisk /dev/sdb
VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename C:\Users\Thomas\usb.vmdk -rawdisk \\.\PhysicalDrive1
The Plop Boot Manager is a small program with unbelievable many features.
Here is a list of features, but you can do more...
USB boot without BIOS support (UHCI, OHCI and EHCI)
CD/DVD boot without BIOS support (IDE)
PCMCIA CardBus support to enable boot from USB PC-Cards
Different profiles for operating systems
Define up to 16 partitions
No extra partition for the boot manager
Hidden boot, maybe you have a rescue system installed and the user should not see that there is another system installed
Password protection for the computer and the boot manager setup
Backup of partition table data
Textmode user interface 80x50
Graphical user interface 640x480, 800x600, 1024x786, 1280x1024
MBR partition table edit
Start of the boot manager from harddisk, floppy, USB, CD, DVD
Starting from Windows boot menu
Starting from LILO, GRUB, Syslinux, Isolinux, Pxelinux (network)
It can be used as PCI option ROM in your BIOS
Access the whole USB hard disk (up to 2TB) even when the bios has a 128 GiB limit
You can run the boot manager over the network
Start the networkcard bootrom from the boot manager to boot from the network
Documentation - Download - News
Ubuntu Linux 10.04 LTS live USB flash drive with a Ubuntu ISO image and Oracle Virtual Box
I am aware of three types of rawdisk-descriptors.
The names are given by the parameter "createType"
"fullDevice" used by VMware
"fullDevice' used by VirtualBox
"partitionedDevice" used by VMware
The examples all describe a 4 Gb kingston USB-stick
"fullDevice" used by VMware:
# Disk DescriptorFile version=1 encoding="windows-1252" CID=9e497682 parentCID=ffffffff createType="fullDevice" # Extent description RW 7868416 FLAT "\\.\PhysicalDrive3" 0 # The Disk Data Base #DDB ddb.virtualHWVersion = "7" ddb.uuid = "60 00 C2 91 f9 42 a4 72-10 10 ca bb ac d1 35 28" ddb.geometry.cylinders = "489" ddb.geometry.heads = "255" ddb.geometry.sectors = "63" ddb.geometry.biosCylinders = "489" ddb.geometry.biosHeads = "255" ddb.geometry.biosSectors = "63" ddb.adapterType = "lsilogic""fullDevice' used by VirtualBox:
# Disk DescriptorFile version=1 CID=7a174421 parentCID=ffffffff createType="fullDevice" # Extent description RW 7868416 FLAT "\\.\PhysicalDrive3" # The disk Data Base #DDB ddb.virtualHWVersion = "4" ddb.adapterType="ide" ddb.geometry.cylinders="7805" ddb.geometry.heads="16" ddb.geometry.sectors="63" ddb.uuid.image="f005cd99-df1b-4c8d-8f75-1f71f37b4d75" ddb.uuid.parent="00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000" ddb.uuid.modification="00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000" ddb.uuid.parentmodification="00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000""partitionedDevice" used by VMware:
# Disk DescriptorFile version=1 encoding="windows-1252" CID=bf09c8c4 parentCID=ffffffff createType="partitionedDevice" # Extent description RW 63 FLAT "esx4-1-pt.vmdk" 0 RW 7855785 FLAT "\\.\PhysicalDrive3" 63 RW 12568 ZERO # The Disk Data Base #DDB ddb.virtualHWVersion = "7" ddb.uuid = "60 00 C2 9d 71 10 ee 3e-79 74 69 77 b1 97 70 df" ddb.geometry.cylinders = "489" ddb.geometry.heads = "255" ddb.geometry.sectors = "63" ddb.geometry.biosCylinders = "489" ddb.geometry.biosHeads = "255" ddb.geometry.biosSectors = "63" ddb.adapterType = "lsilogic"this type stores a copy of the first 63 sectors in an additional file named *-pt.vmdk"
In the case of the VMware - descriptors ... they can be easily redefined as IDE-disks.
Don't know if this works with virtualbox ? - never tested it.
The uuid-values can be skipped - they are not essential.
- A "link" is not an image.
- A "descriptor file" is not an image.
- A "virtual hard disk file" is not an image.
Added Linux Live USB which uses portable virtualbox .
Updated tutorial to work with Virtualbox 4.
The new vboxmanage command no longer supports the register switch.So you have to manually add the vmdk file to your virtual machine.
For LinuxLive USB Creator, I created a launcher for VirtualBox which automatically virtualizes the hard drive (or USB key) it is run from.
My launcher is a derivative work of Portable VirtualBox
and can either runs in Portable Mode or in regular mode if you already have VirtualBox installed on your machine.
You can download it from :
- Here for VirtualBox 4.X
It automatically creates the VMDK file for your hard drive (or USB key). I'm talking about a raw device mapping here, not a clone image.
Launcher then checks if you already have VirtualBox :
- if you do have it, then it runs the regular VirtualBox (no changes are made to your VirtualBox config since it's another one that is loaded)
- if you don't have it, then it runs Portable-VirtualBox
I'm using VBOX_USER_HOME environment variable in order to start VirtualBox with another configuration.
To create a Raw Device Mapping, i'm using WMI, which may not work on Windows Home editions (needs confirmation).
Portable version may not have all the features working.