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I created Virtual machines using root. Now I would like to grant the access for a new user to manipulate it (list, destroy, reboot, start, etc). When I try to manipulate from a different user, I get:

VBoxManage: error: Details: code VBOX_E_OBJECT_NOT_FOUND.

Is there a way to share virtualbox instances among users ?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can create a vboxuser group, include the users you want into it and give the rw permissions to the group on the vbox machines and HD files and directories (x permission too).

To make it easier, I use the vbox files in /var/vbox instead of default location in /home/user.

EDIT: To change default folder on GUI client: File -> Preferences -> General and with command line: VBoxManage setproperty machinefolder /var/vbox

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Read the help about giving usb-access to that user group as well. This depends on your distribution. – Nils Sep 15 '11 at 20:50
The last time I checked, VBox would rewrite the permission of the VMs configuration files whenever it starts the machine. So although everyone in the group would be able to start the machine, after a successful start (maybe even after an unsuccessful one) the permissions would be rewritten to the current user only. (This was about a 4.something version) – gimpf Jan 7 '12 at 21:14
My VBox never rewrites permissions of the group (on vdi files or config files) so the group always keeps rw access (using VBox since 2 or 3 years now and curently using 4.1.8 in ubuntu) – laurent Jan 7 '12 at 23:24
This surprises me. I also used VBox 4.1.8 on Ubuntu LTS 10.04. I would change the owner and the group of the machine XML configuration file, and change the permission bits, too. Well, if this is not universal, how the heck can this happen? Whatever. – gimpf Jan 8 '12 at 21:00

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