Using Windows XP as host and guest(s) and VirtualBox as virtualization solution.

Do I have to keep the guest's window open in order to keep it running?

When I try to close it, the "Close Virtual Machine" popup comes up.

If not possible, how can I reduce the overhead caused by keeping the windows open?

It's nice in VmWare Server 1 and 2 that you can keep the instances running without keeping the guest windows open.

Thank you in advance.


The recommended way is to start the VM using vboxheadless.

VBoxHeadless --startvm <uuid|name>

The only problem of doing this from command line is that the process become the child process for the command prompt windows. So you will need to put it in a bat file to get it behave like a "background" process in Unix.

  • Can you not do start vbxoheadless... to make it run as a separate process? – Dennis Williamson Sep 30 '09 at 4:07
  • You can do that even with "start /B vboxheadless ....." but once you kill the command prompt, it will kill the vm with it. I believe there is a ticket asking vbox developer to make vboxheadless fork to a different process in windows. – Muhammad Sep 30 '09 at 8:26

The VirtualBox help file describes how to do what you want. In VBox v3.06, it's listed in: Chapter 7. Alternative front-ends; remote virtual machines

  • Gotta love RTFM answers. :) – John Gardeniers Sep 30 '09 at 2:13
  • True, but if the answer to everything was "RTFM" then that would make SF a fairly useless website – Mark Henderson Sep 30 '09 at 2:57
  • Sometimes finding the right manual / part of the manual is the challenge :) – Kamil Kisiel Sep 30 '09 at 5:13

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