• Virtualization is one of the computing technologies of the future, and you can run virtual machines on any of the classic operating systems, without requiring new hardware.
  • We review some of the commands that you cannot do without for the complete management of your virtual machines, the first ones that you should know when approaching these new solutions

If you are taking your first steps with virtual machines, you have probably encountered some difficulty in being able to take full advantage of the potential of the different applications and programs designed to run them. Particularly, We believe that in order not to have problems you should know some of the useful VirtualBox commands to manage a virtual machineso let’s focus on several of the most important ones.

Virtualization is one of the fundamental computing technologies with the greatest growth potential. Basically, thanks to it we can run almost any operating system on a computer without spending money on acquiring new hardware that makes it possiblewhich is what happened until a few years ago.

Throughout the following article, you will discover some useful VirtualBox commands regardless of where you run it, be it on Windows, MacOS or Linux, since all its installations come with the command line available. Taking advantage of it to write useful commands in it, you can perform essential actions.

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Useful commands to manage virtual machines in VirtualBox

List of virtual machines

vboxmanage list vms

One of the most relevant VirtualBox commands consists of list available virtual machines. Available either on the computer or server. For it, they are assigned a unique identifier or UUID.

If you want the listing to be even more detailed, you can add the -lo –long flag to the above command. You will then access not only the list, but also detailed information about each virtual machine.

Start and stop a virtual machine

vboxmanage startvm Windows11

To start a virtual machine with VboxManage, you must use the startvm subcommand followed by the virtual machine name or UUID. In the previous example we have named it Windows 11, but it can be something else.

vboxmanage controlvm Windows11 poweroff

Alternatively, if what you want is for it to stop, you have to use this second command that we leave you.

useful VirtualBox 2 commands

Get virtual machine information

vboxmanage showvminfo Windows11

To see information related to a specific virtual machine instead of listing all the virtual machines, you have this command called showvminfo, which shows you the hardware, configuration details, network, etc.

Create a virtual machine

vboxmanage createvm --name isla --ostype Debian Debian_64 --register

Another important task when managing virtual machines is creating new virtual machines, so keep that in mind. For example, if you want to create a virtual machine called “islabit” that runs on Debian Linux, you can do it like this.

If you are not sure what the name of the operating system of your virtual machine is, you should verify it first.

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If you are not sure of the name of the operating system that you will use in your virtual machine, you can check the supported VirtualBox operating systems with the following command.

vboxmanage list ostypes

Finally, you can also change its name if you regret it, with another simple command.

vboxmanage modifyvm islabit --name islabit 2

Backup and restore

Backups give you the peace of mind you need so that your virtual machines are always safe. There is a specific command for them, which will make it easy for you to restore them in case something goes wrong later.

vboxmanage snapshot Windows11 take "islabit snapshot"

As noted in the previous command, you can give it whatever name you want, so you will recognize it later. When you want to restore your virtual machine, to that point, you first have to stop it as we already taught you. Completely stopped, the following command will allow you to restore your virtual machine from that point.

vboxmanage snapshot Windows11 restore "islabit snapshot"


In summary, these are the commands that you cannot lose sight of if you are entering the world of virtual machines. You can run them in VirtualBox regardless of the operating system running it.

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