How to boot virtualbox from usb

Last Updated: Mar 4, 2024 by

VirtualBox is a popular virtualization software that allows users to run multiple operating systems on a single computer. It is a great tool for testing new operating systems, running legacy software, or creating isolated environments for development. However, one common question that arises is how to boot VirtualBox from a USB drive. In this article, we will discuss the steps to boot VirtualBox from a USB drive.

Why Boot VirtualBox from USB?

There are several reasons why you may want to boot VirtualBox from a USB drive. One of the main reasons is to test a new operating system without installing it on your physical machine. This allows you to experiment with different operating systems without affecting your main system. Additionally, booting from a USB drive can also be useful for running live versions of operating systems or for troubleshooting purposes.

Preparing the USB Drive

Before you can boot VirtualBox from a USB drive, you need to prepare the USB drive. This involves creating a bootable USB drive with the operating system you want to run in VirtualBox. There are several tools available for creating bootable USB drives, such as Rufus, UNetbootin, or Etcher. Follow the instructions provided by the tool of your choice to create a bootable USB drive.

Configuring VirtualBox

Once you have prepared the USB drive, you need to configure VirtualBox to boot from it. First, open VirtualBox and select the virtual machine you want to boot from the USB drive. Then, click on the “Settings” button to open the virtual machine’s settings. In the settings window, go to the “Storage” tab and click on the “Empty” CD/DVD drive. Then, click on the small disk icon next to “Optical Drive” and select “Choose Virtual Optical Disk File.” Navigate to the bootable USB drive you created and select it.

Changing Boot Order

By default, VirtualBox will boot from the hard drive of the virtual machine. To boot from the USB drive, you need to change the boot order. In the virtual machine’s settings, go to the “System” tab and click on the “Motherboard” tab. Under “Boot Order,” check the box next to “Enable EFI (special OSes only)” and move the “Optical” option to the top of the boot order. This will ensure that the virtual machine boots from the USB drive first.

Booting from USB

Now that you have configured VirtualBox to boot from the USB drive, you can start the virtual machine. When the virtual machine starts, it will boot from the USB drive and load the operating system. You can now use the operating system as you would on a physical machine.

Conclusion

Booting VirtualBox from a USB drive is a useful feature that allows you to test new operating systems or run live versions of operating systems without affecting your main system. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily boot VirtualBox from a USB drive and take advantage of this feature. Have you tried booting VirtualBox from a USB drive? Let us know in the comments.

Gulrukh Ch

About the Author: Gulrukh Ch

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.