Start headless VirtualBox machine

If you want to run your virtual machine in VirtualBox, you can do it with GUI interface or you can run it in headless mode.

Headless means that the machine will be running in the background as a process and it will use less RAM memory since it isn’t using GUI interface. Another benefit is that you will not have a few more VIrtualBox windows on your desktop so you can save space on that.

This can be useful if you have not to much RAM memory and you want to run a virtual machine (for example web server).


When in headless mode, you can access your virtual machine via SSH. If you don’t know how to set up SSH, you can check out article:

SSH Server for remote access

To start VirtualBox in headless mode, you need to type following command:

VBoxManage startvm "VM Name" --type headless

Where “VM Name” represents the name for your machine.

Note: Make sure you leave quotes

And –type headless means that it will run as a background process.

You should get this message if everything goes well:

Waiting for VM “VM Name” to power on…
VM “VM Name” has been successfully started.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.