I have a VirtualBox VM set up on OS X Lion. How do I have it automatically start when I log into my account?


3 Answers 3


Add the .VDI file for the VM you wish to auto run to your System Preferences > Users > Login Item. You can find the .VDI file in the folder of the VM. The default name of the folder VirtualBox saves these to is called VirtualBox VMs.


You have to add the .vbox file to the startup items rather than the .vdi like dennis.hempler said. The .vbox is specially designed for booting VMs without opening the app.


I added terminal to open at login from the dock, added Virtualbox to also open at login at startup. Put a shell command to start up my VM. You can set that in Terminal app preferences under shell tab, there is a startup command you can enter.

The following is mine.

VBoxManage startvm VirtualBox --type headless

Where VirtualBox is your box name whatever that may be. Headless means it doesn't launch a window from VB.

  • of course... one doesn't need VirtualBox app to open at login. May 25, 2015 at 15:23
  • relies on keeping your terminal program running on the machine. If you close and reopen it it will run the command again and spit out an error message that the box is running already. May 25, 2015 at 15:41

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