Virtualbox – VBoxManage: error: Adding machine ‘Ubuntu-VM’ to the autostart database failed with VERR_ACCESS_DENIED

In Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, I tried to configure Virtualbox 4.2 to start my VM automatically when the system starts up. However, I got an error message as below after following the instructions in chapter 9.24.1 in Virtualbox User Manual:

VBoxManage: error: Adding machine ‘Ubuntu-VM’ to the autostart database failed with VERR_ACCESS_DENIED

Then I realized that I missed giving write acccess for virtualbox users on autostart database directory (/etc/vbox) and setting the sticky bit:

  • sudo chgrp vboxusers /etc/vbox
  • sudo chmod 1775 /etc/vbox

* Check if your user is in vboxusers group by executing “groups <userid>” command.

I set the autostart database directory for the user:

  • VBoxManage setproperty autostartdbpath /etc/vbox

And executed once again the command to set my VM (Ubuntu-VM) to automatically startup:

  • VBoxManage modifyvm Ubuntu-VM –autostart-enabled on

* After executing this command, you should have <userid>.start file under /etc/vbox directory.
** If you still get the same error message, manually create <userid>.start file under /etc/vbox.

I restarted the vboxauto service for changes to take effect:

  • sudo service vboxautostart-service stop
  • sudo service vboxautostart-service start

After setting the required write permission and sticky bit on the /etc/box directory, it worked.

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3 Responses to Virtualbox – VBoxManage: error: Adding machine ‘Ubuntu-VM’ to the autostart database failed with VERR_ACCESS_DENIED

  1. ion says:

    Thanks a lot Yakup. You saved my day!

  2. Randy says:

    Thank you. This helped.
    I needed to do the following steps:

    sudo touch /etc/vbox/username.start
    sudo chown username/etc/vbox/username.start
    VBoxManage modifyvm vm-name –autostart-enabled on

  3. Manuel Freiholz says:

    Thank you, this and the documentation helped me a lot.
    Docs: https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch09.html#autostart-linux

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