Here is how to work with Linux inside a virtual machine from Windows using ssh client and VirtualBox. If you will use any command line ssh client you could use all Linux functions right inside your standard Windows Command Line

0 Setup Software to the Host

Set up VirtualBox, VirtualBox Extension and Ubuntu Server Edition (or Ubuntu Desktop) in a regular mode. I called the machine just: “ubuntu”

1 Add VirtualBox setup directory to the PATH variable

setx /M path "%path%;"C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\""

Note: C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\ could be differs

2 Set up a VM network

Virtual Machine Settings -> Network -> Adapter 2 (tab) -> Attached to: -> Host-only adapter-> OK (button).


3 Setup ssh server on the Ubuntu VM

Run the virtual machine

Open a Linux terminal and write:

sudo apt-get install openssh-server nano net-tools

(Optional) Config the SSH server

In a Linux terminal (guest ubuntu):

sudo nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config

And restart SSH server:

sudo systemctl restart ssh.service  

(Optional) Set up a non-gui mode

If you set up Ubuntu Desktop you could turn off GUI at startup to reduce the resource consumption. Even more it is not needed working through a console. In a guest terminal:

sudo systemctl set-default

To turn on GUI again use:

sudo systemctl set-default

4 Check your local VM IP


It should be something like, in my case, at least

5 Close the Virtual Machine

Do it.

6 Run VMbox from CMD

VBoxManage startvm "ubuntu" --type headless

Instead “ubuntu” you should use your VM name

7 Connect to Ubuntu via any SSH client

For example, right from Command Line via ssh from cygwin:

ssh user@

Note: change user to your username in guest’s VM and IP which we checked on the 4th step

8 Use it!

For example like there:

(Optional) Connect USB device to your working VM

In the host cmd get the list of devices:

VBoxManage list usbhost

Connect via UUID:

VBoxManage controlvm ubuntu usbattach f8a9f295-e221-49b0-97a5-aec55d6a2c8c

9 Stutdown** **VMbox when you’ve done

VBoxManage controlvm "ubuntu" poweroff --type headless

(Optional) Mount Ubuntu Home as a drive

A. Install SSHFS-Win

B. Open File Explorer -> right-click on This PC -> Map network drive -> in the Folder field:


(Optional) Set up a shared folder

A. Inside the host:

A1. VBoxManage sharedfolder add ubuntu --name esp-repos -automount -hostpath C:\esp\repos

B. Inside the guest:


sudo mkdir $HOME/host-share/esp-repos
sudo touch /etc/init.d/vboxmount
sudo nano /etc/init.d/vboxmount

B2. Insert:

sudo mount -t vboxsf esp-repos /home/agramakov/host-share/esp-repos/

B3. Register start script:

sudo chmod 755 /etc/init.d/vboxmount
sudo update-rc.d vboxmount defaults

(Optional) Read more about

working with VirtualBox without GUI