The virtual machine window gives you a lot of controls and tools to explore. Find out what they are all for in this video.
- [Narrator] As with the virtual box manager window, the window the virtual machines run in offers a lot of options and controls. The controls are divided between the menu bar up at the top and the icons on the right of the status bar at the bottom. Let's start with the menu bar. Here in the file menu we have Preferences, which are the preferences for the virtual box software overall. We saw that before along with Network Operations Manager and Reset All Warnings. The new one here is Close which will close the virtual machine window offering to shut down or power off the machine if it's not in a detachable mode.
The machine menu gives us options specific to the virtual machine, some of which we've seen before. Settings is the particular options for this virtual machine. And Take Snapshot is a quick way of getting to the same function in the snapshots view of the manager window. Session Information here is new, and it shows us a summary of the configuration details and runtime information for the VM including some general information and throughput stats on the network and storage.
And then Pause, Reset, and Shutdown are different options for controlling the state of the machine. Pause basically freezes the virtual machine in the middle of whatever it's doing. That can be helpful if the machine is using a lot of processor resources, for example, and you want to be able to temporarily pause it and have it be able to pick up where it left off. Clicking Pause again will resume the virtual machine. Reset is like pushing the reset button on an old PC. It effectively cuts the power to the machine and the machine will start up again immediately. ACPI Shutdown sends the virtual machine the command to shut down gracefully rather than just yanking the power from the machine.
This is the recommended safe way to shut down the virtual machine because it gives the machine some warning, and it allows it to stop operations on its own time. Here in Ubuntu 16.04 that command results in a screen that shows me options to Lock, Suspend, Restart, or Shut Down the machine. View gives us options for the appearance of the window. I'll click on Full-screen. Before I switch to full-screen, Virtual Box gives me some information about how to get out of full-screen mode if I need to.
I'll choose to not show this message again and I'll choose Switch. Full-screen mode shows the virtual machine without any window chrome around it. And in that mode, I have this little bar with menu options on it. It goes away when I mouse off of it. And I can pin it with the pin icon here on the left so it stays when the mouse leaves it. To get out of this mode I'll press the host key and F or choose this window icon here. Seamless Mode is pretty neat. It gets rid of the one big window and gives you a window on the host for each windowed application in the guest.
I'll open up a window here, maybe a file browser. And then I'll go into Seamless Mode. Again, I'm reminded of how I can get out of Seamless Mode, and I'll choose not to show that again. And now I have my virtual machine's file browser floating around here without the rest of the desktop taking up space. And the bar shows up at the bottom of the screen. So, to get out of this mode I can choose the window icon or I can use the combination of the host key and L.
Scaled Mode treats the display a little bit differently. Normally, if we have the guest editions installed and we resize the window, the resolution of the guest changes in response keeping things the same size on the screen. Scaled Mode takes whatever the current resolution of the guest is and instead of keeping things the same size it keeps them the same proportion to the window size. I'll switch into Scaled Mode and then I'll resize the window.
You can get some pretty strange results at the extremes here, but the setting is useful if you need your VM to have a higher resolution than your host display. For example here, let's set this to something bigger than my screen. I'll choose Displays. And let's go to 2560 by 1600. And I'll choose Apply. The host key and C get me out of this mode. I'll double click the menu bar to resize my guest again.
The Adjust Window Size and Auto-resize Guest Display options here work together. Auto-resize changes the resolution of the guest when you resize the window. And if you turn that off Adjust Window Size will set the size of the window to be more suitable for the guest resolution. I tend to leave Auto-resize on because it keeps things a little bit more organized for me. Take Screenshot lets you save an image of the guest display. If you're capturing something quick it can be too slow to go up to the menu item so you can use host and E to capture quickly.
Using that pops a file-save dialogue to save a png or a variety of other image formats. I'll save that file. Video Capture lets you record a video of activity in the guest window. But it's a little more tricky than the still image screenshot option. If you turn on video capture, at first it looks like nothing is happening. All we get is this little spinning film reel in the bottom right corner which means it's capturing. Right clicking on that shows me two options.
Some settings and the checkbox for video capture. I'll uncheck the box to stop the capture and the icon turns back into a screen with the video camera icon. But there's no prompt to save my recording. If I go into Settings here I can see where the path is set, inside the virtual machine folder. And there's a frame size, frame rate, quality, and so on. Let's open up that path to the video. It's on my hard drive under Users, my user, VirtualBox VMs, and then the folder for my virtual machine.
And here's that webm file. If I open it I can see it's a portion of my screen. We have to set the size of the capture box manually, and in this case it's set to smaller than my guest's screen size. I can change that here in the video settings. That can take some doing to get right. This is isn't a feature that I use, but it may be useful for you.
The Menu Bar and Status Bar options let us change and reorder what appears in the respective bars. Scale Factor lets you scale the view of the guest operating system up to 200% if you need to make all of the elements larger. I'll change that back to 100%. And the option for the Virtual Screen here lets you set the resolution of the display from outside the VM instead of having to change it with the native OS tools. Over here in the Input menu we can change the keyboard settings and also send particular key combinations that it's hard or impossible to type ourselves.
For example, my keyboard doesn't have a break button but it may be necessary to use that key at some point. And here we can choose whether to toggle the mouse integration that we get from the guest additions. I'll leave that on here. Under the Devices menu we can work with devices attached to the guest. Under Optical Drives we can manage images and real drives if we're using one. And down here at the bottom we can plug in the guest additions CD image if need be. The options here in the middle I'll cover later on.
And finally, here's the Help menu with some useful links to help you learn more about the software. At the bottom right of the window are the status bar buttons, some of which indicate activity and some of which provide shortcuts to menu items we've seen already. We can change what shows up here and the order in which the icons are displayed. But if you haven't moved them around they should be in the order you see here. The first one is a hard drive and it indicates the guest's hard disk. Red and green indicators on these icons indicate read and write activity. There's nothing we can do with this icon here.
It's just an indicator. The next one though, the optical disk, shows activity for real or virtual optical disks. And right-clicking on it brings up the optical drive menu where we can change the images or disconnect an image. The next icon, with the two computer monitors, indicates networking. And right-clicking on it allows you to change the network settings and disconnect the network adaptor. Following that is the USB indicator where you can change USB settings and devices.
And the folder is for shared folders. Look over these three in depth later. The next icon, the monitor, gives us the display settings. And the monitor and video icon is where we can control the screen recording settings. The icon of the chip with a V on it shows us the status of the virtualization features, whether we're using the host processors, virtualization extensions, and so on. The mouse icon here indicates the status of mouse integration. And the last one here shows the host key, which we need to use in combination with other keys for various hotkey shortcuts.
I've changed mine to F12, and you can change yours to something else. With that look of the features of this window out of the way we're ready to explore some of the settings in more depth.
- Installing the software
- Allocating resources for guest systems
- Installing Windows 10 and Linux in VirtualBox
- Forwarding ports for services
- Exploring the virtual machine window
- Command-line options
- Networking with VirtualBox
- Modifying disks and memory