Virtualbox autostart script help

I’m trying to set up Virtualbox to run as a service so that it auto starts the VM when the PC boots and shuts down the VM when the PC is shut down.

I’ve found a set of scripts that do this but set up of the scripts was written for Ubuntu so I’m stuck at one of the steps.

The set of scripts can be found HERE

The part of the install that I’m not sure about is the part in bold. I know what it’s trying to do (basically start the script last during the boot process and stop the script first during shutdown) but don’t know how to do it in oS.

VBoxTool currently consist only of a set of scripts. With this scripts, virtual
machines of VirtualBox in a Linux headless server can be controlled. Start, stop,
save, backup and show status of sessions in batch mode from the command line.

Usage and installation is tested only on Ubuntu. Please report if a specific
function is not working in another environment, say OpenSUSE, Fedora, etc.


Note. Precede commands with ‘sudo’ when not operated as root.

  • Place the main script script/vboxtool in /usr/local/bin
  • Make vboxtool executable:
    chmod +x /usr/local/bin/vboxtool
  • Place the init script script/vboxtoolinit in /etc/init.d
  • Make vboxtoolinit executable:
    chmod +x /etc/init.d/vboxtoolinit

*** Activate the init script vboxtoolinit:
update-rc.d vboxtoolinit defaults 99 10**

  • Create a folder /etc/vboxtool. In here, two config files have to be created, see
    configuration section below, type ‘vboxtool help’ for more instructions.

Note. To remove vboxtoolinit from autostart: update-rc.d -f vboxtoolinit remove


Note. Configuration from vboxtool does not taking place on running sessions,
so save or stop all sessions before issueing the autostart command.

  • Create /etc/vboxtool/machines.conf:
    <session name>,<VRDP-port>

The VRDP-port enables RDP-clients like rdesktop to connect. It may be left blank.

  • Create /etc/vboxtool/vboxtool.conf:
    vbox_user=‘<user name>’
  • Issue the following command:
    vboxtool autostart

VBoxTool will configure sessions (VRDP-port). By now, session(s) should be up and
running and configured.

  • Check if sessions or running, with the assumed vrdp-port:
    vboxtool show

Show only the running sessions:
vboxtool showrun

  • Check if sessions configured in /etc/vboxtool/machines.conf are be automatically
    started at reboot. Reboot your system, check with: vboxtool showrun


Sorry for breaking things here, but it’s all in the name of naming consistency…

  • Config folder is moved from /etc/vbox to /etc/vboxtool. Rename this folder.
  • Main script ‘vbox’ is renamed to ‘vboxtool’


After installation, type ‘vboxtool help’ for more info.


  • Backup is not working as expected when using snapshots. When a snapshot is
    present, the main vdi file is not copied, even if it’s different from
    previous backups. Problem is that once a snapshot is made, the main vdi
    (according to info from ‘VBoxManage showvminfo’) is pointing to the snapshot
    vdi instead of the expected, chained main vdi in the vdi folder.
    (Tracker #2132265)


  • Type: ‘vboxtool help’
  • See VBoxTool for more details.

Any help appreciated.

OK, I accidentally found how to do this in YAST in System Services (Runlevel). Enabling vboxtoolinit for the relevant runlevels creates the corresponding symlinks in corresponding runlevel directories. The following symlinks were created in the various runlevel rcx.d directories. K01vboxtoolinit and S04vboxtoolinit.

Can someone confirm if the K01 is to start the service and S04 is to stop the serve? Also, that a lower number raises the priority, i.e. K01 will execute before K03 and S04 will execute after S01.

S* -> Start service
K* -> Kill (i.e., stop) service

Lower number -> higher priority. Your VBox probably wants to start rather late in the process, after networking is up in any case; it also wants to die before mostly everything else.

Thanks. It seems so obvious now.