Run a Program Inside a VirtualBox Guest VM from Host via Command-line

Posted on July 24, 2019 at 10:21 pm

With VboxManage you can execute programs inside the guest VM from the host:

VBoxManage guestcontrol Win7-64bit-VM1 start --exe C:\Path\To\Program.exe --verbose --username admin --password 123

If you need to run a program with parameters do like this:

VBoxManage guestcontrol Win7-64bit-VM1 start --exe Z:\cmd.exe --verbose --username admin --password 123 -- Z:\cmd.exe /c "ipconfig /all > Z:\a.txt"

If you need to get the stdout, stderr, and stdin output use “run” instead of “start”:

VBoxManage guestcontrol Win7-64bit-VM1 run --exe Z:\cmd.exe --verbose --username admin --password 123 -- Z:\cmd.exe /c "ipconfig /all > Z:\a.txt"


Starting guest process ...
VBoxManage: error: Details: code VBOX_E_IPRT_ERROR (0x80bb0005), component GuestProcessWrap, interface IGuestProcess, callee nsISupports

Make sure to disable UAC and that the user has enough power/permissions.

In case you get the following error message:

VBoxManage: error: The specified user was not able to logon on guest

I found two solutions that worked for me:

Solution 1: Use an Alphanumeric Password

There is an issue if you set a user’s password with special characters, like @#!

So make sure to use an alphanumeric password (i.e Ahj18iAhZad).

Then try again to run the program, it should work.

Solution 2: Disable a Windows Security Policy

If the previous solution didn’t work, try this:

In “Run” type “gpedit.msc”, then go to “Windows Settings” -> “Security Settings” -> “Local Policies” -> “Security Options” -> “Accounts: Limit local account use of blank passwords to console logon only” and set it to DISABLED. A reboot may be needed for the changes to take effect.

If you are running Windows 7 Home and you don’t have Group Policy Editor installed, you can open regedit.exe (Windows Registry) and browse to the following registry key (you’ll need Administrator rights to change it):


Then change the DWORD value “LimitBlankPasswordUse” to 0 (that means disabled).

Reboot the guest VM and try to run the program from the host.


VBoxManage guestcontrol

Updated on August 17, 2019 at 10:35 am

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