Getting USB devices to show up in VirtualBox 3.2 on Ubuntu

This is more for me than anyone else. Every so often I have to run Windows to update some (USB based) device that only works with some terrible software. That terrible software almost always only runs on Windows. My next three steps are opening VirtualBox on my computer (running Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick) at the moment), launching my Windows VM, and then scratching my head trying to remember how to get USB devices to work. The USB devices are discovered, but they’re all grayed out. If this sounds familiar, here’s what you (Joshua) have to do/remember:

  1. Make sure you’re running the full VirtulBox package, not the open source edition (OSE)
  2. Open System > Administration > Users and Groups
  3. Click “Advanced Settings”
  4. Check the “Use VirtualBox virtualization solution” checkbox and click “OK”
  5. Logout and login of Ubuntu (or just restart all together)
  6. Open Virtualbox
  7. Select your VM and click the “Settings” button
  8. Click on “USB” and make sure “Enable USB Controller” and “Enable USB 2.0” are both checked
  9. Click the “Add empty filter” button and click “OK” to close the settings window
  10. Start up your VM
  11. Click Devices > USB Devices and select the devices you want to use (so they have a checkmark next to them)
  12. Enjoy the thrills of updating/using your USB device in Windows running on top of Ubuntu

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