7.12. VBoxManage startvm

This command starts a virtual machine that is currently in the Powered Off or Saved states.

The optional --type specifier determines whether the machine will be started in a window or whether the output should go through VBoxHeadless, with VRDE enabled or not. See VBoxHeadless, the Remote Desktop Server. The list of types is subject to change, and it is not guaranteed that all types are accepted by any product variant.

The global or per-VM default value for the VM frontend type will be taken if the type is not explicitly specified. If none of these are set, the GUI variant will be started.

The following values are allowed:


Starts a VM showing a GUI window. This is the default.


Starts a VM without a window for remote display only.


Starts a VM with a detachable UI. Technically, it is a headless VM with user interface in a separate process. This is an experimental feature as it lacks certain functionality, such as 3D acceleration.


If you experience problems with starting virtual machines with particular frontends and there is no conclusive error information, consider starting virtual machines directly by running the respective front-end, as this can give additional error information.