Running numerous Virtual Machines in headless mode can be extremely irritating; having to memorise several commands to run in the terminal or constantly open and close VirtualBox in order to control them. Thankfully not any more.

VBoxIndicator is an application Indicator for Ubuntu that allows you to control Virtual Machines (created with and managed by VirtualBox) directly from your Unity Desktop Environment. You can safely start, shutdown, pause and resume Virtual Machines as well as connect via RDP or SSH without ever having to open a terminal or the VirtualBox application again. This software is still very much in its infancy so bugs should be expected.


VBoxIndicator in action
VBoxIndicator in action


From Version 0.3 all releases will be packaged in a .deb file, allowing you to install the software by simply double clicking on the file, or by running the following command in a terminal.

sudo dpkg -i Virtual-Box_0.3_all.deb

The source code is also available as a .tar.gz and can be installed as follows:

  1. Extract VirtualBox.tar.gz
  2. Make sure vboxindicator is executable (This should be the case by default – if not then run from a terminal:)
    chmod +x vboxindicator
  3. Move vboxindicator to /usr/bin
  4. Move all the images in the /images folder to /usr/share/vboxindicator

Version 0.2 includes a script which will automatically place all the files in their necessary location. To run the script simply run the following from a terminal:

sudo ./install

Running VBoxIndicator

To run vboxindicator press ALT + F2 and type the following into the result text box:


Current Version

Version 0.3 [ .deb (Recommended) ]
Version 0.3 [ .tar.gz – No installation script ]

Older Versions

Version 0.2
Version 0.1 – Unavailable



  • Virtual Machines can now be paused and resumed
  • Paused / Suspended Virtual Machines have their own section in menu
  • Virtual Machines can be assigned settings (IP address, Port, SSH Username, RDP Port)
  • SSH To Virtual Machine
  • RDP To Virtual Machine


  • Headings added to application indicator menu
  • Active Virtual machines now appear at the top of the menu
  • Virtual Machines can now be run in Windowed mode
  • Basic error reporting added (Very Basic)
  • Run VirtualBox from appindicator


  • Initial Release

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