Using a Portable VirtualBox to run Linux from USB

Making VirtualBox Boot and Run from USB! Portable VirtualBox was an unofficial Portable Wrapper for Virtual Box, created by Micha. An improved version is also offered by Tibo, the author of the LiLi USB Creator. VirtualBox is officially a product of Oracle. It is an emulator or virtual machine. Often you’ll find it used to run various Operating Systems via Disk Images, ISO files and CD or DVDs as a guest OS from within another Host Operating Environment. By using Micha/Tibo’s portable wrapper, Virtual Box can be stored and run entirely from a USB device.

Note: You can also use Tibo’s Portable VirtualBox to launch a YUMI MultiBoot Flash drive from within Windows.

Official VirtualBox Home Page:

Micha’s Portable Wrapper for Virtual Box:

Tibo’s Portable VirtualBox Zip: Tibo’s Portable Version of VirtualBox

How to Make VirtualBox Run from USB (portably)

  1. Download Tibo’s VirtualBox zip.
  2. Extract the contents from the zip to your USB Flash Drive.
  3. Then, navigate to the VirtualBox folder on your USB device and click VirtualBox.exe.
  4. Next, select the existing LiveLinux Entry, and click Start.
    Portable VirtualBox - Running Linux on Windows from USB

If your USB flash drive already boots fine natively, it should startup. If not, you can use our “Universal USB Installer” or “YUMI” tools to quickly create a bootable USB, and then re-attempt boot using Virtualbox from your USB drive.

VirtualBox Booting and running from USB

Sabayon Linux is shown here running from Virtualbox on USB.

Portable Virtualbox running Sabayon Linux from a Flash Drive

Being able to bring your portable virtual machine emulator with you is pretty nifty. Furthermore, it makes for a convenient way to launch your favorite Linux OS from a running PC. All while eliminating the need to reboot. For instance, this is a great alternative to rebooting when you want to show a Linux distribution to a friend or colleague. Or for those times when you don’t want to disturb the host OS, but need to get some work done. Emulation from USB is a great way to accomplish these things.