Situation: I am on Debian 8.5. I installed VirtualBox 5.0.22 and its Extension Pack. I further encrypted the VM via VirtualBox: VM settings -> General -> Encryption -> Enable Encryption.

Question: How to start and stop the encrypted VirtualBox VM from terminal in headless mode?


To start the VM in headless mode with password, you need to create a file containing the password, suppose:


Then you need to execute the two following commands:

VBoxManage startvm "vmname" --type headless

VBoxManage controlvm "vmname" addencpassword "vmname" "/home/user/vm-name-password"

This is just an example. In real world consider wisely if you wish to expose your VM disk password in a permanently stored file. This Q&A is not about that.

To stop the VM:

VBoxManage controlvm "vmname" acpipowerbutton
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To start the VM in headless mode with password to be requested from console just replace "/home/user/vm-name-password" with "-"

VBoxManage controlvm "vmname" addencpassword "vmname" -

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