[vbox-dev] Usage of GuestOSType

Frank Mehnert frank.mehnert at oracle.com
Mon Jun 2 13:23:22 UTC 2014

Hi Karoline,

On Monday 02 June 2014 13:24:19 Karoline Haus wrote:
> Hi, can anyone explain how to properly use the GuestOSType property of the
> IMachine interface?

The GuestOSType can be specified when a VM is created and it can be modified
as part of the VM settings. This property is used to change certain default
parameters for the VM but only a few parameters like IOAPIC enabled. The
majority of parameters is initialized by the frontend when the VM is
created. The property can also be changed for an existing VM but in that
case no other setting is changed.

> I'm using the Python2 API and I'm trying to configure my VM as either
> Windows XP, Windows 7 or Linux, and I don't quite understand how to go
> about this. I seem to only be able to set the string OSTypeId on the
> IMachine interface, but what kind of string is that supposed to be, and how
> to I check whether or not my VBox implementation supports that GuestOSType?

The available OS types can be listed with 'VBoxManage list ostypes'. They are
named like this: 'Ubuntu_64'. 
> Anyone got a good idea on how to use this capability? Basically what I want
> to do is configure network adapter, audio controller, and so on, depending
> on the OS the user has installed inside the VM, as otherwise the user might
> have trouble with the virtual hardware configured. Is using this property
> the right way of doing things?

The GuestOSTYpe provides a number of getter methods like recommendedRAM,
is64Bit and so on. 'VBoxManage list ostypes' shows a few of these properties,
the Qt GUI makes heavy use of these properties, see


Hope that helps,

Dr.-Ing. Frank Mehnert | Software Development Director, VirtualBox
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