[vbox-dev] getting object name in VirtualBox gui

Mihai Hanor quake2iasi at gmail.com
Tue Sep 25 18:21:31 UTC 2018

Hi Klaus,

When you say that the devs have been working on it, are you referring to
the 5.2.18 release build, the testing builds or the svn? I've build today a
svn on Windows 10 and the Windows Narrator is not able to read the VM
window menu controls. All I hear for it is "pain"/"main" or something
similar, I'm not sure what it's saying. It's only able to read the VM
window title. The same thing happens with 5.2.18.
>From my perspective (building VirtualBox and crashing things), the fact
that the OS or the debugger are unable to get a "handle" on the hardened
process, it's something missing. WER just lets the process exit, because it
can't attach to it. Windbg also can't attach to the process. I'm only able
to save a dump when there's no default debugger, when the OS puts a message
box that the process has crashed, then I start Process Explorer as admin
and dump the process. I haven't found a way to do automatic process memory
saving. That's the experience I remember, because I haven't had a crash in
some time. A build-in crash handler could help users report crashes, it
could be useful.


On Tue, Sep 25, 2018 at 8:52 PM Klaus Espenlaub <klaus.espenlaub at oracle.com>

> Wait... is it really confirmed that Narrator can't work with (hardened)
> VirtualBox either? That would mean our devs must have been testing the
> wrong thing for quite a while now. It certainly hasn't reached my attention
> so far.
> For many reasons we cannot recommend that random people run non-hardened
> builds. What might be a way out (not with the current builds, they would be
> affected by hardening) is to ship an additional compilation of the VM UI
> which is not subject to hardening and can be used solely with the "separate
> VM/UI process" option which VirtualBox has already. Would bring some minor
> feature losses, but if that would bring back full accessibility I can see a
> good justification for spending the necessary time.
> Klaus
> On 25.09.2018 19:26, Mihai Hanor wrote:
> Hello,
> I'm not a developer, but I have some experience with VirtualBox. The
> reason why not even Microsoft's narrator is able to work with VirtualBox is
> the hardening of the VirtualBox process, which is enforced to protect the
> VM from eavesdropping (I think). You can look at the VirtualBox SDK, but
> you'll probably not find what you're looking for. Also, integrating the
> NVDA client controller is probably not going to happen and it doesn't look
> useful, because it requires VirtualBox to send stuff to NVDA (by looking at
> the C example), which would require considerable effort to rewrite the GUI.
> The most achievable task might be to build VirtualBox OSE for Windows,
> without hardening. A much harder task would be to separate the the
> frontend/GUI part from the VM process and make the frontend run in a normal
> process. In the upcoming major release of VirtualBox, it looks like the
> devs have made a move to separate the VM process, but I'm don't know to
> what end. The frontend still runs in a hardened process.
> Regards,
> Mihai Hanor
> On Fri, Sep 21, 2018 at 12:30 PM Илья Пащук <ilusha.paschuk at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> helo.
>> I'm a nvda (nvaccess.org) screenreader addon developer
>> I need the way to get some object text in vbox gui, that unaccessable by
>> standard methods.
>> are there any api interface to get this info from vbox gui?
>> i'm using python.
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