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VirtualBox Serial port - an extended guide for technicians

Olga Weis Olga Weis Dec 27, 2021

When we talk about the work in a virtual environment, we will face the problem of reaching the local or remote devices. VirtualBox doesn’t give access to COM devices connected to the host machine. You may use the software solution to access COM in a virtual machine , but here we will discuss the native method for work with VirtualBox COM port.

VirtualBox COM port

VirtualBox: serial port setup

What may help you create a virtual serial port in VirtualBox is the VBoxManage command or the Settings tab. By using one of these methods, you can set up up to four virtual COM interfaces for each guest OS.

VirtualBox COM port passthrough
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Most importantly, you need to configure the Port Mode and Port Number.

When setting the Port Number, it is recommended to choose a traditional value. Also, you will need to enter an I/O base address and IRQ.

enter an I/O base address and IRQ

Here is what you have to do in the virtual environment – configure serial port settings:

The available Port Mades are: Disconnected, Connected to Host Device, and Connected to Host Pipe.

Video tutorial

If you need to access COM port in VirtualBox fast, see this video guide and get all advantages of COM port usage.

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Settings to access serial port in VirtualBox

Below, we’ll consider some of the VirtualBox serial port configuration options:

Raw File: the option for sending the virtual serial port output to a file. You can specify any file. All you need is to make sure you have the privileges to write and create.

TCP Socket: it’s helpful when you need to redirect serial data over the TCP/IP network. With this option, you can establish a direct connection between a remote computer and the VM’s COM port over TCP. The available roles are the TCP client and TCP server:
TCP Server: you should specify the port number (it can be 23 or 2023) in the address/path field and uncheck the box of the current Pipe/Socket. Note that in the UNIX-like systems, the port number has to be more than 1024.
TCP Client: For this type of connection, the other end should connect via TCP, while specifying the hostname: port in the Path/Address field. When you check the "Connect to Existing Pipe/Socket" box, the TCP socket goes into the client mode.
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