VirtualBox is an open-source hypervisor software package that enables virtual guest operating systems to be hosted on Windows, macOS or Linux computers. The software was developed by Sun Microsystems and is now maintained by Oracle. Guest operating systems can achieve network access through the host machine. The availability of resources such as memory and storage may limit the number of concurrent virtual guests that the physical computer can host.
How to share a printer in VirtualBox
USB passthrough is supported in VirtualBox 5.0. This allows printing from a VirtualBox session. Follow these steps to enable VirtualBox to use a USB printer.
- Install the free VirtualBox Extension Pack to make use of the greater speed available with USB 3.0.
- After installation, launch the guest operating system in the virtual machine.
- Use a USB port on the physical host to connect the VirtualBox printer.
- Go to Devices -> USB and select the printer. Click on ‘USB device to share’ to make the printer available to the virtual session.
- After the USB connection has been established, VirtualBox printer sharing is enabled. The virtual machine will recognize the USB device and allow you to use it as if it were directly connected to your session. You now have the ability to print remotely from your VirtualBox guest operating system.
Note: You are limited by the fact that only one VirtualBox session at a time can use the USB printer.
VirtualBox Printer Passthrough
Many virtualization solutions do not provide the support required to enable local USB devices to be accessed. There may be situations where the USB connections are not being recognized and you cannot print from VirtualBox.