VirtualBox Won't Start (Failed to acquire the VirtualBox COM object)


I recently started virtualbox and it gave me this error:

virtualbox error part 1

virtualbox error part 2

Failed to acquire the VirtualBox COM object.

The application will now terminate.

Document is empty.

Location: '/home/batman/.config/VirtualBox/VirtualBox.xml', line 1 (0), column 1.

/build/virtualbox-SRwERU/virtualbox-6.1.10-dfsg/src/VBox/Main/src-server/VirtualBoxImpl.cpp[740] (nsresult VirtualBox::init()).

  Result Code: NS_ERROR_FAILURE (0x80004005)
  Component: VirtualBoxWrap
  Interface: IVirtualBox {d0a0163f-e254-4e5b-a1f2-011cf991c38d}
  Callee: IVirtualBoxClient {d2937a8e-cb8d-4382-90ba-b7da78a74573}

This happened after I got Windows 10 running on my Virtualbox. It was doing some updates, and then it crashed, so I shutdown the virtual machine and then closed Virtualbox.

Is it important to have the virtualbox.xml file be the same as when it was lost? Or would it be fine for me to just get the default virtualbox.xml file? If so, could someone share with me the contents of the default xml file that I am missing?

Thank you!

asked on Super User Sep 25, 2020 by Jacob Hornbeck

1 Answer


Thanks to Señor CMasMas, I found the solution to my problem.

Señor CMasMas redirected me to this page.

The answer for that question had many options, but option 2 was the right one for me:

  1. Restore a copy. Each time VirtualBox Manager starts up, it creates a backup copy of ~/.config/VirtualBox/VirtualBox.xml (called ~/.config/VirtualBox/VirtualBox.xml-prev). The drawback is this file will/may only be useful if you haven't started VirtualBox Manager.

    Steps to restore a copy

    1. Ensure VirtualBox Manager is not running.
    2. Navigate to ~/.config/VirtualBox/
    3. Rename ~/.config/VirtualBox/VirtualBox.xml to something like ~/.config/VirtualBox/VirtualBox.xml-original
    4. Rename the backup ~/.config/VirtualBox/VirtualBox.xml-prev to ~/.config/VirtualBox/VirtualBox.xml
    5. Start VirtualBox Manager. This is a copy of the state of the last VirtualBox Manager startup, and [this solved my problem, so] hopefully [it] resolves your situation [as well].

So thanks to Señor CMasMas for directing me to the answer and mike stewart for providing the options that included the answer I needed.

One more thing: You may need to remake your virtual machines... mine aren't loading. It may work by doing the same thing we did above, just for the vm_name.vbox in ~/VirtualBox VMs/vm_name/

EDIT: You do not need to remake your virtual machines... I just had forgotten to install the dkms package

answered on Super User Sep 25, 2020 by Jacob Hornbeck • edited Oct 15, 2020 by Jacob Hornbeck

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