Locked out of virtualbox

I was trying to set up my wife’s Windows 95 installation as a virtual machine in VirtualBox on my Linux box, but when the VBoxManage clonevdi command didn’t work (which I am now pretty sure was just because I didn’t give the full path to the virtual hard drive .vdi file I was trying to clone) I did a bunch of things without writing down what I did, trying to get things to work.

When the dust settled, when I tried to run VirtualBox from my user account, I got this error:

dreaded-virtualbox-error1

Running VirtualBox worked fine from my wife’s account though.  I was baffled.

After another sleep or two though, I thought I’d try starting VirtualBox from the command line, since sometimes you get debug output to the console that way.  Sure enough, when the error box popped up I also saw these two lines on the console:

Wrong owner (0) of '/tmp/.vbox-dmeyer-ipc'.
Wrong owner (0) of '/tmp/.vbox-dmeyer-ipc'.

Ah!  I probably ran VirtualBox as root a time or two.  Looks like there’s some kind of a stale file owned by root out there.

Yep, all I had to do was

chown --recursive dmeyer  /tmp/.vbox-dmeyer-ipc
chgrp --recursive dmeyer  /tmp/.vbox-dmeyer-ipc

so my dmeyer user owns that directory and its contents, and now I can get back into VirtualBox!

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  1. #1 by Daniel Scott on April 17, 2009 - 1:01 pm

    Hmmm. Genuine, vintage Windows 95? I can’t remember when I last saw a functioning ’95 machine. What else ya got back there?

  2. #2 by danielmeyer on April 17, 2009 - 1:06 pm

    Hey, now. I did take my last ‘386 out of service several years ago now… :-)

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