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VirtualBox Printer Sharing - How To Connect Printer To VirtualBox

Last updated Apr 8, 2021

VirtualBox is an open-source virtualization solution that is developed by the Oracle Corporation. It was created to enable multiple operating systems to coexist on a single physical host computer. With VirtualBox, you can use a machine running Windows, Linux, or macOS to host several different operating systems simultaneously. By using the VirtualBox printer passthrough technique, you can print to a locally attached printer from within a virtual environment.

add printer to virtualbox

How to enable VirtualBox printer passthrough

Not all virtualization solutions provide support for connecting to local USB devices. In some cases VirtualBox does not recognize the printer, making it impossible to print from VirtualBox virtual machine. To solve this problem you could try FlexiHub! It’s a light-weight software utility that allows you to share host printers with guest VirtualBox. Moreover FlexiHub recognizes USB devices connected to your host OS as if they were connected directly to your virtual machine.

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Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
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FlexiHub offers users a software tool that allows you to implement VirtualBox printer sharing. This flexible solution lets you access any kind of USB device from within guest VMs.
FlexiHub

Simple steps to connect a printer in VirtualBox

  1. Register a free FlexiHub account and sign up for a demo period. flexihub account
  2. Download and install FlexiHub on the server which is the computer with a physical connection to the printer that will be shared to VirtualBox. sign up flexihub demo period
  3. Client machines that will remotely access the peripheral also need to have FlexiHub installed. Download Flexihub for VBox
  4. Start the application on the server and client machine. Use the same credentials to log into your account from both computers. Log in to connect usb to virtualbox
  5. Select the desired printer from the application’s list of available devices and click “Connect”. add usb to virtualbox

This video guide illustrates the steps for connecting printers to VirtualBox.

connecting printers to VirtualBox

After establishing the connection, the selected printer will be recognized and available to the client.

Advantages of FlexiHub for VirtualBox printer sharing

  • FlexiHub employs advanced redirection technology to enable USB devices to be connected to virtual machines over an IP-based network. All data transmission from USB devices can be redirected over the Internet or a LAN. This feature increases the value of your USB peripherals by allowing them to be shared across the network in VirtualBox sessions.

  • The VirtualBox shared printer can be connected to any network-attached machine, not just the physical host computer running the guest OS.

  • FlexiHub uses 2048-bit SSL encryption to implement secure data transmission.

  • FlexiHub is a cross-platform solution that enables you to share USB devices between Windows, Linux, and macOS computers.

  • FlexiHub detects connected devices as soon as they are attached to the server. Immediately upon connection, the peripheral is made available to client machines.

The alternative solution to VirtualBox Printer Passthrough

As is known, the USB pass-through functionality isn’t something that all virtualization apps offer out-of-the-box. Sometimes, setting up a connection between your virtual machine and a USB printer plugged into the host computer becomes a real challenge.

Luckily, there’s a dedicated third-party solution that helps you forget about the problem of USB device redirection to a virtual environment once and for all. USB Network Gate is a handy software application designed to share USB peripherals over the network in such a way that they become accessible to almost any virtual machine.

Let’s see how to easily connect a USB printer to VirtualBox with the help of USB Network Gate in three simple steps:

  1. Install USB Network Gate on both the host PC to which the required printer is attached physically and your VirtualBox VM.
  2. On the host computer, start the app and find the printer in the Local USB Devices tab. Click Share next to the printer’s name.
  3. On your virtual machine, launch USB Network Gate and go to the Remote USB Devices tab. Find the printer there and hit the Connect button next to its name.

This is it! Now the printer will appear in the guest operation system like it was a physically attached peripheral.

Watch the video tutorial for more details:

VirtualBox Printer Passthrough

How to share a printer with a VirtualBox

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1
Install the free VirtualBox Extension Pack to take advantage of USB 3.0 speeds if you have the appropriate equipment.
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2
Start your virtual machine in your choice of supported guest operating system.

Note: You may share a Printer to a VirtualBox for free in a couple of steps with Flexihub 30-day demo period.

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3
Attach the printer to the VirtualBox host with the machine’s USB port.
4
Navigate to Devices -> USB and select the desired printer you want to share.
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After you enable the VirtualBox USB printer redirection, you can access the shared printer in the guest operating system. The virtual machine will recognize the device and afford you the same level of functionality enjoyed through a direct physical connection to the peripheral. With this VirtualBox printer setup, you can use the virtual environment for remote printing.

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Requirements: Windows 7/8/10, Server 2008 R2/2012/2016/2019
Size: 7.72MB
Version: 5.0.13796 ()
User rating: (4.8 based on 78+ users)