Host Key - How to use Oracle Virtual Box's Host Key


The Virtual Box host key in combination with other keys provides shortcuts for performing virtual machine operations. 


The default host key for Oracle Virtual Box is the right control key on a PC keyboard.


PC right control key 














The default host key for Oracle Virtual Box is the left command key on a  MAC


 MAC keyboard left command key











The table below summarizes a few functions.


Key       Function       Description
The host key is a toggle which determines  whether the mouse and keyboard  are active in the host or guest machine.
To  initially activate the keyboard and mouse in the guest machine mouse click inside the guest machine window.
While the keyboard and mouse are attached to the host machine pressing the host key with any  key combination below will perform a specific task.
The host key transmits the key sequence Ctrl+Alt
In the Linux environment, when switching to a virtual console instead of using the key sequence, CTRL+ALT +F# use CTRL+ F#.
To disengage the mouse and keyboard from the guest machine and return to the host machine press the host key once.
s Settings Access virtual machine settings
t Snapshot Opens a screen to initiate a snapshot. 
e Screen Capture Capture the current screen. The screen capture may be saved to the host machine as a .bmp, .png, .ppm, .xbm, or .xpm file.
f Full Screen Display  the virtual machine in full screen mode.
c Scale Screen Displays the virtual machine in scale mode.
Virtual box will scale the size of its' screen to the size of the current window.
 p Pause Pause virtual machine
r Restart Restart the virtual machine without saving its' current state.
h Shutdown  Provides you with the choices: log out, shut down, or restart.
If you are not logged into the virtual machine the virtual machine will halt.