How-To: Start VBox VM Using Scripts / Command Lines

From my previous post on how to run Bootcamp in VirtualBox, I just realize I forget to mention this launching tip, so here it is.

VirtualBox is a fantastic freeware. I really love it. It may not be as feature rich or efficiently good as other paid alternatives like VMware or Parallel, but it offers lots of great functionality, and is in active development.

To start a virtual machine (of VirtualBox) using command lines:

In Mac or Linux, open Terminal and type

vboxmanage startvm (vmname)

replace (vmname) with yours, for example Ubuntu, press Enter. That’s it.

If you use Linux, you can save this as a script file, and use it to start the vm instead.

In Mac, there is a neat and pretty way to start vm as app, using AppleScript. In AppleScritp Editor, type

do shell script "vboxmanage startvm (vmname)"

and save the file as an Application.

Save as Applications
By launching this app, it starts your VM. You can also change its icon, so it looks pretty and easy to recognize. This is how mine looks. I use Windows and Ubuntu icons found from the Internet (so they’re not mine), so I can distinguish them and they blend in my Applications folder well enough.

VM icons

New Pretty Icons

For Windows, you use similar approach with batch files. In Notepad, type this 2 lines in

cd "c:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox"

vboxmanage startvm (vmname)

save as .bat file, and there you go, double click it to start the specified virtual machine.

Tips: If you don’t know what is your vm name, use this commands in Dos or Terminal, 😉

vboxmanage list vms
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How-To: Schedule & Automate KindleFeeder Delivery for FREE

There’s many services out there that let you subscribe to blogs and deliver the content to your kindle. However, most of the free service do not offer automatic delivery or limit number of blogs you can subscribe.

  • For the famous KindleFeeder.com, it requires you to go to the website and press a send button. The lovely part of KindleFeeder is that it let you subscribe up to 12 blogs!
  • For services like Readability‘s Send to Kindle or Instapaper, even though you might get a automatic delivery when a number of read later entries is reached (Instapaper), it’s not a blog subscription.
  • Or SENDtoREADER limit you to only 1 active subscription at a time.

So the best service for us at this point is KindleFeeder, since it lets you have up to 12 subscriptions, so all we have to do is automate the task of going to the site and click the Send button at a given time of a day.

Let’s automate the task!

I found a way to automate this task rather easily with iMacros Add-on for Firefox or Internet Explorer. All you need to do is record you actions, starting at…

  1. type the URL “http://www.kindlefeeder.com/login”
  2. supply you username and password in the text boxes
  3. click login
  4. scroll down and click “Send wireless”
  5. close the tab

then save your task record, give it a name. You will then have ATaskFile.iim in YourHomeDirectory/iMacros.

When you want to run this task, just open this URL:

http://run.imacros.net/?m=YourTaskFileName.iim

If you saved the task file in a subdirectory (say YourHomeDirectory/iMacros/SubFolder), you’ll have to change the URL to something like this:

http://run.imacros.net/?m=SubFolder%5CYourTaskFileName.iim

(%5C stands for /)

After the break is how to schedule the task to run automatically at a given time of a day.

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