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Virtualbox headless install Windows from CLI

So you’re wondering how to create and manage a Virtualbox VM from command line (CLI)? Here are the steps I used for a Windows installation.
Windows 8.1 Pro – legal download from
Obviously you need to buy an activation key from somewhere.

Before proceeding, you might want to ln -s /usr/bin/VBoxManage /usr/bin/vboxmanage. But if you prefer to do complicated acrobatics with your fingers, then replace with VBoxManage all commands below.

vboxmanage list ostypes
vboxmanage createvm --name windows81 --ostype Windows81_64 --basefolder /home/virtualbox/ --register
vboxmanage modifyvm windows81 --memory 2048 --vram 128 --acpi on --ioapic on --cpus 1 --pae on --hwvirtex on --cpuexecutioncap 85
vboxmanage storagectl windows81 --name "SATA Controller" --add sata --hostiocache on --bootable on
vboxmanage storagectl windows81 --name "IDE Controller" --add ide --bootable on
vboxmanage createhd --filename /home/virtualbox/windows81/windows81.vdi --size 20000 --format VDI
vboxmanage storageattach windows81 --storagectl "SATA Controller" --port 0 --device 0 --type hdd --medium /home/virtualbox/windows81/windows81.vdi
vboxmanage storageattach windows81 --storagectl "IDE Controller" --port 0 --device 0 --type dvddrive --medium <path to Windows 8.1 install iso></path>

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