vbox-service-template is an init.d script template for running a VirtualBox machine as a service.
stop command to the service will either save the state of the VM (hibernate) or send the ACPI Power Button signal to the VM and wait for it to self-terminate (powerbutton).
Some more context and howto information can be found here: http://www.glump.net/howto/virtualbox_as_a_service
Make a copy of the script as
/etc/init.d/vbox-NAME and follow the instructions in the comments in the script. Make sure you set the
x bit on the file to make it executable.
To mark the service for automatic start at boot time:
update-rc.d vbox-NAME defaults 90(The '90' is to make sure it starts after the VirtualBox core services.
chkconfig vbox-NAME on
To remove the service from the boot process:
update-rc.d -f vbox-NAME remove
chkconfig vbox-NAME off
Additionally, if you are going to shut down your computer while a VM is running you should tell VirtualBox how to handle shutdown. Create or edit
SHUTDOWN_USERS="user1 user2" # space-delimited list of users who might have runnings vms SHUTDOWN=savestate # if any are found, suspend them to disk
service vbox-NAME start
Start and wait for the VM to be reachable on the network
service vbox-NAME start-wait
Stop (hibernate or power button -- see config lines in script)
service vbox-NAME stop
service vbox-NAME restart
Restart and wait for the VM to be reachable on the network
service vbox-NAME restart-wait
service vbox-NAME status