In this tutorial, we will show you a way for making VirtualBox or VMware Player boot from live USB devices since this feature hasn't been implemented yet natively in both software. The trick we will use will rely on the Plop boot manager which allows via a live iso to boot from USB devices.

We will show you how to use the Plop boot manager with both VMware Player and VirtualBox under Ubuntu/Linux Mint (12.10/12.04/Mint 14/13, etc.).

Downloading the Plop Boot Manager

You can download the Plop iso file from here. Or Open the terminal and download the Plop iso image to your home directory with this command:

cd && wget -c -O ploplinux-4.2.2.iso

1. Boot from Live USB in VirtualBox

We assume you have already created a VM (virtual machine), double click it to start it. Mount the USB stick (live USB) to VirtualBox by opening Devices >> USB Devices >> Your USB Device:

 If it is not available, then you may need to run this command from the terminal to be able to mount USB devices under Ubuntu/Linux Mint (replace username with your own user account name):

sudo adduser username vboxusers

Once your USB device is mounted in VirtualBox, look at the bottom of the VM's window, you will see a small CD icon, right-click it and select "Choose a virtual CD/DVD disk file":

Select now the plob iso file (ploplinux-4.2.2.iso) that you have downloaded:

Press Right CTRL+R to reset the VM and wait for Plop boot menu. If it didn't show up, reset the VM again and press F12 to bring up the boot menu, press c to boot from CD-ROM:

In the Plop boot menu, use your arrow keys to select the "Plop Boot Manager" option and press Enter:

Another menu will show up, select USB and press Enter to boot from the USB device:

2. Boot from Live USB in VMware Player

To boot from a live USB in VMware Player, we will also use the Plop boot loader. Start VMware Player, select any VM of your choice, then click "Edit Virtual machine settings":

Select the "CD/DVD (IDE) option, then in the right side, select "Use ISO image" and click the Browse button:

Open the Plop iso file and click Save:

Start now the VM and wait for the Plop boot menu. When it shows up, select Plop Boot Manager and press Enter:

In the next menu, select USB and press Enter to boot from the USB device: