While a new Mac OS X laptop might be the perfect system for hosting a cornucopia of virtual machines, you may soon discover that many of the Mac function keys are already used by your laptop subsystem. How do you get something as simple as F12 to access the virtual BIOS using VirtualBox?
Fortunately, VirtualBox includes a utility that can be used to direct these unusual keyboard sequences from a command prompt.One of the many benefits of the Mac keyboard is the utilitarian mappings provided by virtually every function key. There are dedicated function keys to adjust screen brightness, volume and even eject a disc from the DVD-ROM drive. When running VirtualBox, however, many of these function keys fail to deliver the expected results in the host operating system.
Fortunately, VirtualBox includes a utility that can be used to direct these unusual keyboard sequences from a command prompt. The application is called VBoxManage and it is easy to use from a command prompt. On your Mac, open a terminal window and at the resulting text prompt you can begin issuing commands. An extremely popular command is Ctrl + Alt + Delete, which can be used to bring up the Windows logon dialog on XP:
VBoxManage controlvm [name] keyboardputscancode 1d 38 e0 53