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Booting the VM headless via VBoxHeadless requires knowledge of the VM's network in order to connect. Using VBoxManage in this way and you can SSH to the VM without first looking up the current IP, which changes depending on how you have your VM configured.
No comment: it's easy!
you can launch a VirtualBox VM from the command line using VBoxManage, but that invokes it in a gui environment.
If you want to just fire off your VM in the background, use VBoxHeadless as shown. To get the names and UUIDs of your VirtualBox VMs, type: