VBoxHeadless - Running Virtual Machines With VirtualBox 3.0 On A Headless Ubuntu 9.04 Server

Want to support HowtoForge? Become a subscriber!
 
Submitted by falko (Contact Author) (Forums) on Thu, 2009-07-16 16:06. :: Ubuntu | VirtualBox | Virtualization

VBoxHeadless - Running Virtual Machines With VirtualBox 3.0 On A Headless Ubuntu 9.04 Server

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme <ft [at] falkotimme [dot] com>
Follow me on Twitter
Last edited 07/09/2009

This guide explains how you can run virtual machines with Sun VirtualBox 3.0 (released on June 30, 2009) on a headless Ubuntu 9.04 server. Normally you use the VirtualBox GUI to manage your virtual machines, but a server does not have a desktop environment. Fortunately, VirtualBox comes with a tool called VBoxHeadless that allows you to connect to the virtual machines over a remote desktop connection, so there's no need for the VirtualBox GUI.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!

 

1 Preliminary Note

I have tested this on an Ubuntu 9.04 server (host system) with the IP address 192.168.0.100 where I'm logged in as a normal user (user name administrator in this example) instead of as root.

 

2 Installing VirtualBox

To install VirtualBox 3.0 on our Ubuntu 9.04 server, we open /etc/apt/sources.list...

sudo vi /etc/apt/sources.list

... and add the following line to it:

[...]
deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian jaunty non-free

Then we download Sun's public key...

wget -q http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian/sun_vbox.asc -O- | sudo apt-key add -

... and update our package database:

sudo aptitude update

Afterwards, we install VirtualBox 3.0 as follows:

sudo aptitude install linux-headers-$(uname -r) build-essential virtualbox-3.0 dkms

(The dkms package ensures that the VirtualBox host kernel modules are properly updated if the Linux kernel version changes.)

Creating group 'vboxusers'
Users of VirtualBox must be members of that group. Host network interfaces will be assigned to that group.
<-- Ok

Should the vboxdrv kernel module be compiled now? <-- Yes

Now we must add the user that will run VirtualBox (administrator in this example) to the vboxusers group:

sudo adduser administrator vboxusers

VirtualBox is now installed and ready to be used.

 

3 Using VirtualBox On The Command Line

3.1 Creating A VM

To create a VM on the command line, we can use the VBoxManage command. See

VBoxManage --help

for a list of available switches and (highly recommended!) take a look at http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/UserManual.html#vboxmanage.

I will now create an Ubuntu 9.04 Server VM with 256MB memory and a 10GB hard drive from the Ubuntu 9.04 Server iso image (which I have stored in /home/ubuntu-9.04-server-i386.iso):

VBoxManage createvm -name "Ubuntu 9.04 Server" -register
VBoxManage modifyvm "Ubuntu 9.04 Server" -memory "256MB" -acpi on -boot1 dvd -nic1 nat
VBoxManage createvdi -filename "Ubuntu_9_04_Server.vdi" -size 10000 -register
VBoxManage modifyvm "Ubuntu 9.04 Server" -hda "Ubuntu_9_04_Server.vdi"
VBoxManage registerimage dvd /home/ubuntu-9.04-server-i386.iso
VBoxManage modifyvm "Ubuntu 9.04 Server" -dvd /home/ubuntu-9.04-server-i386.iso

 

3.2 Importing An Existing VM

Let's assume you have a VM called examplevm that you want to reuse on this host. On the old host, you should have a directory Machines/examplevm in the VirtualBox directory; Machines/examplevm should contain the examplevm.xml file. Copy the examplevm directory (including the examplevm.xml file) to your new Machines directory (if your user name is administrator, this is /home/administrator/.VirtualBox/Machines - the result should be /home/administrator/.VirtualBox/Machines/examplevm/examplevm.xml).

In addition to that copy the examplevm.vdi file from the old VDI directory to the new one (e.g. /home/administrator/.VirtualBox/VDI/examplevm.vdi).

Afterwards, you must register the imported VM:

VBoxManage registervm Machines/examplevm/examplevm.xml

 

3.3 Starting A VM With VBoxHeadless

Regardless of if you create a new VM or import and old one, you can start it with the command:

VBoxHeadless -startvm "Ubuntu 9.04 Server"

(Replace Ubuntu 9.04 Server with the name of your VM.)

VBoxHeadless will start the VM and a VRDP (VirtualBox Remote Desktop Protocol) server which allows you to see the VM's output remotely on another machine.

To learn more about VBoxHeadless, take a look at

VBoxHeadless --help

and at http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/UserManual.html#id2515738.


Please do not use the comment function to ask for help! If you need help, please use our forum.
Comments will be published after administrator approval.
Submitted by PlaNet Fox (not registered) on Mon, 2009-10-05 22:22.

visit here for Install Windows 2008 Server under Virtualbox

http://www.dirkhebel.de/2009/08/12/windows-server-2008-unter-virtualbox-in-debian-host/

Submitted by Dirk P. Hebel (not registered) on Tue, 2009-10-06 13:51.

I was just wondering about incoming traffic from this site and hey - someone recommended my howto - thanks! :)

Just a warning: my howto is written in german. If you need help, just contact me!