VBoxHeadless - Running Virtual Machines With VirtualBox 2.0 On A Headless Ubuntu 8.04 Server - Page 2

4 Connecting To A VM From A Remote Desktop

4.1 Windows XP

You can use the built-in Remote Desktop Connection utility to connect to the VM:

Type in the hostname or IP address of the host (not the guest!):

And voilà, you should be connected to the VM:


4.2 Linux

On Linux desktops, you can use the rdesktop command to connect to the VM. Open a terminal (on Ubuntu, for example, it's under Applications > Accessories > Terminal)...

... and type in the following command:

rdesktop -a 16

( is the host IP address, not the one of the guest - replace it with your own IP address or hostname; -a 16 means 16 Mio. colours.)

And voilà, you should be connected to the VM:


Falko Timme

About Falko Timme

Falko Timme is an experienced Linux administrator and founder of Timme Hosting, a leading nginx business hosting company in Germany. He is one of the most active authors on HowtoForge since 2005 and one of the core developers of ISPConfig since 2000. He has also contributed to the O'Reilly book "Linux System Administration".

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5 Comment(s)

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By: Anonymous

I have successfully used Ctrl+Alt+End to pass Ctrl+Alt_Delete to RDP instance

By: Emil

Hi, Nice article, though I have a small correction;
The "-a 16" option to rdesktop mean 16 bit color depth, not 16 M colors.

Best regards, Emil

By: J*

Way to go playa, excellent tut!

By: sam

Thank you for this tuto


my guest is a winserver

how do you fire ctrl+alt+del from a rdesktop session ?


By: John L

This had just the info I was looking for to have a VM start up automatically in Ubuntu Desktop (by adding startvm command to Sessions) without interfering with the GUI (but still accessible via RDP).  Glad I looked here first for the answer.