Power users can run VirtualBox host software on headless Ubuntu 16.04 LTS servers and create virtual guest machines easily from remote locations. this allows you to run VirtualBox from anywhere without connecting directly to the host servers.
Few days ago we showed students and new users how to install and use VirtualBox virtualization software on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS server. This can also known as headless installation.
Headless installation is when you installed and run VirtualBox on a server without direct monitor or desktop environment via remote terminal. The GUI-less installation of VirtualBox is typical in server environments.
This brief tutorial is going to show you how to install and guest operating systems on the headless installation of VirtualBox. This should be quick and easy new students should love it.
To get started with installing a guest OS on a headless VirtualBox follow the guide below:
Step 1: Install VirtualBox on Ubuntu server
Before installing a guest OS on VirtualBox, you must first have the host server installed. Our previous post showed you how. click the link below to read this post.
Step 2: Create a Virtual Machine
Now that you’ve installed VirtualBox on the host computer. go and install your first guest operating systems. For this post, we’ll going to install Ubuntu 16.04 server as our first guest machine.
To create a VirtualBox guest machine called Ubuntu_1604, follow the guide below.
First create a location to store all the guest machines and configuration files. Run the commands below to create a folder in the /var directory called vbox.
sudo mkdir -p /var/vbox
Then run the commands below to create your first guest machine named Ubuntu_1604 and store the configurations in /var/vbox
sudo VBoxManage createvm --name Ubuntu_1604 --ostype Ubuntu_64 --register --basefolder /var/vbox
After running the commands above, run the commands below to view information about the guest OS you just created.
sudo VBoxManage showvminfo Ubuntu_1604
You should see something like the content below:
Name: Ubuntu_1604 Groups: / Guest OS: Ubuntu (64-bit) UUID: 7ff8048e-b6d8-49ca-b21a-ad0fc04ba6d3 Config file: /var/vbox/Ubuntu_1710/Ubuntu_1604.vbox Snapshot folder: /var/vbox/Ubuntu_1604/Snapshots Log folder: /var/vbox/Ubuntu_1604/Logs Hardware UUID: 7ff8048e-b6d8-49ca-b21a-ad0fc04ba6d3 Memory size: 128MB Page Fusion: off VRAM size: 8MB CPU exec cap: 100% ------------- -------------
Step 3: Modify the Guest Machine
Next, modify the guest os to increase the system memory, include a virtual dvd drive and well as enable VRDP (Virtual Remote Desktop Protocol) to access the guest machine remotely by running the commands below.
sudo VBoxManage modifyvm Ubuntu_1604 --memory 1024 --boot1 dvd --vrde on --vrdeport 5001
Add a network adapter and NAT it by running the commands below. If you want it to be bridged, change nat to bridged.
sudo VBoxManage modifyvm Ubuntu_1604 --nic1 nat
Next, create a storage sata controller named “Ubuntu_1604_SATA
sudo VBoxManage storagectl Ubuntu_1604 --name "Ubuntu_1604_SATA" --add sata
Next, create virtual HDD with 10GB size and format it as VDI with standard variant.
sudo VBoxManage createhd --filename /var/box/Ubuntu_1604.vdi --size 10280 --format VDI --variant Standard
Step 4: Attach the Virtual Hard Disk
Next, attach the virtual hard disk created above to the VM. To do that run the commands below:
sudo VBoxManage storageattach Ubuntu_1604 –-storagectl Ubuntu_1604_SATA –-port 1 –-type hdd –-medium /var/box/Ubuntu_1604.vdi
Step 5: Attach the Ubuntu ISO Image
Next, attach the download operating system ISO file to the VM by running the commands below.
sudo VBoxManage storageattach Ubuntu_1604 --storagectl Ubuntu_1604_SATA --port 0 --type dvddrive --medium /tmp/ubuntu-16.04-server-amd64.iso
Now when you run the showvminfo commands, you should see the new guest machine config settings.
Name: Ubuntu_1604 Groups: / Guest OS: Ubuntu (64-bit) UUID: 7ff8048e-b6d8-49ca-b21a-ad0fc04ba6d3 Config file: /var/vbox/Ubuntu_1604/Ubuntu_1604.vbox Snapshot folder: /var/vbox/Ubuntu_1604/Snapshots Log folder: /var/vbox/Ubuntu_1604/Logs Hardware UUID: 7ff8048e-b6d8-49ca-b21a-ad0fc04ba6d3 Memory size: 1024MB Page Fusion: off VRAM size: 8MB CPU exec cap: 100% HPET: off Chipset: piix3 Firmware: BIOS Number of CPUs: 1 PAE: on Long Mode: on Triple Fault Reset: off
Step 6: Start the Guest Machine
Now that everything is ready, run the commands below to start the guest machine.
sudo VBoxManage startvm Ubuntu_1604 --type headless
You should see the message that the machine has started
Waiting for VM "Ubuntu_1604" to power on. VM "Ubuntu_1710" has been successfully started.
Now open open Remote Desktop Connection on your Windows machine and connect to the server IP followed by the port 5001
You should be able to install the guest machine remotely via RDP.
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