How to set up a VirtualBox remote GUI for easy VM management

Jack Wallen displays you how straightforward it is to established up VirtualBox on a headless device for distant administration.

Picture: Jack Wallen

VirtualBox is a powerful instrument for creating and taking care of digital machines. If you want to serve your VMs from a server inside your facts middle, and your preferable administration device is a GUI, what do you do? When upon a time, you could use phpVirtualBox. Regretably, that tool has not been in advancement for some time. Even so, there is one more selection–RemoteBox. 

RemoteBox can be put in on Linux desktops, more mature releases of macOS (no newer than Catalina), and WSL on Home windows 10. With this instrument you can control your VirtualBox VMs as if you have been running the software package on your desktop.

I am heading to clearly show you how to get this method up and working on Ubuntu 20.04, both Server and Desktop.

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What you can expect to need

  • Two situations of Ubuntu Linux–a single Server and a single Desktop 
  • A user with sudo privileges

How to set up the headless VirtualBox server 

The first point to be done is the installation of VirtualBox on your server. Because we will not have a GUI on the server, we are going to put in a headless model.

Log in to your server and down load the .deb file with the command:


Install VirtualBox 6.1.16 with the command:

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

Incorporate your user to the vboxusers team:

sudo usermod -aG vboxusers $User

To make the process knowledgeable of the new group, log out of the server and log back in.

Now we will have to put in the VirtualBox extension pack. Obtain the file with the command:

wget https://down

Put in the downloaded extension pack:

sudo vboxmanage extpack put in Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-6.1.16.vbox-extpack

How to configure the VirtualBox server for distant connections

Next, we’ll configure remote connections to the headless VirtualBox server. Generate a new configuration file with the command:

sudo nano /and so on/default/virtualbox

In that file, insert the pursuing:


Exactly where:

  • consumer is the username that belongs to the vboxusers team

  • password is a password to be made use of (make it sturdy and exceptional)

  • server is the IP address of the VirtualBox headless server

Help you save and close the file.

How to install RemoteBox

Download the RemoteBox file with the command:

wget isles/downloads/RemoteBox-2.7.tar.bz2

Uncompress the file with the command:

bunzip2 RemoteBox-2.7.tar.bz2

Unpack the tar file with the command:

tar xvf RemoteBox-2.7.tar

How to run RemoteBox and link it to VirtualBox

With anything in put, we can begin RemoteBox and link it to our Headless VirtualBox server. Transform into the RemoteBox folder with the command:

cd RemoteBox-2.7

Start RemoteBox with the command:


When the GUI opens, click Hook up and fill out the essential details for your VirtualBox headless server (Determine A).

Determine A


Building the link to the headless VirtualBox server.

Use the qualifications you configured in the /and so on/default/virtualbox file for the login. 

Once you might be correctly linked, you can make a new virtual device in the exact way you do from the normal VirtualBox GUI device.

Congratulations, you can now more very easily handle your VirtualBox VMs remotely. Your data centre (and those people who administer the associated virtual devices within just) will thank you for it.

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