Managing A Headless VirtualBox Installation With phpvirtualbox (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS)

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme, updated by Srijan Kishore
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phpvirtualbox is a web-based VirtualBox front-end written in PHP that allows you to access and control remote VirtualBox instances. It tries to resemble the VirtualBox GUI as much as possible to make work with it as easy as possible. It is a nice replacement for the VirtualBox GUI if you run VirtualBox in headless servers (like in the tutorial VBoxHeadless – Running Virtual Machines With VirtualBox 4.3 On A Headless Ubuntu 14.04 Server). This tutorial explains how to install phpvirtualbox on an Ubuntu 14.04 server to manage a locally installed, headless VirtualBox.if(typeof __ez_fad_position != ‘undefined’){__ez_fad_position(‘div-gpt-ad-howtoforge_com-medrectangle-3-0’)};

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

 Note: If the above link not works then you can use

1 Preliminary Note

I’m assuming that a headless VirtualBox is already installed on the local Ubuntu 14.04 server, e.g. as described in the tutorial VBoxHeadless – Running Virtual Machines With VirtualBox 4.3 On A Headless Ubuntu 14.04 Server.

I’m running all the steps in this tutorial with root privileges, so make sure you’re logged in as root:

sudo su


2 Installing phpvirtualbox

First create a system user called vbox and add it to the vboxusers group:

useradd -m vbox -G vboxusers

Create a password for the vbox user:

passwd vbox

Create the file /etc/default/virtualbox and put the line VBOXWEB_USER=vbox in it (so that the VirtualBox SOAP API which is called vboxwebsrv runs as the user vbox):if(typeof __ez_fad_position != ‘undefined’){__ez_fad_position(‘div-gpt-ad-howtoforge_com-medrectangle-4-0’)};

vi /etc/default/virtualbox

Next create the system startup links for vboxwebsrv and start it:

update-rc.d vboxweb-service defaults
service vboxweb-service start

We need a web server with PHP support to serve phpvirtualbox – I’m using Apache2 here. Install Apache2 and PHP5 as follows:

apt-get install apache2-mpm-prefork apache2-utils apache2.2-bin  apache2 apache2-doc apache2-suexec libapache2-mod-php5 libapr1 libaprutil1 libaprutil1-dbd-sqlite3 libaprutil1-ldap libapr1 php5-common php5-mysql  php-pear wget

Restart Apache2:

service apache2 restart

I want to serve phpvirtualbox from Apache’s default virtual host with the document root /var/www/html (I will install it in /var/www/html/phpvirtualbox) – if you have a different document root, you must adjust the following steps:

cd /var/www/html

Unzip phpvirtualbox and rename the phpvirtualbox-4.3-1 to phpvirtualbox for ease of use:

mv phpvirtualbox-4.3-1 phpvirtualbox

Next go to the /var/www/phpvirtualbox/ directory…

cd /var/www/html/phpvirtualbox/

… and create the file config.php by copying it from config.php-example:

cp config.php-example config.php

Open config.php and fill in the password you created earlier for the vbox system user:

vi config.php
/* Username / Password for system user that runs VirtualBox */
var $username = 'vbox';
var $password = 'secret';

That’s it already – you can now open a browser and access phpvirtualbox as follows:
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