Run Virtual Machines with VirtualBox and Manage VirtualBox Installations with phpvirtualbox

Valic —  October 3, 2012 — 2 Comments

In this tutorial I will show you how you can run virtual machines with VirtualBox  on a Debian Squeeze server and how to manage your virtual machines with phpvirtualbox.
Phpvirtualbox is a web based VirtualBox front-end written in PHP that allows you to access and control remote VirtualBox machines.

Step1. First we need to create an user called Administrator and group with the same name.

[email protected]:~# groupadd administrator
[email protected]:~# useradd -d /home/administrator -m -g administrator -s /bin/bash administrator
[email protected]:~# passwd administrator
Enter new UNIX password:
Retype new UNIX password:
passwd: password updated successfully

Step2. Install VirtualBox
Add the VirtualBox repository in your sources.list file and download the VirtualBox public key:

echo “deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian squeeze contrib non-free” >> /etc/apt/sources.list
wget -q http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian/oracle_vbox.asc -O- | apt-key add -

Now install VirtualBox using the following command:

apt-get update && apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r) build-essential virtualbox-4.0 dkms

Step3. Install so called “extension packs“. Starting with version 4.0, VirtualBox has introduced extension packs.
This “pack” it’s used for remote desktop connection support.

Now go to http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads and download the following:

wget http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/4.0.16/Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-4.0.16-75491.vbox-extpack

Install the pachage using the command:

# VBoxManage extpack install Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-4.0.16-75491.vbox-extpack
0%…10%…20%…30%…40%…50%…60%…70%…80%…90%…100%
Successfully installed “Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack”

Step4. You need to add the user administrator that you just created earlier to vboxusers group.

# adduser administrator vboxusers
Adding user `administrator’ to group `vboxusers’ …
Adding user administrator to group vboxusers
Done.

Part two: Install and use phpvirtualbox.

Step1. First we need to create a user called vbox and add it to the vboxusers group:

# useradd -m vbox -G vboxusers
[email protected]:/usr/src/vb# passwd vbox
Enter new UNIX password:
Retype new UNIX password:
passwd: password updated successfully

Step2. Create the file /etc/default/virtualbox and put the following line in it:

echo “VBOXWEB_USER=vbox” > /etc/default/virtualbox

Step3. Now we need to set the vboxwebsrv service to run on system startup:

# update-rc.d vboxweb-service defaults
update-rc.d: using dependency based boot sequencing
[email protected]:# /etc/init.d/vboxweb-service start
Starting VirtualBox web service:done..
[email protected]:# /etc/init.d/vboxweb-service status
Checking for VBox Web Service …running

Step4. Download and install phpvirtualbox:

Download phpvirtualbox from here: https://code.google.com/p/phpvirtualbox/
To programmatically determine and download the latest version. Use:

wget `wget -q -O – http://phpvirtualbox.googlecode.com/files/LATEST.txt` -O phpvirtualbox-latest.zip

Step5. Assuming that a Apache webserver is already installed on server, e.g. as described in the tutorial How to Install Apache2.4 PHP5 and MySQL from Source on Debian Linux , unzip phpvirtualbox archive in /var/www folder and rename the phpvirtualbox-4.2-0b to phpvirtualbox.

unzip phpvirtualbox-4.2-0b.zip
mv phpvirtualbox-4.2-0b phpvirtualbox
mv phpvirtualbox /var/www/

Step6. Now go to the /var/www/phpvirtualbox/ directory and edit the config.php-example with your xbox user password.
Then rename it to config.php.

nano config.php-example

/* Username / Password for system user that runs VirtualBox */
var $username = ‘vbox’;
var $password = ‘your_password’;

mv config.php-example config

Step7. You can now access phpvirtualbox from your browser:

http://localhost/phpvirtualbox/

When will ask for user and password use the default user and password. (admin/admin)

To change change the admin password go to File > Change Password.

Step8. Now you can create virtual machines in the same way that you create on your computer.

Enjoy.

Valic

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Editor in Chief at Debian-Tutorials, Linux enthusiast.

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