Yesterday we wrote about installing VirtualBox in CentOS 7 and managing it with phpVirtualBox tool on a headless CentOS 7 server. That tutorial was well received so we decided to write a similar one for Ubuntu 14.04.
If you want to reference the similar for CentOS 7, read click this link to go to the post.
This brief tutorial is going to show you how to install VirtualBox on a headless Ubuntu 14.04 server and manage it via a web browser using phpVirtualBox software.
When configured correctly, you won’t need to be physically connected to the Ubuntu server to manage virtual guests creation and deletion. You’ll be able to do it from a remote location via your web browser.
In order for this to work you’ll need Apache2, PHP and support modules along with phpVirtualBox packages. Carry out the setup on a Ubuntu box is much easier than on a CentOS 7 machine, that’s because of the firewall and SELinux applications that come pre-installed in CentOS.
When you’re ready, sign on to your Ubuntu machine and run the commands below to update it first. Before installing software in Ubuntu, it’s already a good thing to update.
Run the commands below to update Ubuntu.
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade && sudo apt-get autoremove
After that, run the commands below to install required kernel-headers and kernel packages.
sudo apt-get install build-essential dkms
Next, run the commands below to create a separate VirtualBox repository file in Ubuntu.
sudo vi /etc/apt/sources.list.d/virtualbox.list
Then copy and paste the below line in the file and save it.
deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian trusty contrib
Next, run the commands below to download the repository key and install.
wget -q http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian/oracle_vbox.asc -O- | sudo apt-key add -
Finally, run the commands below to install VirtualBox
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install VirtualBox-4.3
Nex,t run the commands below to download VirtualBox extension pack. This pack allows VirtualBox to function smoothly and interact with the host computer properly.
cd /tmp/ && wget http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/4.3.12/Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-4.3.12-93733.vbox-extpack
Next, run the commands below to install the extension pack.
sudo VBoxManage extpack install Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-4.3.12-93733.vbox-extpack
After installing VirtualBox, go and create a dedicated user to manage VirtualBox connections. To do that, run the commands below to create a username called richard, a password for richard account and add the user to VirtualBox users group.
sudo useradd richard
sudo passwd richard
sudo usermod -aG vboxusers richard
After that, run the commands below to test if VirtualBox was correctly installed and loaded. To do that, run the commands below.
sudo /etc/init.d/vboxdrv status
If it’s not correctly installed, run the commands below to re load the kernel modules
sudo /etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup
- Installing Apache2, PHP and PHP Modules
After installing and configuring VirtualBox, let’s go and install Apache2 and PHP and its modules. To do that, run the commands below.
sudo apt-get install apache2 php5 php5-common php-soap php5-gd
- Installing phpVirtualBox in Ubuntu 14.04
Now that VirtualBox, Apache2 and PHP are installed, lets’ go and download phpVirtualBox package. To do that, run the commands below.
cd /tmp/ && wget http://sourceforge.net/projects/phpvirtualbox/files/phpvirtualbox-4.3-1.zip
Next, run the commands below to unzip the downloaded package
Next, create a root directory for phpVirtualBox.
sudo mv phpvirtualbox-4.3-1 /var/www/html/phpvirtualbox
Now copy the sample config file and rename it by running the commands below.
sudo cp /var/www/html/phpvirtualbox/config.php-example /var/www/html/phpvirtualbox/config.php
Then edit the configuration and add the user account and password you created earlier.
sudo vi /var/www/html/phpvirtualbox/config.php
Add the info for the user
var $username = 'richard';
var $password = 'my_password';
Next, create a new VirtualBox file and enter the info for the user as shown below.
sudo vi /etc/default/virtualbox
Then enter the info for the user and save the file.
Start VirtualBox web service by running the commands below.
sudo /etc/init.d/vboxweb-service start
Open your favorite web browser and connect to the server. You’ll be prompted with a logon page. The username and password are admin
Logon and start creating guest operating systems.
At the end, I ran into trouble using the new user info created above. I had to switch to my Ubuntu user account to get vboxweb-service started.
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