Access VirtualBox Ubuntu Server from Host

Welcome, Dev! In this article, we’ll discuss how to access a VirtualBox Ubuntu server from the host machine.

1. What is VirtualBox?

VirtualBox is a free and open-source virtualization software that allows you to run multiple virtual machines on a single physical computer. It provides an isolated environment for running different operating systems and applications without affecting the host machine.

1.1. How does VirtualBox work?

VirtualBox works by emulating a complete hardware environment, including CPU, memory, storage, network interface, and other virtual devices. It creates a virtual machine (VM) that can run its operating system and applications independently of the host machine.

VirtualBox uses a hypervisor to manage and orchestrate the virtual machines. The hypervisor isolates the virtual machines from the host machine and provides secure communication between them.

1.2. Why use VirtualBox?

VirtualBox has several advantages, including:

  • Free and open-source software
  • Supports multiple guest operating systems (Linux, Windows, macOS, etc.)
  • Easy to use and configure
  • Provides an isolated environment for testing and development

2. Setting up Ubuntu Server in VirtualBox

Before we can access Ubuntu Server from the host machine, we need to set up a virtual machine running Ubuntu Server in VirtualBox.

2.1. Download Ubuntu Server ISO

The first step is to download the Ubuntu Server ISO image from the official website. You can choose the latest LTS (Long Term Support) version or any other version that supports your requirements.

2.2. Create a new virtual machine

Next, open VirtualBox and click on ‘New’ to create a new virtual machine. Enter a name for the VM, select ‘Linux’ as the type, and ‘Ubuntu (64-bit)’ as the version. Allocate enough memory and disk space according to your needs.

2.3. Configure the virtual machine

Now, click on ‘Settings’ to configure the virtual machine. In the ‘System’ tab, enable PAE/NX and set the number of processors and cores. In the ‘Display’ tab, increase the video memory and enable 3D acceleration (if supported).

In the ‘Storage’ tab, add the Ubuntu Server ISO image as a bootable CD/DVD and remove the default empty disk. In the ‘Network’ tab, set the adapter to ‘Bridged Adapter’ or ‘Host-only Adapter’ (depending on your network configuration).

2.4. Install Ubuntu Server

Finally, start the virtual machine and follow the Ubuntu Server installation wizard. Choose the language, keyboard layout, time zone, and partitioning options. Create a user account and set the password. Once the installation is complete, reboot the VM.

3. Accessing Ubuntu Server from Host Machine

Now that we have set up Ubuntu Server in VirtualBox, let’s see how to access it from the host machine.

3.1. Find Virtual Machine IP Address

The first step is to find the IP address of the Ubuntu Server VM. You can do this by opening the terminal in the VM and running the following command:

Command
Description
ip addr show
Show network interfaces and their IP addresses

Note down the IP address of the adapter that is connected to the network (eth0 or enp0s3).

3.2. Enable SSH in Ubuntu Server

The second step is to enable SSH (Secure Shell) in Ubuntu Server. SSH allows you to access the command-line interface of Ubuntu Server from the host machine using a remote terminal client.

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Open the terminal in Ubuntu Server and run the following command to install SSH:

Command
Description
sudo apt-get install openssh-server
Install SSH server

Once the installation is complete, run the following command to start the SSH service:

Command
Description
sudo systemctl start ssh
Start SSH service

You can also enable SSH to start automatically at boot time by running the following command:

Command
Description
sudo systemctl enable ssh
Enable SSH service

3.3. Connect to Ubuntu Server using SSH

The final step is to connect to Ubuntu Server from the host machine using SSH. You can use any SSH client, such as PuTTY (for Windows) or OpenSSH (for Linux and macOS).

Open the SSH client and enter the IP address of the Ubuntu Server VM as the host name. Use the default SSH port (22) and enter the user name and password that you created during the Ubuntu Server installation.

4. Conclusion

That’s it, Dev! You have learned how to access a VirtualBox Ubuntu server from the host machine using SSH. This method allows you to manage the Ubuntu Server command-line interface and run applications remotely without leaving the host machine. Use this method for testing, development, and production purposes.

FAQ

1. Can I access Ubuntu Server from the host machine without SSH?

Yes, you can access Ubuntu Server from the host machine using other remote desktop protocols, such as VNC (Virtual Network Computing) or RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol). However, SSH is the most secure and lightweight method for accessing Ubuntu Server from the host machine.

2. Can I access Ubuntu Server using a web browser?

Yes, you can access Ubuntu Server using a web browser through a web-based terminal emulator, such as Webmin or Cockpit. These tools provide a graphical user interface for managing Ubuntu Server remotely.

3. Can I access multiple Ubuntu Server instances from the same host machine?

Yes, you can access multiple Ubuntu Server instances from the same host machine by assigning different IP addresses and SSH ports to each instance. You can also use SSH tunnels to forward ports and access the instances from a single SSH connection.