VirtualBox: Running Headless

Following up on the previous discussion of running VirtualBox from the command line, the next task is to be able to run a remote VirtualBox session, that is, a virtual machine hosted on a remote computer which may or may not be capable of a graphics display. In this case, the virtual machine is started from the host’s command line using the headless parameter

VboxManage startvm RHDesktop –type headless 
This starts the vm, and automatically by default starts the remote desktop server, to allow you to log into the machine using Microsoft’s Remote Desktop or any other client that uses the RDP protocol. There are at least two quirks regarding the log in with Remote Desktop:

1. When configuring the port for RDP, in VirtualBox settings,  use a port other than the default RDP 3389.
(I used 5000).

2. When connecting to the Virtual Machine using RDP, use  the the IP address of the host for the IP address.  Note that the IP address used is independent of any IP address that is assigned to the guest operating system, either as a fixed address or through NAT, when bridging.

(click on the images to see them full-sized.)

There is a good YouTube Video showing this with Windows hosts and guests.

With my RedHat guest, there seems to be issues with the mouse accurately tracking on the remote desktop.  It will be interesting to see if this is a major problem or not.

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