Friday, June 12, 2015

HOWTO : VirtualBox Headless with PHPVirtualBox

VirtualBox is a virtual machine which can be running on desktop and server. We can running VirtualBox as server (Headless mode) with PHPVirtualBox as front end. PHPVirutalBox can be running with Apache flawlessly. However, I would like it to be running on Hiawatha. There is no database required for the Headless mode.

Part A - Hardware

Motherboard : ASRock Rack C2750D4I server board
CPU : Intel Atom C2750
RAM : 4 x 8GB (32GB) DDR3-1600
Hard Drive : 2 x Western Digital 4TB WD4000F9YZ

Western Digital 4TB WD4000F9YZ is not certified by ASRock, so, it cannot boot from SATA3 ports. The SATA2 ports are used in this case.

The performance of C2750 is similar to Xeon E3-1220L. Please the comparison page at here.

The power consumption of this setup is between 30W to 80W.

Make sure you have enabled "Virtualization" (VT-x) in the BIOS.

Part B - Software

Operating System : Ubuntu Server 14.04.2 LTS
Virtual Machine : VirtualBox 4.3.28
Front End : PHPVirtualBox 4.3-3
Web Server : Hiawatha
RAID : Software RAID 1

Part C - Installation

Part C.1 - Operating System and Software RAID 1 Installation

RAID 1 requires two hard drivers for the installation. When you are installing Ubuntu Server 14.04.2 LTS, you are required to do the partitioning. Select "Automatically partitioning" for each drive. The partitions will be (1) 1MB for "biosgrub"; (2) Free Space for root directory; and (3) Free Space for SWAP.

Then select "Configure Software RAID" to configure the Software RAID 1 on Free Space for root directory and Free Space for SWAP partitions. Do not RAID the "biosgrub" partitions. Set the "Free Space for root directory" to be mount at "/" and use as "Ext4 jouraling file system". Set the "Free Space for SWAP" to be used as "SWAP".

Finally, you should select to install "OpenSSH" when asked.

After the installation, your box can be booted up as expected. You can check the status of Software RAID 1 by the following commands :

cat /proc/mdstat

mdadm --detail /dev/md0
mdadm --detail /dev/md1

Make sure to change /etc/network/interfaces :

Add "allow-hotplug p119p1" just below "auto p119p1".

Part C.2 - VirtualBox Installation

After the Ubuntu Server 14.04.2 LTS is installed, you can install VirtualBox on it.

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list.d/vbox.list

Append the following line to it :

deb trusty contrib

Save it.

wget -q -O- | sudo apt-key add -

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install dkms unzip
sudo apt-get install virtualbox-4.3


sudo VBoxManage extpack install Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-4.3.28-100309.vbox-extpack

To uninstall Extension Pack :

sudo VBoxManage extpack uninstall "Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack"

Part C.3 - Hiawatha Web Server Installation

sudo apt-get install php5-cgi php5 php5-cli php5-mysql php5-curl php5-gd php5-intl php-pear php5-imagick php5-imap php5-mcrypt php5-memcache php5-ming php5-ps php5-pspell php5-recode php5-snmp php5-sqlite php5-tidy php5-xmlrpc php5-xsl php5-xcache apache2-utils php5-fpm

sudo apt-get install libc6-dev libssl-dev dpkg-dev debhelper fakeroot libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev

tar -xvzf cmake-3.2.3.tar.gz
cd cmake-3.2.3
sudo make install

tar -xzvf hiawatha-9.13.tar.gz
cd hiawatha-9.13/extra
cd ..
sudo dpkg -i hiawatha_9.13_amd64.deb

sudo nano /etc/php5/fpm/php.ini

Make changes as is.

zlib.output_compression = On
zlib.output_compression_level = 6

Append the following to the php-fpm.conf.

sudo nano /etc/php5/fpm/php-fpm.conf

user = www-data
group = www-data
listen.mode = 0666
listen = /var/run/php5-fpm.sock
pm = static
pm.max_children = 100
chdir = /

sudo nano /etc/hiawatha/hiawatha.conf

sudo mkdir /etc/hiawatha/enable-sites
sudo mkdir /etc/hiawatha/disable-sites

sudo nano /etc/hiawatha/enable-sites/vbox.local

Make sure to change the "Hostname" to your IP address.

Part C.4 - PHPVirtualBox Installation

sudo adduser --ingroup vboxusers vbox

Enter password when prompted.

wget "" -O
sudo unzip -d /var/www/
sudo mv /var/www/phpvirtualbox-4.3-3 /var/www/vbox
cd /var/www/vbox
sudo cp config.php-example config.php
sudo nano config.php

Change "$username" to "vbox" and "$password" to the password you just entered.

Change "$consoleHost" to your IP address, such as ""

Uncoment (remove "#" in the front) "$enableAdvancedConfig = true;" and "$startStopConfig = true;"

sudo nano /etc/default/virtualbox

Append the following line :


sudo cp /var/log/vbox/vboxinit /etc/init.d/vboxinit
sudo update-rc.d vboxinit defaults

sudo /etc/init.d/vboxweb-service start

Now, you can browse to http://[your-server-ip]/index.html, e.g.

Log in with "admin' as username and 'admin" as password.

You can copy the iso files to /home/samiux/iso for example by scp command.

Make sure you have installed "Guest Additions" to the all virtual desktop guests. Meanwhile, you need Flash to run the guest VNC.

If you want to browse with http://[your-server-ip]/ only, you need to do the following :

sudo cp /var/www/vbox/index.html /var/www/vbox/index.php

If the network interface occasionally cannot be detected, you can :

sudo cp /etc/network/interfaces /etc/network/interfaces-original

sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces

Make sure only the interfaces are as below :

# This file describes the network interfaces available on you system
# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).

# The loopback network interace
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

# The primary network interface
auto p119p1
allow-hotplug p119p1
iface p119p1 inet dhcp

That's all! See you.