Thursday, August 18, 2016

VirtualBox 5.0.x Headless with PHPVirtualBox 5.0.x

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 16.04.1 LTS
Virtual Machine : VirtualBox 5.0.30
Front End : PHPVirtualBox 5.0.5
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

Part C.2 - VirtualBox Installation

After the Ubuntu Server 16.04.1 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 xenial 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-5.0


sudo VBoxManage extpack install Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-5.0.30-112061.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 php-common php7.0-cli php7.0-common php7.0-curl php7.0-gd php7.0-imap php7.0-intl php7.0-json php7.0-mbstring php7.0-mcrypt php7.0-mysql php7.0-readline php7.0-xml php7.0-zip php7.0-pgsql php7.0-sqlite3 php7.0-fpm php-apcu mysql-server mysql-client php7.0-cgi apache2-utils php7.0-soap

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

tar -xvzf cmake-3.6.2.tar.gz
cd cmake-3.6.2
sudo make install

tar -xzvf hiawatha-10.4.tar.gz
cd hiawatha-10.4/extra
cd ..
sudo dpkg -i hiawatha_10.4_amd64.deb

sudo systemctl enable hiawatha

sudo nano /etc/php/7.0/fpm/php.ini

Make changes as is.

zlib.output_compression = On
zlib.output_compression_level = 6
cgi.rfc2616_headers = 1

Append the following to the php-fpm.conf.

sudo nano /etc/php/7.0/fpm/php-fpm.conf

user = www-data
group = www-data
listen.mode = 0666
listen = /var/run/php/php7.0-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. Make sure you use a simple password as symbols do not accepted by VirtualBox.

wget "" -O
sudo unzip -d /var/www/
sudo mv /var/www/phpvirtualbox-5.0.5/ /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 to the empty file :


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

sudo systemctl enable vboxweb-service
sudo systemctl start vboxweb-service

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


For phpvirtualbox login error when php7.0 is updated :

sudo /etc/init.d/php7.0-fpm restart

For phpvirtualbox guest vm showing "saved" or "poweroff" :

sudo systemctl restart vboxweb-service

Before upgrading VirtualBox, make sure all your virtual machines (guests) have been shut down. Then, stop the VirtualBox :

sudo systemctl stop vboxdrv
sudo systemctl stop vboxweb-service

If the Linux kernel is updated but the Virtualbox kernel module was not compiled by DRM properly, you need to run :

sudo /sbin/rcvboxdrv setup

If you encountered "Uninstalling old VirtualBox DKMS kernel modulesError! Could not locate dkms.conf file." when upgrading, you need to delete the source file of previous version :

sudo rm -rf /var/lib/dkms/vboxhost/[previous version]

e.g. /var/lib/dkms/vboxhost/5.0.28

dkms status

After that, run the following commands or reboot the box.

sudo systemctl start vboxdrv
sudo systemctl start vboxweb-service

Then, start all virtual machines in web interface.

That's all! See you.