Windows Server Configuration

It's highly recommended that you read and understand these instructions, before attempting to configure the server. Even missing a simple step can prevent the server from working correctly.
Getting Started
RemoteBox is designed to connect to a VirtualBox instance running on a server, so we need to ensure that VirtualBox is configured correctly. These instructions do not go over installing VirtualBox itself as this is trivial, but they do describe the configuration you need to do. These instructions do not reference any specific version of Windows, but should be compatible with most recent editions.

The documentation assumes the following:

  • If the server is firewalled, port 18083 (tcp) is able to accept connections from your RemoteBox client.
  • VirtualBox is installed, including The Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack.
  • The steps are performed with sufficient administrator privileges
The vboxwebsrv Agent
VirtualBox provides an agent called vboxwebsrv aka VirtualBox web service which provides network access to VirtualBox's API. RemoteBox connects to this agent in order to perform the various tasks such as administering the guests. This agent must run as a user, which is important to understand because it's the virtual machines of that user you will see when you connect.

For example, if the agent is running as the user joe, then you will see Joe's virtual machines and configuration, regardless of the credentials you connected with. It's also worth mentioning that extensions such as the Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack may also need to be installed as this user, so that it's available in their configuration. You may already have an existing user you wish to use, or you can create a new one specifically for the purpose. If you are not sure how to create a user, please consult the documentation for your operating system.

For the purposes of this documentation, we will use the following values in the examples, however remember to change them to suit your setup.

vboxwebsrvuser: virtualuser
Server Name: myserver.example.com
Server IP Address: 192.168.1.10
Default TCP Port: 18083
The Main Configuration
Unfortunately the VirtualBox web service does not integrate with Windows as a standard system service. You can manually create a service by using the Windows command called sc. For more information please see this Microsoft KB article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/251192. Without the service integration you must manually start the VirtualBox web service every time the server is started.

• Log into Windows as the user that will run the service, for example virtualuser
• Open a command prompt by pressing the [WINDOWS] + [R] keys and entering cmd into the Open field.
• Run the following commands in the command window. You can use the IP address instead of the hostname, if your hostname is not in DNS. Do not close the command window.

cd "C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox"
vboxwebsrv -t0 -H myserver.example.com

You should now be able to connect to the server using the RemoteBox client.

Optional: Auto-Starting Guests on Server Boot
VirtualBox does not currently support auto-starting guests at boot on a Windows server.
Optional: Disabling Web Service Authentication
Disabling authentication to the VirtualBox web service is a big security risk as it allow anyone to connect, however it may be useful for debugging purposes. Particularly if you are experiencing authentication issues when trying to connect. Once set, you can connect with RemoteBox by simply leaving the username and password fields empty

• To disable authentication, run the following commands on the server as the same user that the VirtualBox web service runs as:

cd "C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox"
vboxmanage setproperty websrvauthlibrary null

RemoteBox is © Ian Chapman 2010-2022 and published under the terms of the GPL v2 or later. RemoteBox is not affiliated in any way with Oracle or its subsidiaries.