Tag: Environment

Headless VirtualBox

December 2, 2010 » Geek

Updated (2010-12-02)

So, duh, multiple interfaces. One NAT one Host-Only. All done.

I recently set up a VirtualBox VM to test BlankSMTP locally, but it’s annoying to have the GUI up all the time when I’m just SSH’ing in. To get around this I set it up to work headless.

The biggest hangup is networking. I had to switch it to Host-Only so that the interface would remain consistent. Other wise with bridged I would get new IP’s all the time, and even then only when the networking init script got triggered somehow.

After that was set I just wrote two quick bash scripts to start and stop. An init script would also be an option if I wanted to make sure it shut down when I power off the laptop, but I decided it wasn’t worth the trouble.

The key commands are VBoxHeadless -startvm [vm name] and VBoxManage controlvm [vm name] savestate

blanksmtp-start

#!/bin/bash

COUNT=$( ps aux | grep 'VBoxHeadless -startvm BlankSMTP' | grep -v grep | wc -l)

if [ "$COUNT" == "0" ]; then
        echo "Starting BlankSMTP..."
        nohup VBoxHeadless -startvm BlankSMTP > /dev/null 2>&- &
else
        echo "Found a running instance!"
fi

blanksmtp-stop

#!/bin/bash

COUNT=$( ps aux | grep 'VBoxHeadless -startvm BlankSMTP' | grep -v grep | wc -l)

if [ "$COUNT" == "0" ]; then
        echo "No running instance!"
else
        echo "Shutting down..."
        VBoxManage controlvm BlankSMTP savestate
fi

Works like a charm!