2.19. Starting the Oracle VM VirtualBox Web Service Automatically

The Oracle VM VirtualBox web service, vboxwebsrv, is used for controlling Oracle VM VirtualBox remotely. It is documented in detail in the Oracle VM VirtualBox Software Development Kit (SDK). See Chapter 4, Oracle VM VirtualBox Programming Interfaces. Web service start scripts are available for supported host operating systems. The following sections describe how to use the scripts. The Oracle VM VirtualBox web service is never started automatically as a result of a standard installation.

2.19.1. Linux: Starting the Web Service With init

On Linux, the web service can be automatically started during host boot by adding appropriate parameters to the file /etc/default/virtualbox. There is one mandatory parameter, VBOXWEB_USER, which must be set to the user which will later start the VMs. The parameters in the following table all start with the VBOXWEB_ prefix string. For example: VBOXWEB_HOST and VBOXWEB_PORT.

Table 2.2 Web Service Configuration Parameters





The user which the web service runs as


The host to bind the web service to



The port to bind the web service to



Server key and certificate file, in PEM format


File name for password to server key


CA certificate file, in PEM format


CA certificate path


DH file name or DH key length in bits


File containing seed for random number generator


Session timeout in seconds, 0 disables timeouts



Frequency of timeout checks in seconds



Maximum number of worker threads to run in parallel



Maximum number of requests before a socket will be closed



Number of log files, 0 disables log rotation



Maximum log file size to trigger rotation, in bytes



Maximum time interval to trigger log rotation, in seconds

1 day

Setting the parameter SSL_KEYFILE enables the SSL/TLS support. Using encryption is strongly encouraged, as otherwise everything, including passwords, is transferred in clear text.

2.19.2. Oracle Solaris: Starting the Web Service With SMF

On Oracle Solaris hosts, the Oracle VM VirtualBox web service daemon is integrated into the SMF framework. You can change the parameters, but do not have to if the defaults below already match your needs:

svccfg -s svc:/application/virtualbox/webservice:default setprop config/host=localhost
svccfg -s svc:/application/virtualbox/webservice:default setprop config/port=18083
svccfg -s svc:/application/virtualbox/webservice:default setprop config/user=root

The table in Section 2.19.1, “Linux: Starting the Web Service With init” showing the parameter names and defaults also applies for Oracle Solaris. The parameter names must be changed to lowercase and a prefix of config/ has to be added. For example: config/user or config/ssl_keyfile. If you make any change, do not forget to run the following command to put the changes into effect immediately:

svcadm refresh svc:/application/virtualbox/webservice:default

If you forget the above command then the previous settings are used when enabling the service. Check the current property settings as follows:

svcprop -p config svc:/application/virtualbox/webservice:default

When everything is configured correctly you can start the Oracle VM VirtualBox web service with the following command:

svcadm enable svc:/application/virtualbox/webservice:default

For more information about SMF, please refer to the Oracle Solaris documentation.

2.19.3. Mac OS X: Starting the Web Service With launchd

On Mac OS X, launchd is used to start the Oracle VM VirtualBox webservice. An example configuration file can be found in $HOME/Library/LaunchAgents/org.virtualbox.vboxwebsrv.plist. It can be enabled by changing the Disabled key from true to false. To manually start the service use the following command:

launchctl load ~/Library/LaunchAgents/org.virtualbox.vboxwebsrv.plist

For additional information on how launchd services could be configured see: