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I have successfully setup a virtualbox running Ubuntu server. As everything is working now, it would be sweet to run it in the background, so I've made a small bash script to start it whenever I need to access it:

nohup VBoxHeadless -s "Ubuntu server"&

This server uses bridged networking and has a static IP set to When I run the following from another computer in the same network, the below shown error are thrown. Why?

ssh jay@
ssh: connect to host port 22: No route to host

I assumed that running headless would not affect the Virtualbox beside the fact that it's lacking the GUI?

Thanks a lot

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Was ssh working to it before you started it headless ? –  Iain Feb 27 '11 at 17:00
and what is your host operating system ? –  Iain Feb 27 '11 at 17:16
@Iain: Host OP is Ubuntu 10.10 desktop, SSH works like a charm when running the normal way –  Industrial Feb 27 '11 at 17:17
UPDATE: Running nohup VBoxHeadless -s "Ubuntu server"& from a terminal works well, but not in my bash script... –  Industrial Feb 27 '11 at 17:33

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

It may very well be that the server is having trouble starting up, or some other random error may be occurring.

Fortunately, when you launch a headless server using VirtualBox without specifying the --vrde flag, it will automatically enable RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) on the VM. Try connecting to your server using RDP--because VirtualBox guarantees it to be running, and doesn't depend on the guest OS, you can rule out rather its an issue with the IP, the VM, or your connection to the server itself.

The official VirtualBox documentation has more info on what kind of RDP clients are available for your system (I recommend rdesktop), and how to work with your headless system.

Best of luck, and although this isn't technically an answer, it will allow you to do some real debugging! :)

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Thanks for great tips @redmumba. I did some research and found out that my syntax didn't work for some reason. Calling nohup VBoxManage startvm "Ubuntu server" --type headless& from the bash file made my Vbox start and run perfectly! –  Industrial Feb 28 '11 at 16:16

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