How to install phpvirtualbox on Debain 9.0 (Stretch)

June 28, 2017

Phpvirtualbox is a web applicaton that allows you to manage Oracle’s Virtualbox VMs. Although Phpvirtual box is currently (As of 28-06-2017) a verion behind Virtualbox development, a simple workaround can be applied.

First we need to install Apache and PHP (Plus its components.) in order to serve Phpvirtualbox:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install apache2 php php-xml php-soap 

Next we can install the latest version of virtualbox from Oracle’s debian repositories:

#Add virtual box to sources.list.d
sudo vim /etc/apt/sources.list.d/virtualbox.list
#Inside add the offical Oracle repos
deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian stretch contrib

Then we add the Virtualbox pub key

#Download key
curl -O https://www.virtualbox.org/download/oracle_vbox_2016.asc
#Add key to apt
sudo apt-key add oracle_vbox_2016.asc

Now we are able to install Virtualbox

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install virtualbox-5.1

In order to use the built in rdp client, usb 2&3, plus some other features, we need to install the Virtualbox Extension Pack

#You use wget to download the pack (After obtaining the most recent version's link)
cd /tmp
wget http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/5.1.22/Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-5.1.22-115126.vbox-extpack
#Now we can intstall the pack with vboxmanage
vboxmanage extpack install Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-5.1.22-115126.vbox-extpack

In order to allow phpvirtualbox the ability to access the vboxwebserver, we need to create a user that belongs to the vboxusers group.

#Add user named 'vbox' whose primary group is vboxusers
useradd -d /home/vbox -m -g vboxusers -s /bin/bash vbox
#Give user 'vbox' a password
passwd vbox

Phpvirtualbox uses a service called vboxwebsrv provided by Virtualbox to manage all the aspects of a VM. This service is not enabled by default, so we need to make it start at boot

#Create an entry in init.d that starts the vboxwebsrv
sudo vim /etc/init.d/vboxweb
#Inside the file add the following:
sudo -u vbox  vboxwebsrv &

The file should look like this: /etc/init.d/vboxweb Now we need to enable the execute bit and tell init to run the file at boot

sudo chmod +x /etc/init.d/vboxweb
sudo update-rc.d vboxweb defaults

The Virtualbox internals are now finished! We can proceed to the phpvirualbox setup.

#Download the newest version of phpvirtualbox
cd /tmp
wget http://sourceforge.net/projects/phpvirtualbox/files/latest/download -O phpvirtualbox.zip
unzip phpvirtualbox.zip -d /var/www/html/phpvirtualbox

We need to tell phpvirtualbox which user to run as, in this case we will use the user we created earlier ‘vbox’

sudo mv /var/www/html/phpvirtualbox/config.php-example /var/www/html/phpvirtualbox/config.php
#In the config.php file change the '$username' and '$password' values to that of the vbox user
sudo vim /var/www/html/phpvirtualbox/config.php

This is what the file should look like once you are done: /var/www/html/phpvirtualbox/config.php

When installing phpvirtualbox I generally change apache’s default document root to /var/www/html/phpvirtualbox, but this is a matter of preference, if you wish to do so, run the following commands.

sudo vim /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf
#Then change the doc root from /var/www/html to /var/www/html/phpvirtualbox by editing the 'DocumentRoot' line


At this point you could reboot and point your browser to your server, but you would get a version missmatch error, in order to rectify this, you must apply a workaround

cd /var/www/html/phpvirtualbox/endpoints/lib/
sudo vim config.php
#You must comment out the 'define('PHPVBOX_VER', '5.0-5');' line and add 'define('PHPVBOX_VER', '5.1-0');'

/var/www/html/phpvirtualbox/endpoints/lib/config.php Then add a symbolic link to the following files.

sudo ln -s /var/www/html/phpvirtualbox/endpoints/lib/vboxweb-5.0.wsdl/var/www/html/phpvirtualbox/endpoints/lib/vboxweb-5.1.wsdl
sudo ln -s /var/www/html/phpvirutalbox/endpoints/lib/vboxwebService-5.0.wsdl /var/www/html/phpvirtualbox/endpoints/lib/vboxwebService-5.1.wsdl

After running the last commands and rebooting, you should be able to access the phpvirtualbox interface at the server’s ip or domain name. Congratulations! You now have a working phpvirtualbox install! phpvirtualbox