Wednesday, January 12, 2011

VirtualBox Remote display (VRDP support)

VirtualBox can display virtual machines remotely, meaning that a virtual machine can execute on one machine even though the machine will be displayed on a second computer, and the machine will be controlled from there as well, as if the virtual machine was running on that second computer.

VirtualBox Extentions Pack

You can also check my eariier post for how to install VirtualBox and extention pack.

Enabling VRDP

Even when the extension is installed, the VRDP server is disabled by default. It can easily be enabled on a per-VM basis either in the VirtualBox Manager in the "Display" settings or with VBoxManage:

 VBoxManage modifyvm "VM name" --vrde on

By default, VRDP uses TCP port 3389. You will need to change the default port if you run more than one VRDP server, since the port can only be used by one server at a time; you might also need to change it on Windows hosts since the default port might already be used by the RDP server that is built into Windows itself. Ports 5000 through 5050 are typically not used and might be a good choice.

Accessing the VM remotely:

On Linux host you can test the Remote display of VM using rdesktop, or rdesktop-vrdp which is installed with VirtualBox

rdesktop -a 16 -N

As said for the Microsoft viewer above, replace "" with the host IP address, and 3389 with a different port if necessary. The -a 16 option requests a color depth of 16 bits per pixel, which we recommend. (For best performance, after installation of the guest operating system, you should set its display color depth to the same value). The -N option enables use of the NumPad keys.


When connecting to localhost in order to test the connection, the addresses localhost and might not work using mstsc.exe. Instead, the address[:3389] has to be used.

On Windows, you can use the Microsoft Terminal Services Connector (mstsc.exe) that ships with Windows. You can start it by bringing up the "Run" dialog (press the Windows key and "R") and typing "mstsc". You can also find it under "Start" -> "All Programs" -> "Accessories" -> "Remote Desktop Connection". If you use the "Run" dialog, you can type in options directly:

1 comment:

  1. This will not work if the extension pack is not installed. You can install it from link below: