From ArchWiki

phpVirtualBox is an open source, AJAX implementation of the VirtualBox user interface written in PHP. As a modern web interface, it allows you to access and control remote VirtualBox instances. Much of its verbage and some of its code is based on the (inactive) vboxweb project. phpVirtualBox was designed to allow users to administer VirtualBox in a headless environment - mirroring the VirtualBox GUI through its web interface.


To remotely control virtual machine you need two components: VirtualBox web service, running in the same OS with virtual machine, and web interface, written in PHP and therefore dependent on PHP-capable web server. Communication between them, based on SOAP protocol is currently unencrypted, so it is recommended to install both on the same machine if you do not want your username and password to be send via network as clear text.

VirtualBox web service

To use the web console, you must install the virtualbox-ext-oracleAUR package.

VirtualBox web interface (phpvirtualbox)

Install the phpvirtualbox package. You will also need a PHP-capable web server of your choice (Apache HTTP Server is suitable choice).


From here on out, it is assumed that you have a web server (with root at /srv/http) and php functioning properly.

Web service

In the virtual machine settings, enable the remote desktop access and specify a port different with other virtual machines.

Every time you need to make machine remotely available execute something like this:

vboxwebsrv -b --logfile path/to/log/file --pidfile /run/vbox/ --host

As user whose account you want the service to be running from (--host option is not necessary if you enabled association with localhost in the /etc/host.conf).

Note: This user must be in group vboxusers!

virtualbox provides the vboxweb.service for systemd.

To start vboxweb from non-root user you must:

  1. Create or add a user in the group vboxusers (for example, vbox)
  2. Edit vboxweb_mod.service like this:
    Description=VirtualBox Web Service
    ExecStart=/usr/bin/vboxwebsrv --pidfile /run/vboxweb/  --background
  3. Create tmpfile rule for your vboxweb_mod.service
    # echo "d /run/vboxweb 0755 vbox vboxusers" > /etc/tmpfiles.d/vboxweb_mod.conf
  4. Create manually /run/vboxweb directory for first start vboxweb_mod.service
    # mkdir /run/vboxweb
    # chown vbox:vboxusers /run/vboxweb
    # chmod 755 /run/vboxweb
    or just reboot your system for automatically create.
  5. Start/enable vboxweb_mod.service

Web interface

Edit /etc/php/php.ini, uncomment the following line:


Edit the example configuration file /usr/share/webapps/phpvirtualbox/config.php-example appropriately (it is well-commented and does not need explanations). Copy that file into /etc/webapps/phpvirtualbox/config.php and symlink to /usr/share/webapps/phpvirtualbox/config.php.

Then, edit /etc/php/php.ini, find open_basedir and append the configuration path /etc/webapps/ at the end. It will look like the follows:

open_basedir = /srv/http/:/home/:/tmp/:/usr/share/pear/:/usr/share/webapps/:/etc/webapps/

If you are running Apache as webserver, you can copy /etc/webapps/phpvirtualbox/apache.example.conf into /etc/httpd/conf/extra/phpvirtualbox.conf. If you are running Apache 2.4, due to the syntax of ACL changes, edit that file to replace the follows

Order allow,deny
Allow from all


Require all granted

Next, add following line into /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf:

Include conf/extra/phpvirtualbox.conf

Edit /etc/webapps/phpvirtualbox/.htaccess and remove the following line.

deny from all

Do not forget to restart the webserver (e.g. for Apache, restart httpd.service).


If everything works fine, visit http://YourVboxWebInterfaceHost/phpvirtualbox and it should show a login box. The initial username and password are both "admin", after login change them from the web interface (File -> change password). If you set $noAuth=true in the web interface config.php, you should immediately see the phpvirtualbox web interface.


If you encounter a login problem, and you have upgraded virtualbox from 3.2.x to 4.0.x, you should run the following command to update you websrvauthlibrary in you virtualbox configuration file which has been changed from to

VBoxManage setproperty vrdeauthlibrary default
VBoxManage setproperty websrvauthlibrary default 

If you encounter a login problem with an error message that contains

[message:protected] => Could not connect to host (

Then you may want to edit /etc/webapps/phpvirtualbox/config.php variable location to use localhost rather than See this forum post for further information.

If you are still unable to login into the interface, you can try to disable webauth by

VBoxManage setproperty websrvauthlibrary null

on virtualization server and set username and password to empty strings and set $noAuth=true in /etc/webapps/phpvirtualbox/config.php on web server. By doing this, you should immediatelly access the web interface without login process. And then, maybe you can try some apache access control.

See also