Saturday, May 9, 2009

VirtualBox as a service

One of the nice features of Sun's VirtualBox is the ability to start headless VMs (i.e., runs without having to open a window to "see" the guest OS). I use it to run a Linux VM to host my internal wiki and web services. The advantage is that when I rebuild a system (and I do this more often than friends, family, & other users like), I don't have to restore the wiki. I only have to re-install Virtualbox, and start the appropriate VM (there are advantages in keeping your home directory on a separate partition).

VirtualBox allows for the use of multi-word names for VMs. One missing piece for VirtualBox is a script to start/stop headless VMs. Various people, such as Ross Peoples and Brendan Kidwell, have written scripts to fill this void.

I like Ross's script (you'll need to scroll down) but it didn't like my naming scheme, so I've adjusted it. My version of his script is in the wiki.