Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Can anyone offer suggestions on how I can build websites via the commandLine of my Linux VirtualBox and view my websites in browsers based in the Windows area?

I installed Ubuntu 12.04 Desktop in a VirtualBox on my windows platform. The idea was to use it as my Linux Web development area but it was too slow and sluggish at best.

So, I installed Ubuntu-Server 12.04 planning to just interact with the commandline. The problem is because I'm using Linux in a VirtualBox I can't preview my websites in the Windows area.

---OR--- Directions on installing a barebones GUI on my ubuntu-server so I can install web browsers to work on my websites?

Thanks in advance for any help.


Sorry, if my original question was confusing.

Basically, my problem is I need a way to apply code changes to website files via my Ubuntu-Server VirtualBox and view the effects in a browser either within the VirtualBox or outside of it i:e in Windows.

share|improve this question
well you can always install a desktop like ubuntu-desktop or lubuntu-desktop on top of your server version. (sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop) if the virtual server is slow why not try a real one, I would try via a live-usb.. – Alvar Sep 26 '13 at 17:52
@Alvar I suppose it sort of defies the idea of a server, as the memory and CPU footprint of a DE is not small at all. Setting up VBox networking so that the guest is within the same subnet as the hypervisor host is not that complicated. – moon.musick Sep 26 '13 at 19:10
@moon.musick but if you install a real server and not a virtual one you will get better performance. then you can install a GUI if you want to be able to view your websites locally.. – Alvar Sep 26 '13 at 19:21
@Alvar for all I see the OP actually states that they used the Desktop version and it was 'slow and sluggish'. I think the decrease in performance might be much more apparent with heavily limited resources (as in case of a VBox VM) than with a multi-CPU rack server. Anyways, for a task so simple on one hand, but resource-dependend on the other (web devs need most often more than one browser in the same time for comparison etc.) it seems to be overkill. – moon.musick Sep 26 '13 at 19:30

I don't know If I understand - you want host sites on ubuntu-server @ Virtualbox, but want to see it at host system (Windows)?

If yes - in your virtual machine settings (you must power off machine - not suspend - to change this), in network config, set Bridged or try another options - I'm tried this a year ago and I don't remember. But If you make correct settings, you're able to see webpage hosted in guest (Ubuntu Server) in host (Windows).

This is very dependend of configuration and, for example:

  • your network gate is router with DHCP
  • all machines connect to internet by router and got IP from DHCP


  • in guest virtualbox config: set adapter mode to bridged and select correct interface from host
  • in guest OS set same settings as host OS

Now, your guest will be available same as real machines - you can access HTTP server in local network (example:

Other way is internal network, maybe using VBox DHCP server. Read more at

share|improve this answer
I suppose you should clarify some aspects (e.g. the network setup - I think you assume the host is provided with networking data by a DHCP server, which is not necessarily the case and the guest might need a static IP; also if DHCP is used indeed then OP will need to know the IP address of the guest, not sure if we should assume they know how to check the IP address). – moon.musick Sep 26 '13 at 19:20
This depends of configuration. I'm succesful used bridged mode when host and guest has DHCP method enabled, and network gate is router with DHCP server. Guest OS will be correct visible like real machine. – aso Sep 26 '13 at 19:24
I know bridged setup generally works. I just suggest you add more details to your answer, so that is more useful to both the OP and all the other people who may see it later. – moon.musick Sep 26 '13 at 19:34
Now I'm writed more, maybe now my answer be accepted ;) – aso Sep 26 '13 at 23:48

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.