I'm currently using Ubuntu Server installed in VirtualBox for running various server services. The only drawback it posses for me is that I cannot use mouse in the terminal and select/copy/paste stuff.

What would be an alternative in this situation to get a better terminal? I guess Ubuntu Server itself doesn't support mouse, so I'd have to go for Ubuntu Desktop, but it seems like a huge waste of resources to run Unity/Gnome3 in VirtualBox only to have a terminal.

So then I'm wondering whether Xubuntu/Lubuntu would be suitable alternatives, although they still take a lot of time to boot up, etc.

Any ideas how to solve this scenario?


You shouldn't use the server directly at all, but rather connect to it from your host. On almost any kind of server, you'll want to have openssh-server installed. Then you just open a terminal on your host and connect to it using ssh. You might want to run a byobu/screen session on the server.

In other words; use your normal terminal emulator and connect to the server.

  • The problem is that in this configuration, my host is Windows. And we all know how much that sucks when it comes to this area. – Richard Rodriguez Apr 1 '12 at 11:33
  • Then you should be looking for a better terminal for Windows. :) Terminator sounds nice. PuTTY is a good choice, I think. – Jo-Erlend Schinstad Apr 3 '12 at 1:18

A minimal X server running at login or when you type startx will contain xterm that even tough is not the best thing in the world is enough to copy/paste stuff around.

A X server doesn't really use much resources unless its running a desktop on top of it.

If I were you I would clone the server, install X on to the clone and compare resources.


You can use the gpm mouse server, install it, the start it with

sudo service gpm start

but cannot say if it works on vbox.

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