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I just installed a new remote server with ubuntu 14.04, added an SSH server so I can control the server remotely through SSH. No GUI involved. Well, the server has a GUI, but I have no physical access to it.

I also installed virtualbox (using "sudo apt-get install virtualbox") and now I want to create a virtualbox VM, and install ubuntu in there as well. Is it possible to do this entirely through ssh only? Or would I need some visual/graphical interface to the VM (and thus, also to the host machine) as well?

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The hard way - Install on a headless Virtual Box

It is possible to install Ubuntu in Virtual Box running on a headless server.

The following guide helps a lot in setting up a virtual machine from the command line (and through SSH):

This involves viewing the virtual machine's output with VRDP.

In case we can not do this we will need an unattended installation of Ubuntu:

By this we will install Ubuntu without user input on booting the remotely created VM from an installation ISO file.

The easy way - Import an existing VM to the remote Virtual Box

From above we can see that it may be much easier to set up our virtual machine on a local box to then just export the appliance. After uploading the OVF appliance to our server we can then import it to virtual box running there simply with:

VBoxManage import <name>.ovf [--dry-run] [<options>]

The option --dry-run will give you information on how the appliance will be imported, and you will also see further options on how to influence this.

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You should look at the VirtualBox documentation, it may be possible to do what you want from the command line, but I don't think it will be a straight forward process.

The easiest would probably be to tunnel X through SSH: Just log in with ssh -X and you can open graphical programs - their window will open on your local computer.

For console only access qemu would probably better suited because it's actually supposed to be used on the command line.

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