I installed Apache on an Ubuntu VM. When I go into the guest and load up Firefox I can see that Apache is working fine when I browse to localhost.

I would like to access this same page through the host. I've tried using the IP address of the guest but nothing comes up.

Ideally I would love to set up my Windows 7 (host) to request http://guestserver.com of the Apache server on the guest. How can I do this?


11 Answers 11


If you need other machines in your physical network to be able to reach your VM (or if the VM needs Internet access), use bridged networking. Otherwise, stick to host-only networking.

  1. Stop your VM and open its settings in the VirtualBox (OSE) Manager
  2. Go to the Network tab
  3. Select the network mode at your choice (bridged networking or host-only) (in the below example, I'm using host-only)

    If you want to use bridged networking, you've to select the right network adapter at Name. For wired connections, you'd select something named like eth0. Wireless connections are usually named wlan0 (the numbers may vary)

  4. Save the settings
  5. Start the Ubuntu VM
  6. When up, you can gather the IP address by running:

    ifconfig | grep addr

    In the below output, is the IP address that can be used in your Win7 host system to access your VM:

    eth0  Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 08:00:27:70:27:fe  
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: fe80::a00:27ff:fe7b:25fe/64 Scope:Link
          inet addr:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
  7. In your windows host system, edit C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts as administrator and add a line:   guestserver.com

    If you've a Ubuntu host system, edit /etc/hosts using sudo nano /etc/hosts

  8. Profit!
  • 3
    This worked perfectly for host-only networking and I can now access the guest from the host's browser. However with a bridged connection, which I would like, I don't have access to the internet from the guest.
    – urok93
    Jul 7, 2011 at 11:06
  • 6
    ipconfig is not a command on Linux, it's ifconfig. Did you mean that?
    – Max
    Jun 18, 2013 at 20:07
  • 8
    On windows 7/8 host file is here: C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts
    – Dalen
    Oct 25, 2013 at 10:01
  • 2
    @begueradj Those steps above apply to bridged networking but some networks do not allow/give you multiple addresses. On my uni, I could not use bridged networking because of that, in those situations I would use NAT with port forwarding instead.
    – Lekensteyn
    May 22, 2014 at 14:43
  • 3
    Enabling two network adapters, one NAT and bridged, allowed me to see and bee seen.
    – stenci
    Oct 23, 2014 at 21:56

In my case, I have a router assigning a static IP to my Host PC.

  1. Set the network adapter as Bridge:

    Settings > Network > Adapter 1 (Enable Network Adapter) > Attached to: (Bridge Adapter) > OK

  2. Start the Virtual Machine > log in

  3. Change the VirtualMachine's IP from dynamic to static

    sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces

  4. Under The primary network interface change the word dhcp to static and enter your new static IP or comment the line and add a new one


#iface eth0 inet dhcp
iface eth0 inet static

Notice my router is working at xxx.xxx.10.x and yours could be at xxx.xxx.0.x or xxx.xxx.1.x or some else.

After you do that, you can have internet conection in both host and guest machine, and type that static IP in your web browser to check you apache server.

  • I forgot to say you have to make sure your /etc/hostname is properly configured this way: nameserver [your_isp_primary_dns] and nameserver [your_isp_secondary_dns]
    – Nuc134rB0t
    Jul 2, 2012 at 12:58

Instead of trying to set the adapters to Bridged or Host Only Network Adapter, you can try Port forwarding under Firewall/ Other ports, with your port no set to tcp and udp connections.

  • This is by far the easiest option for just a web server. Leave your guest networking as NAT, and forward any ports you need onto your host. Simple. The bonus is you still have access to all your networks from the guest. When you bridge you only have access to the bridged network.
    – SimonAlfie
    Mar 31, 2020 at 10:50

The accepted answer did not work for me (I installed virutalbox inside ubuntu 12.04 LTSand inside virtualbox I installed ubuntu 14.04 LTS Server). I just swapped the network settings for Adapter1 and Adapter2 i.e. setting up Adapter1 for "bridged networing" and Adapter2 for "NAT" and it started working.

  • This was useful, but switch the adapter order so the guest uses NAT by default and be able to connect to the internet.
    – MadeOfAir
    Mar 30, 2015 at 17:17
  • This actually worked for me. I'm trying to access a Windows VM from within a Mac Host.
    – benjaminz
    Jun 8, 2016 at 19:26
  • 1
    After hours of reading and trying every other solution I could find online, this idea of yours worked like a charm. Thank you so much for writing it! Using Ubuntu 18.04 as host and guest.
    – John
    Jul 18, 2019 at 16:22

If you cant connect over ip you're not likely to have any success with dns names on a default apache install.

check the network settings of the virtual host, I always putt it to bridged to it can be accessed throughout the entire network.


If you only need a specific port (Say if you are running a web application like Jetty or Tomcat) just do:

Settings -> Network -> Set one of the adapters as NAT -> Press 'Port forwarding' -> Set the relevant host and guest port.

Once you save, You could just go from your local machine to localhost:hostport and it'll be redirect to the virtual box relevant port and you are done.


In bridged mode, if your host uses a static IP address, you should manually config your guest IP in the same range with the host IP. Otherwise, the guest will not be automatically allocated with a valid IP address. HTH.


Lekensteyn's answer is right. But if you are in a corporate environment, you might have to disable the proxy server for your guest's IP address. For example, if you are using Mozilla Firefox on your Host machine and you are trying to access on the guest, you need to go to Firefox's Tools->Options->Advanced->Network->Settings and use "No Proxy" or "No Proxy For ->".


If you need to access a guest which gets different IP due to use of DHCP, I suggest accessing via it's hostname. However accessing via hostname when the host is Windows might require an extra tool.

The following text was copied from my own answer at superuser.com.:

I suggest you use Multicast DNS to fix this.

Ubuntu is using this by default via Avahi.

The Windows host needs an Avahi-client for it to discover other Avahi-services. If your host already uses some Apple software this is probably already there via a service called Bonjour. However, if this is not already installed then a small version of Bonjour is available for download here: Bonjour Print Services. After installation you should be able to access your guest via .local.

Note: The mDNS system seem to use the .local postfix by default. So, if your hostname is "dev.myapp.com", then the actual hostname will be "dev.myapp.com.local".


i solved the same problem after search a lot and read a lot of message in the next form:

  1. Mount a Virtual Machine in Virtual Box 6.1 with an empty versión of Ubuntu Server 16.04, 2GB RAM and one CPU. The host Machine is Windows 7 conected to a router. I've a public IP, and configured mi Router vía IP Forwarding and open port 80 for the local IP of my host machine: 192.168.xx.xx.

  2. Then in Virtual Box, go to Tools->Preferences -> Network ->Add New NAT Network. Then Edit this new NAT Netw. -> Name = "NatNetwork". Then Click in Forward Ports -> IPv 4 -> Rule 1; TCP; Host IP 192.168.xx.x (the local IP of the Host computer); Host Port = 80; Guest IP = 10.0.2.xx (it's the IP of my guest ubuntu server, what i'm seeing vía $ifconfig from console); Guest Port = 80. Then click in ACEPT.

  3. In Virtual Machine (Ubuntu in my case) go to Configuration -> LAN Configuration: Conected to: RedNat; Name = "NatNetwork" (select the Nat Netw. what created in 2).

  4. Next i RUN my guest machine (Ubuntu Server 16).

  5. In the console i installed Apache2 follow the steps in https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/como-instalar-linux-apache-mysql-php-lamp-en-ubuntu-16-04-es

  6. When apache2 is installed i can view my Apache Server via $ curl 10.0.2.xx (local ip of my guest machine) and the same Apache Server via Chrome in my Host Machine in the local IP 192.168.xx.xx and the same Apache Server in my public IP (because i've already configured my router for IP Forwarding).


If you are using the Bridged connection , allow the http services in the firewalld can help you to access the server page.

  • Not sure how this answer is different from the one accepted 9 years 10 months ago … 🤔
    – matigo
    May 28, 2021 at 15:38

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