Is it possible to launch a virtual machine (using Virtual Box) on a remote machine and just forward the screen using X11 tunneling?

I tried this from my remote host:

$ssh user@myhost -X virtualbox

which launched the virtual box manager but it didn't let me start any of the virtual machines and gave me an error like:

Failed to open a session for the virtual machine GE Win7.

The virtual machine 'GE Win7' has terminated unexpectedly during startup with exit code 1 (0x1).

Result Code: NS_ERROR_FAILURE (0x80004005)
Component: Machine
Interface: IMachine {480cf695-2d8d-4256-9c7c-cce4184fa048}

Any way I can get this going?

  • Configure the VM to allow remote display access (this only need to be done once, you might also use the GUI):

VBoxManage modifyvm "GE Win7" --vrde on

  • Use the command line to start the VM in headless mode:

ssh server VBoxManage startvm "GE Win7" --type headless

  • Launch the remote desktop viewer:

rdesktop server:3389

Beware that no firewall is blocking the rdp (TCP port 3389) traffic.

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