VirtualBox on a remote server

Martin "eto" Misuth eto.freebsd at
Wed Nov 9 10:50:18 UTC 2016

On Tue, 8 Nov 2016 15:31:00 -0300
Mario Lobo <lobo at> wrote:

> Hi;
> I have virtualbox running for a long time without any problems. The version
> I had running on two servers was 5.0.14, and decided to upgrade it to 5.1.8
> with qt5. I tried compiling it with qt4 but the compilation stops with an
> error.
> Both servers have 10.3 stable r308305.
> I did the upgrade on the first server and it went OK. I ssh to it, type
> VirtualBox and the QT interface shows up fine on my local display.

First I would check whether, first, working, server is not equipped with intel
vga by any chance, making it work with libGL, while second one, being matrox
equipped, fails.

> process 11828: D-Bus library appears to be incorrectly set up; failed to
> read machine uuid: Failed to open "/etc/machine-id": No such file or
> directory
> See the manual page for dbus-uuidgen to correct this issue.
>   D-Bus not compiled with backtrace support so unable to print a backtrace
> Abort trap (core dumped)

This error looks much weirder, and obviously is related to some DBus 
silliness. Maybe you have DBus daemon failing (or not starting) 
on that machine?

In my opinion it boils down to way in which you are running virtualbox.

It is some time I used virtualbox with FreeBSD, but I remember getting it run
"properly" (as in-what I considered being proper) needed some dedication.

Running vbox vm thorugh remoted X is certainly not proper, IMHO.

If you are interested in trying the more "proper" (and more involved) setup, 
I can provide you with pointers, how it was done, but whether those would still
apply I don't know.

In the hindsight, whole thing was very, very subotimal and took some scripting
to get semi reliable. I was using vbox + FreeBSD because of ZFS. ZFS was not
that speedy when used this way, though, and vbox is not very "headless" friendly
out of the box, either. Each vbox update meant recompile and so forth.

I don't want to sound pessimistic, but I would not use such stack these days.

So what is your reason to run vbox on FreeBSD specifically? 

If it is ZFS as backing store, and you are not using "advanced" vbox features
(USB redir, GL accel), it might be worthy of your time to explore whether 
your guests can run in bhyve, or try linux + qemu/kvm + ZFS.
In my experience either is much more sysadmin friendly, once you learn their
warts, than vbox.


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