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VirtualBox: Install Windows XP using pbx boot 2008-06-24

Posted by claudio in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , ,

VirtualBox is a great product for a developer (or even a regular user) to run several OSes simultaneously. I run Linux on my laptop, but I need a Windows partition with certain software and updates to connect to the work network. A virtual machine is a fine solution. Specially when running in seamless mode (only the program is open in your Linux desktop and not the complete Windows desktop).

Installing Windows from cd on a VirtualBox instance is really easy. However, I need a *specific* windows installation that can only be installed from a Windows PXE server at work. Sadly, the virtualbox open source edition delivered with Ubuntu 8.10 is unable to do this. This is what I did:

1. Get virtualbox from here (choose binaries and not the OSE edition)

2. Install it (the name of the binary depends on you OS and version, I am running Ubuntu Hardy on x64). Answer positively to all the questions.

$ sudo dpkg -i /home/claudio/Desktop/virtualbox_1.6.2-31466_Ubuntu_hardy_amd64.deb

3. Configure your OS:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup

$ sudo vi /etc/group
==> add your user to the vboxusers group

4. Create a bridge ethernet setup:

$ sudo apt-get install bridge-utils

$ sudo vi /etc/network/interfaces
=> add this:
auto br0
iface br0 inet dhcp
bridge_ports eth0

$ sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart

$ sudo VBoxAddIF vbox0 claudio br0
=> use the username of the user running the Virtual Machine instead of my name.

5. Start VirtualBox (Applications – System Tools  – Sun xVM VirtualBox; type “VirtualBox &” in a console if not yet added to the menu).

6. Create a Windows virtual machine (follow the “New” Wizzard).

7. Select the new virtual machine, right click, select Settings. In General, second tab, enable the “Network” boot option. In Network, choose type “Host” and put vbox0 in the interface field.

8. Boot the VM and follow the PXE instructions (I had to type F12 to continue)



1. ma65p2004 - 2008-06-25

Ha, I installed virtual box before but there were some problems with it. How did you make this look so easy. Anyhow, I will try this tomorrow and I will come back with something. Thanks.

2. claudio - 2008-06-25

Maybe VirtualBox has matured pretty fast, but the process was really easy. Only the pxe bit was tricky (using the upstream binary instead of the version in the Ubuntu repositories), but besides that pretty straight forward.

After installing Windows I changed the network to NAT as I did not need nor want a bridge.


3. ma65p2004 - 2008-06-27

OMG!! dude, i got it to work, just now!! YOU.ARE.AWESOME!!!! I’m installing window right now. will update later. I didn’t want a bridge either.

4. ma65p2004 - 2008-06-27

I finally have window running in Ubuntu…I love you man. AH!!!!

5. ma65p2004 - 2008-06-27

I’m going to put you on my blog.

6. Successfully Install Window XP on VirtualBox « ma65p - 2008-06-27

[…] starting VirtualBox in Ubuntu. About five days later I stumble upon this claudio’s page: VirtualBox: Install Windows XP using pbx boot. I followed his advice to install the binaries not the open source (OSE), which has failed me many […]

7. claudio - 2008-06-30

After this I just saved the VM disk (~/.VirtualBox/VDI/.vdi), removed the virtualbox and installed the open source edition in ubuntu as I don’t want to update virtualbox after each kernel version upgrade. Works like a charm. Login as administrator to install the viirtualbox guest programs.


8. ma65p2004 - 2008-07-09


I’m just checking back…

I am using the virtual OS to try out some ssh tunnels. I have never done this before, and my school blocked everything. Talking through skype is a pain in the butt. Anyhow, if you know anything about ssh in utuntu, please help.

again, thanks for this tutorial.


9. claudio - 2008-07-09

What do you want to do specifically? It’s pretty simple to do most stuff.


10. Dumindu - 2008-07-25

im in ubuntu 7.10 and it says i dnt hav the command vboxaddif im really stuck and can u plz help … thanx

11. claudio - 2008-07-29


if you don’t want to upgrade, install the version from the website of virtualbox instead of the one supplied by the previous ubuntu release.

12. faria - 2008-12-07

i read your replies it is nice but my problem is that i am using XP as host and i installed ubuntu as guest .
now my ubuntu can brows the inter net but when i tried to connect from other machine to my ubuntu box then i cant get in with ssh .
xp is using ip range but ubuntu (guest) using
plz guide me what to do ??

13. claudio - 2008-12-07

Hi faria,

You are using NAT. This is the default for most people including me. NAT put the Virtual Machine behind the host computer (your Windows) and its own network.

What you want, is “Bridging” called “Host Interface” in Settings-Network-Attached_to for your virtual machine. This “splits” your card and assigns Ubuntu an IP in the same network of your Windows computer.


14. faria - 2008-12-08

thanx for the reply
but still didnt get u that how can i make bridge ?
plz again guide me step by step for bridging .

15. Ivan - 2009-01-07

Heya. I have a dhchp server and Virtualbox on my pc. I have two interfaces, eth1 for dhcp server and eth2 for vbox bridge. They both meet at my hub, and I can PXE boot, but it is extremely slow. Any Ideas?


16. Harvey - 2009-01-19

I need to start the Guest XP machine on boot-up on a Vista 64, so its transparent to the user. Is this possible?

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