Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Access Ubuntu Server in VirtualBox from Outside?

Ubuntu 18

In this article, we will walk you through the process of accessing an Ubuntu server running in VirtualBox from outside your local network. This involves configuring the VirtualBox network settings and setting up port forwarding on your router.

Quick Answer

To access an Ubuntu server in VirtualBox from outside, you need to configure the network settings in VirtualBox to use bridged networking and set up port forwarding on your router. This allows the server to have its own IP address and enables incoming connections to reach it. Additionally, if your ISP assigns you a dynamic IP address, you can use dynamic DNS services to associate a domain name with your changing IP address for easier access.

Understanding the Basics

VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product that allows you to run multiple operating systems simultaneously on your host machine. In this context, we’ll be using it to run an Ubuntu server. The challenge is to make this server accessible from outside your local network. This requires understanding of networking concepts like IP addressing, port forwarding, and network interfaces.

Step 1: Configuring VirtualBox Network Settings

The first step is to configure the network settings of your VirtualBox guest machine. We need to set it to use Bridged Networking. This mode allows the guest machine to appear as an independent device on your network, with its own IP address.

Enabling Bridged Networking

  1. Open VirtualBox and go to the settings of your Ubuntu server machine.
  2. Navigate to the “Network” section.
  3. Under the “Adapter 1” tab, set “Attached to” to “Bridged Adapter”.
  4. In the “Name” field, select the network interface of your host machine that is connected to the internet.

This configuration allows your Ubuntu server to communicate directly with the outside world, as if it were a separate physical device on your network.

Step 2: Configuring Port Forwarding on Your Router

The next step is to set up port forwarding on your router. This process varies depending on the make and model of your router, so you may need to refer to your router’s manual or online documentation.

Setting Up Port Forwarding

  1. Access your router’s settings by entering its IP address into a web browser. The IP address is typically something like 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1.
  2. Look for the “Port Forwarding” or “Virtual Server” section.
  3. Add a new rule to forward incoming connections on a specific port (e.g., port 80 for HTTP) to the IP address of your Ubuntu server.
  4. Save the changes and restart your router if necessary.

This configuration allows incoming connections to reach your Ubuntu server. When someone tries to connect to your public IP address on the specified port, the router will forward the connection to your Ubuntu server.

Step 3: Accessing Your Ubuntu Server from Outside

After setting up bridged networking and port forwarding, you should be able to access your Ubuntu server from outside your local network. Here’s how:

  1. On another device, open a web browser.
  2. Enter the public IP address of your router. If you don’t know your public IP address, you can find it by searching “what is my IP” on a search engine like Google.

The browser should now display the default page of your Ubuntu server.

Dealing with Dynamic IP Addresses

If your Internet Service Provider (ISP) assigns you a dynamic IP address, it can change over time. To deal with this, you can use dynamic DNS services like No-IP or DynDNS to associate a domain name with your changing IP address. This way, you can access your server using a domain name instead of the IP address.

Conclusion

In this article, we have covered the process of accessing an Ubuntu server running in VirtualBox from outside your local network. This involves configuring the VirtualBox network settings and setting up port forwarding on your router. By following these steps, you can make your virtual Ubuntu server accessible from anywhere in the world.

What is VirtualBox?

VirtualBox is a virtualization product that allows you to run multiple operating systems simultaneously on your host machine. It provides a platform for creating and managing virtual machines.

Why do I need to configure the network settings of my VirtualBox guest machine?

Configuring the network settings of your VirtualBox guest machine is necessary to allow it to communicate with the outside world. By setting it to use Bridged Networking, the guest machine will appear as an independent device on your network with its own IP address.

What is port forwarding?

Port forwarding is a technique used to allow incoming connections to reach a specific device or service on a private network. It involves configuring your router to forward incoming connections on a specific port to a designated IP address on your network.

Can I access my Ubuntu server from outside my local network without port forwarding?

No, port forwarding is necessary to allow incoming connections to reach your Ubuntu server. Without port forwarding, the router will not know which device on your network should receive the incoming connection.

What if I have a dynamic IP address?

If you have a dynamic IP address, it can change over time, making it difficult to access your Ubuntu server. To deal with this, you can use dynamic DNS services like No-IP or DynDNS to associate a domain name with your changing IP address. This way, you can access your server using a domain name instead of the IP address.

Can I access my Ubuntu server using a domain name instead of an IP address?

Yes, you can access your Ubuntu server using a domain name if you have set up dynamic DNS services. These services allow you to associate a domain name with your changing IP address, making it easier to access your server from outside your local network.

Can I use any port for port forwarding?

In theory, you can use any port for port forwarding, but some ports are reserved for specific services. It is recommended to use commonly used ports for specific services, such as port 80 for HTTP or port 22 for SSH, to ensure compatibility with other devices and services.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *