VirtualBox Enable Remote Display (RDP, VRDE) on Local Network / RDP by IP Address (Win10 Host)

April 11, 2019
By default only works on localhost / 127.0.0.1

Refer to Virtualbox Remote Desktop on how to setup VirtualBox Remote Display.

By default, Remote Display only works on localhost / 127.0.0.1 and cannot be accessed by ip address or hostname.

Check VRDE / Remote Display IP Address

You can check VRDE / Remote Display ip address using the following methods:

  • Open command prompt and run netstat -an |find /i "listening" or netstat -an |find /i "[PORT_NUMBER]" and you shall notice it is listening on 127.0.0.1:PORT.
TCP    127.0.0.1:5940          0.0.0.0:0              LISTENING
  • Open command prompt, cd C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox and run VBoxManage showvminfo "[VM_NAME]" | find /i "VRDE" and observe configuration of TCP/Address = "127.0.0.1"
VRDE property               : TCP/Ports  = "5940"
VRDE property               : TCP/Address = "127.0.0.1"
  • Open [VM_NAME].vbox file in a text editor and search for
<VRDEProperties>
    <Property name="TCP/Address" value="127.0.0.1"/>
    <Property name="TCP/Ports" value="5940"/>
</VRDEProperties>

Modify VRDE / Remote Display IP Address

To allow VirtualBox VRDE / Remote Display to listen on Local Network IP Address, you can either

  • run VBoxManage modifyvm "[VM_NAME]" --vrdeaddress 0.0.0.0
  • or edit [VM_NAME].vbox file TCP/Address to 0.0.0.0

And start your VM with Normal Start or Headless Start.

NOTE: I tested on Win10 Host and modification of Firewall to allow TCP inbound on PORT doesn’t seems necessary (I might be wrong). I tested on Private network.

Or, you can use command line to run a headless instance with specific ip address and port

VBoxHeadless --startvm "[VM_NAME]" --vrde on --vrdeproperty "TCP/Ports=5940" --vrdeproperty "TCP/Address=0.0.0.0"

Note on ip address:

  • Only IPv4: 0.0.0.0
  • Only IPv6: ::
  • Both IPv6 and IPv4: blank ("")

Connect to VRDE / Remote Display using RDP with IP Address

In Win10, click Search and type mtsc. Click on Remote Desktop Connection.

For Computer, put in [IP_ADDRESS]:[PORT] (e.g. 192.168.0.173:5940).

NOTE: IP Address of the Win10 Host, not the VM Client.

Leave username blank if VRDE / Remote Display Authentication=Null. Else, refer to Virtualbox Remote Desktop.

References:

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