VirtualBox on a Headless Debian Server

I’ve got too many computers.  It’s become increasingly difficult to convince people “I’m not *that* nerdy” when I have servers and wires laying around everywhere.  A consolidation project is in order.

For this exercise, our goal is to combine a Linux file server and a Windows workstation elegantly into one machine.  “Windows?!?!” you gasp in horror?  No need to be alarmed; I use Linux/BSD exclusively on servers and Mac OS X on my desktops.  I have only one very specific need for a standalone Windows machine, so let’s leave it at that for now.

The Linux file server is headless and of course doesn’t run X-Windows or any other GUI.  I need to have a full Windows environment available which I can RDP into at any time.  I first experimented with Xen which is a solid enterprise solution but overkill for this project.  Next, I spent a significant amount of time with KVM which is easy to set up but has a bit of quirky management in my opinion.  Finally, I settled upon Oracle VirtualBox; it’s free, fast, and can be elegantly controlled at the command line.

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