How Do I Run a Web Server in VirtualBox Windows 10?


Heather Bennett

Running a web server in VirtualBox on Windows 10 allows you to create a virtual environment where you can develop and test your websites or web applications. In this tutorial, we will walk through the steps required to set up and run a web server in VirtualBox on Windows 10.

Step 1: Install VirtualBox
Before we begin, make sure you have VirtualBox installed on your Windows 10 machine. If not, head over to the official VirtualBox website and download the latest version for Windows. Follow the installation instructions provided by the installer.

Step 2: Download an Ubuntu Server ISO
To run a web server, we need an operating system that supports it. In this tutorial, we will be using Ubuntu Server as our operating system within the VirtualBox environment. Visit the official Ubuntu website and download the latest LTS (Long Term Support) version of Ubuntu Server in ISO format.

Note: Make sure to download the 64-bit version if your machine supports it.

Step 3: Create a New Virtual Machine
Launch VirtualBox and click on the “New” button to create a new virtual machine. Give your virtual machine a name (e.g., “Web Server”) and select “Linux” as the type and “Ubuntu (64-bit)” as the version. Click “Next” to proceed.

Specify the amount of memory you want to allocate for your virtual machine. It is recommended to allocate at least 2GB of RAM for optimal performance. Click “Next” when ready.

In the next step, choose “Create a virtual hard disk now” and click “Create”. Select “VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image)” as the hard disk file type, then choose either dynamically allocated or fixed size depending on your preference. Allocate at least 10GB of disk space for your virtual machine’s hard drive.

Step 4: Configure the Virtual Machine
With your virtual machine created, select it from the VirtualBox Manager and click on the “Settings” button. In the settings window, navigate to the “Storage” tab and click on the empty optical drive icon.

Then, click on the disk icon next to “Controller: IDE” and select “Choose/Create a Disk Image”. Locate and select the Ubuntu Server ISO file you downloaded earlier.

Next, go to the “Network” tab. Ensure that “Adapter 1” is enabled and set to “NAT”. This will allow your virtual machine to access the internet through your host machine’s network connection.

Step 5: Start the Virtual Machine
Now that your virtual machine is configured, click on the “Start” button in VirtualBox Manager to launch it. The Ubuntu Server installation wizard should appear.

Follow the on-screen instructions to install Ubuntu Server within your virtual machine. Choose your preferred language, keyboard layout, and other settings as prompted. When asked about software selection, choose “OpenSSH server” and any other additional packages you may need for your web server setup.

Step 6: Install Web Server Software
Once Ubuntu Server is installed within your virtual machine, log in using the credentials you specified during installation.

To install a web server software such as Apache or Nginx, open a terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T or clicking on the terminal icon in Ubuntu’s taskbar. Enter the following command to update package lists:

  • sudo apt update

After updating package lists, install Apache by running this command:

  • sudo apt install apache2

During installation, you may be prompted to confirm additional disk space usage for packages required by Apache. Press ‘Y’ and then ‘Enter’ to proceed.

Once the installation is complete, Apache should be up and running. You can test it by opening a web browser on your host machine and entering the IP address of your virtual machine in the address bar.

If you see the Apache default page, congratulations! Your web server is running successfully in VirtualBox on Windows 10.

Step 7: Additional Configuration
Depending on your specific requirements, you may need to configure additional settings for your web server, such as setting up virtual hosts or enabling SSL/TLS encryption. These configurations are beyond the scope of this tutorial but can be found in various online resources specific to your chosen web server software.


In this tutorial, we have learned how to set up and run a web server in VirtualBox on Windows 10. By leveraging virtualization technology, we can create isolated environments for developing and testing websites or web applications without interfering with our host machine’s configuration. Remember to always keep your virtual machine and web server software up to date with the latest security patches to ensure a safe development environment.

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