How to connect to Microsoft Edge Virtual Machine VirtualBox headless guest in BSD/linux host

Site Outreach Issue #8248665


Reinis A.
Jul 22, 2016
This issue is public.
Reported by 1 person

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Steps to reproduce

We’ve been using Free Virtual Machines from IE8 to MS Edge - Microsoft Edge Development in headless mode under our devserver for a long time. To test webcode on old browsers. Now I’m trying to set up also MSEdge-Win10 machine, but it fails to connect to the headless instance via Remote Desktop.


  • Host is Ubuntu Server 14.04.3 LTS
  • It has working headless guests which are set up with bridged NIC, each having different MAC address, our studio router manages static leases for these MAC addresses, so that one can connect to each machine via different LAN IP. IE8-WinXP, IE8-Win7, IE9-Win7, IE10-Win7, IE11-Win7
  • VirtualBox version as well as installed Extension pack is the newest 5.1.0r108711

This is how I set up machines.

# dry run
VBoxManage import /storage/VirtualBox/VirtualBoxAppliancesVanilla/Machines-20160721/MSEdge-Win10TH2.ova --dry-run

# import and set custom path for vdmk
VBoxManage import /storage/VirtualBox/VirtualBoxAppliancesVanilla/Machines-20160721/MSEdge-Win10TH2.ova --vsys 0 --vmname "MSEdge-Win10" --vsys 0 --unit 8 --disk /storage/VirtualBox/VirtualBoxVMDKs/MSEdge-Win10/MSEdge-Win10-disk1.vmdk

# check if in list
VBoxManage list vms

# configure
VBoxManage showvminfo "MSEdge-Win10"
VBoxManage modifyvm "MSEdge-Win10" --macaddress1 080027DD8A09
VBoxManage modifyvm "MSEdge-Win10" --nic1 bridged
VBoxManage modifyvm "MSEdge-Win10" --bridgeadapter1 eth0
VBoxManage modifyvm "MSEdge-Win10" --memory 4096
VBoxManage modifyvm "MSEdge-Win10" --vram 64
VBoxManage sharedfolder add "MSEdge-Win10" --name "msw" --hostpath "/storage/VirtualBox/VirtualBoxShares/msw" --automount

# recheck config
VBoxManage showvminfo "MSEdge-Win10"

# start setup (with VRDE)
nohup VBoxHeadless -s "MSEdge-Win10" -vrde on &

# start normal (without VRDE)
nohup VBoxHeadless -s "MSEdge-Win10" -vrde off &

# shutdown
VBoxManage controlvm "MSEdge-Win10" acpipowerbutton

Note /storage/VirtualBox/VirtualBoxAppliancesVanilla/Machines-20160721/MSEdge-Win10TH2.ova is the ova just downloaded from the Download virtual machines site.

Whenever I try to connect to the machine (IP that is statically assigned to 080027DD8A09) w & w/o VRDE - it just won’t connect, timeout. The machine is running VBoxManage list runningvms.

And this workflow have worked always, also for old machines back when there were WinXP, Win8 machines etc. I have just tested this workflow also for the newest available IE<NUMBER>-Win7 machines available at the downloads site and it works.

Has anyone else the same problem, how was it solved?

  • Does VirtualBox ovas that MS supply for MSEdge + Windows10 need extra tuning via VBoxManage modifyvm
  • It is known configuration error from MS side, where you have not thought about the fact, that these machines can be run in headless state. (Well, you think that having spaces in ova filenames, that are within downloadable zips, is good idea (who does that!?) so the attitude towards non-MSW/command line hosts is… :)) That is, before publishing these machines you have tested them in VirtualBox, but only GUI! and have forgotten to preset up some firewall rules which essentially block VRDE and nothing can be done about it, one just cannot connect headless.
  • If solution is changing something in that newly created /storage/VirtualBox/VirtualBoxVMDKs/MSEdge-Win10/MSEdge-Win10-disk1.vmdk then yes, I am able to mount VDMKs of the machines with write permissions.
  • Configuring machine in GUI somewhere else and then pushing to the server for headless is not acceptable solution. The machine needs to be configured without actually running it, so that we can save the state and rollback when it expires.



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    Comments and activity

    • Additions:

      • Same thing applies to “IE11 on Win 8.1” machine - cannot login in headless.
      • All “IEX on Win 7” machines work with the workflow described above, it is possible to login in headless.
    • Microsoft Edge Team

      Changed Assigned To to “Christian F.”

      Changed Assigned To from “Christian F.” to “Anton M.”

      Changed Status to “Site Outreach”

    • If you are still experiencing problems with this please open an issue (or even a PR) in
      Those are the scripts we use to automate the creation of VMs.


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