The VirtualBox Software Development Kit

One of the really neat things about VirtualBox is the elegance with which it is architected. At almost every layer there are published APIs which mean you can build really neat solutions to access the underlying services of VirtualBox. And the "front ends" to VirtualBox such as the GUI (VirtualBox.exe) and the Command Line (VBoxManage.exe) use these same public API's without no backdoors or private interfaces at all. Graphically, it looks like this:

VirtualBox API

Third parties are also building cool solutions against these interfaces too. (BTW you really should checkout the still-under-development but hugely impressive phpvirtualbox)

And so, as the VirtualBox ecosystem grows, it's important that people stick to the APIs. So, if in doubt, consult the VirtualBox Programming Guide and Reference.

We hope you enjoy a little bedtime reading ;-)

-FB 

Comments:

A real story from the trenches

I was at a client's site, and they only allowed SSH out. The target VirtualBox servers were across two internet-facing firewalls, both of which were headless and had no X window system software installed. Consequently, the target FW didn't generate the MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE needed by SSH to forward the X protocol.

What happened next? Well, once I connected to the target system, I quickly discovered, that since VirtualBox is so "elegantly designed", the designers thought it'd be more "elegant" if they just supported VDRP (or whatever it's called), and not provide any means of connecting directly to the console in ASCII mode (ala xm console in XEN). So try as I might, it quickly became apparent that the system was "too elegant" to be administered over WAN in a LOM environment...

Posted by UX-admin on August 15, 2010 at 10:54 AM BST #

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