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Ghostlab inside a Virtual Machine

This article briefly describes how to get started with Ghostlab running in a Windows 7 virtual machine using VirtualBox. Note that the essential part is the network setup, and this applies to any virtual machine setup (both in terms of the virtualization software and the host OS).

So, we have an iMac running Mac OS X Lion (10.9.1). We install Oracle’s VirtualBox software (version 4.3.6), and create a new virtual machine with Windows 7 Ultimate (64 bit). Once the virtual machine is up an running, we have to have a look at its network interface settings. There are several modes in which you can operate your VM network interfaces.

The goal is that the virtual machine is on the same network as the other computers and devices that want to access the Ghostlab server on the VM. By default, VirtualBox configures the network using Network Address Translation(NAT). In this mode, the Ghostlab server will not be accessible from the network where your other devices are.

The setting to chose is “Bridged networking”- this means that the virtual-machine operating system (Windows 7) connects to the network directly, bypassing the host operating system’s network stack (OS X). Make sure that you specify the correct interface for the bridge mode: if, for example, your VM host ist connected via Ethernet cable, chose the Ethernet interface (most often, en0), if it is connected via Wi-Fi, choose this interface (e.g. en1).

Once you have configured your VM with bridged network, download and install Ghostlab. If you have previously installed it, there is no need to reinstall it, of course – just start it up. Start the Ghostlab test page, and connect your local browser inside the VM. Using the same IP address, you should now be able to connect to Ghostlab from your host OS (Mac), and from any other device on the network.

Please see the enclosed figure for a reference configuration. Note that the important thing is that the devices – both real and virtual – are all part of the same network. In the reference configuration, this is evident from the IP addresses assigned to the various devices – they all match except for the last byte of the address (192.168.3.x).




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