[vbox-dev] Custom front-end using non-OSE SDK

Brad Robinson brobinson at cantabilesoftware.com
Tue Oct 27 00:25:41 GMT 2009

Hi Frank/All,

I've put a sample program that demonstrates the problems I'm seeing here:

It's a simple Windows dialog app that hosts a VBox VM using the COM API from
the SDK.  Error handling is minimal. I've included VS2005
solution/project/source code + x86 and x64 executables.

To use it:

1. Copy the appropriate exe to c:\program files\sun\virtualbox (not sure why
this is necessary, but not a big issue)
2. Run it
3. Enter the name of a VBox machine with VRDP enabled
4. Click Power Up.
5. Connect to the machine from remote desktop, notice the blank screen.
6. Type something on the keyboard
7. Close remote desktop
8. Click Save State to close the machine.
9. Click Power Up again, notice the error.
10. Close VBoxTest and run up the same machine in the regular Virtual Box
front end.  Notice keys typed in RD above were received.

The issues are:

1. Blank VRDP screen
2. Inability to relaunch the same VM 

What I'm trying to build is a VBox front end that will host a machine and
run it as a Windows system tray Icon.  I have few environments where I need
to have a number of server type machines running for development purposes
and most of the time I just want them out of the way.  I'm happy to release
this to the community if I can get it working, but I'm not having much luck.

I've already tried spawning VBoxHeadless which seems to work fine until
shutdown/logoff when Windows just kills it without it or my app having a
chance to save it.

Any help in resolving these issues would be greatly appreciated.


-----Original Message-----
From: Frank.Mehnert at Sun.COM [mailto:Frank.Mehnert at Sun.COM] 
Sent: Monday, 26 October 2009 11:56 PM
To: Brad Robinson
Subject: Re: [vbox-dev] Custom front-end using non-OSE SDK


please reply to the mailing list if possible because I get tons of mails
each day and probably other developers want to follow the discussion as

On Monday 26 October 2009, Brad Robinson wrote:
> Thanks for getting back to me on this.  I'll put together a simpler 
> example as my real project brings in a couple of custom libraries you 
> won't be interested in.  Shall I just email it directly to you?

That would be possible. Or, if the compressed code isn't too long, you could
post it to the mailing list as well.

> Btw: I've noticed in the VBoxHeadless OSE source code there's code 
> that sets a "new VRDPFramebuffer" to each display of the console...  
> this is what I suspect I'm missing, but not sure how to implement with the

Right, the VRDPFramebuffer is closed source and actually I'm not sure if you
will be able to write a custom frontend which can do RDP. Did you already
have a look at VBoxSDL?

Kind regards,

Dr.-Ing. Frank Mehnert

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