How to set-up the Access Controller in a virtual environment?

Thank you Arnaud Boulliat, for the input that made this tutorial possible


This article explains how you can install an AmazingPorts access controller in an Oracle VirtualBOX environment running windows. The screen shots and examples are made in Windows 7, but there is no reasons for the set-up not to work with any Windows version.

Oracle VirtualBOX is a free open source virtualisation solution from Oracle downloadable here:

This set-up allows you to deploy AmazingPorts Access controller on a windows machine or any other environment supported by Oracle Virtual BOX, without using separate hardware for your access controller and without doing any changes to your router.

Important: The server must have two network adapters installed.

Important: Remember that the server running the Access Controller MUST ALWAYS be “on” otherwise users will loose the internet access.

Most pictures/screen shots have been shrunk, if you need to see the details, right click the image and select to view it in a new tab.


Host = the computer that run windows and that will become an access controller using VirtualBOX and AmazingPorts access controller software.

Virtual Machine = the virtual BOX that is running AmazingPorts Access Controller

Public Network = Joint name for the network that is connected to the extra network adapter on the Host, this is where you will connect your access points and other parts of your public infrastructure, i.e. the network where end-users connect.

Test set-up

This manual is based on a set-up that has the following characteristics


Windows 7 (ultimate), running an AmazingPorts Access Controller (4.5.7) in a VirtualBOX environment (3.2.6).

Typically this sort of set-up would suit a small office, a home hotspot, or a large enterprise that wish to run many different networks on one set of hardware.

This set-up can also help circumvent any hardware compatibility issues.


Install an extra network adapter per Access Controller you intend to use on the Host, make sure the driver works but that no services are enabled, except the VirtualBOX. Specifically make sure that IP is not enabled, as this will confuse the routing in the Host.


Download and install VirtualBox on your Host

Download AmazingPorts Access Controller to the Host and unpack the ZIP so you have access to the ISO in a known location on your Host.

Start Virtual Box and create a new virtual machine for Linux kernel 2.4.


Give the new machine 128 MB RAM (you can add more later if you think you need it, but Install with 128MB)

Create a bootable new hard drive

(this will start the create new disk wizard)

About Disks:

  • Make sure that you use IDE disks and NOT SATA disks.
  • Let the size be at least 1 GB (One GB drive with 128MB RAM works well together)
  • If you get a disk partition allocation error, validate that you selected 128MB RAM and 1GB disk.

When the disk creation wizard has finished, your new virtual machine will be visible in the list of virtual machines


Select your new machine and click settings, this will open a detailed view of your machine where you have to perform some more configurations.


Detailed settings

In the “General” section there are no settings required

Storage section

Add your downloaded ISO image as a CD to the virtual machine.

2010-07-26_10-08_storage before install.PNG 

System Section

Make sure the CD is the primary boot device (Above the HD).

(Once installed you will come back here and remove the CD and set the HD as the primary boot device)

Display settings – nothing required

Audio settings – disable everything

2010-07-26_10-11_no audio.PNG


Enable “Adapter 1” and bridge it to the main network card of your Host (the card that provides your Host with internet access).

The network adapter will be assigned a "random" MAC-adress, make sure you click "randomise" a fiew times to ensure that this MAC is really unique.

2010-07-26_10-09_primary nic bridged.PNG 

Enable “Adapter 2” and bridge it to the adapter you added for your AmazingPorts installation.

The network adapter will be assigned a "random" MAC-adress, make sure you click "randomise" a fiew times to ensure that this MAC is really unique.

2010-07-26_10-10_2nd bridged to 2nd host nic.PNG 

Serial ports – disable everything

USB – disable everything

Shared Folders – disable everything

Step 1 installation of AmazingPorts Access controller on the Virtual Machine

Start the virtual machine.

The start-up and installation should take less than 5 mins and doesn’t require any interaction from you.

Once the installation is completed you will see a screen approximately like this:


Close down the virtual machine, and go back to the Storage section, under settings for your virtual machine and remove the CD.

2010-07-26_10-13_storage after install.PNG

Important: Ensure that the boot order in the System section has the HD as primary and first boot device.

2010-07-26_10-13_post install.PNG

Start your Virtual machine again.

Step 2 Configure the Access Controller

Attach a laptop to the Public Network of the Host. Remember to use a cross over cable if you are connecting directly to the Host and your laptop or the Host doesn’t support MDIX (automatic medium-dependent interface crossover).

Validate that you receive an IP that is in the 172.23.12.xx range.

Connect to the local web admin of the Access controller by opening a browser and going to: (notice that it is httpS) (user: admin, pass: admin).

Important: Don't forget to enable password rotation or at least change the password after set-up.

Make sure the status is 100/100 “green” in the "View status" page.

For more information on how to configure the networking, please refer to the manual you downloaded with the ISO image.

Important: Don’t forget to perform the registration process.

Running Virtual BOX as a windows service

You can run one or several instances of virtualBOX as services on windows if you follow this guide:

and then this guide for multiple instances:

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