Running a Cisco Virtual Wireless Controller in VirtualBox

By | January 10, 2015

Today I downloaded Cisco's Virtual Wireless Controller to play around with.

I wanted to run the controller in  VirtualBox, but simply importing the downloaded .OVA file didn't work straight away. After the import was done, I ended up with a virtual machine configuration, where a bootable image was missing. So I had to untar the  .OVA file by myself:

$ tar xvf AIR-CTVM-K9-8-0-110-0.ova

And then set the extracted ISO image as bootable CD:

Last I changed the boot order to first boot from HD and second from CD/DVD:


Now the installation of the Wireless Controller was running as desired.

5 thoughts on “Running a Cisco Virtual Wireless Controller in VirtualBox

  1. chris


    Thanks for that post, I am experiencing the same issue how did you untar the .ova? I would like it in IOS format myself any application or commands I can do to try get this to work?

  2. 7u83 Post author

    In addition it is a good idea to enable in Virtual Box serial port COM1, which speeds up the VWLC startup.

  3. Bill

    Bit of a virtual box newbie - I have my VWLC working in virtualbox. I want to set it up so that AP's on my network can access it. Right now I can access via it's service port (I set it to dhcp and it took an IP from my live network). Does someone know how I can create trunk ports on my VWLC VM and have those networks extend into my live network?


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