I wasted a couple hours today trying to figure out why my guest winxp has no connection. It is the third ubuntu machines that I have installed a virtualbox with a guest winxp. I am very satisfied with virtualbox. It is very fast and I can do almost anything I need for a window machine. The only draw back is that I believe it has no native video driver support (so no hardware acceleration) and no support for pnp hardware. But what can I complain—it is free and I can even watch netflix movie online with my guest winxp very smoothly!
Now, back to my problem. I had totally no clue why connection was not working for my newly installed ubuntu. Virtualboxes work fine for both my office PC and my home PC. It took me a while as I was a bit stupid not to check DNS right away. Once I realize there is actually a connection but just dns isn’t working. The solution becomes more obvious. It turns out that the dns server list in my host machine is not totally up-to-date. The first server is not working but it is included anyway. There is no connection problem for ubuntu as it apparently checks for the other server down the list after it figures out the first server doesn’t work. But it seems the guest machine isn’t as smart and it was stuck with the first bad server and didn’t try the rest.
So the fix is very easy. left click connection icon on upper panel of ubuntu, select Manual network configuration…
Under the DNS tab, correct the list of DNS servers (make sure the first one really a working DNS server)