Setting Up OWASP-BWA With VirtualBox

Published Jul 21, 2017
Setting Up OWASP-BWA With VirtualBox

Today, we will go through how to set up OWASP-BWA with VirtualBox. Before we start, here are some of the requirements:

Now that you have everything ready, let's get started!

Step 1: Install VirtualBox


Step 2: Unzip OWASP Broken Web Apps VM


Step 3: Open VirtualBox and hit the icon for "New"

  1. VM Name and OS Type: Enter name "OWASP-BWA" and select OS "Linux" and Version "Ubuntu"

  2. Memory: Default of 512 is fine

  3. Virtual Hard Disk: Important! Select "Use existing hard disk" and click on the folder.

  4. Browse the unzipped folder contents of the OWASP Broken Web Apps VM. Select "OWASP Broken Web Apps.vmdk" (Note: There are similar files that end with -s001 — make sure you don't pick those.)

  5. Click OK to finish VM Setup

Step 4: Right click on OWASP-BWA in the left pane of the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager App and select "Settings" (also available via menu Machine->Settings)


  1. Go to Settings --> Network --> Adapter 1.

  2. Make sure the checkbox for enabled is checked.

  3. Change "Attached to:" from "NAT:" to "Host-Only Adapter"

  4. Click "OK"

Step 5: Right click on OWASP-BWA in the left pane of the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager App and hit "Start"

Step 6: After the VM boots the OWASP-BWA login page will provide the following message (the IP address will be similar but not exactly this)

You can access the web apps at

Step 7: Open a browser on your main machine (not the VM) and go to this URL. It should load a page that starts with "OWASP Broken Web Applications"

Note: You don't need to actually login to the virtual machine. Everything is already running.

Common Errors

Boot Up Error Message - Kernel requires feature on CPU: pae

  1. Power off VM (not VirtualBox, just VM window)
  2. Right click on OWASP-BWA on left side and select "Settings" (also available via menu Machine --> Settings)
  3. Go to System --> Processor and enable PAE
  4. Click OK and restart VM

Host Only Adapter Shows Error Message and Name says "not selected" with no options

  1. Go to the VirtualBox Manager (e.g. the main virtualbox control app, not the individual vm)
  2. Go to the VirtualBox --> Preferences and then select "Network" (Note: these are settings for the overall virtualbox app)
  3. There is text box with the title "Host-only Networks:" it is most likely an empty text area, which is the problem
  4. Click the plus icon on the right to add a new adapter. After this has been done, you should now see "vboxnet0".
  5. Click "Ok" and then go back to the VMs preferences. You should be able to select the hostonly adapter now.
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