ITS Service Desk

Computer Science - Virtualbox

Computer Science - Virtualbox

CompSci Virtualbox

Installation Requirements and Recommendations

Summary

  • Approximately 70gb of free space is required on your boot drive (C:\ drive on Windows or Macintosh HD on Macs)
  • Your computer should have at least 4gb of RAM
  • Prevent your computer from entering Sleep Mode during the install

Details

You will need approximately 70gb of free space to be able to use this preconfigured Computer Science image with Virtualbox. At this time, the installer will warn you of this on start up, but does not perform any free space checking ahead of time, so if you do not have enough free space on your computer's boot volume, the installer will fail during the import process.

If you would need to install this Virtual Machine somewhere other than your boot volume, this can be done, but you will need to install Virtualbox yourself, and Import the OVA file from within Virtualbox, if you need help with this contact the ITS Service Desk.

I would not recommend trying to run this Virtual Machine on a computer with less than 4gb of RAM, as the VM itself gets allocated 2gb of your system's RAM for its own use.

I recommend preventing your computer from entering Sleep Mode to make sure this installation process finishes smoothly. It would also be a good idea to make sure your computer either has more than half of its battery capactiy remaining, or to plug into a power source.

Installation Instructions

Windows

To get started, run Windows_Install.bat

You will be asked if you would like to allow Windows_Install.bat to make changes to your computer, select yes to continue.

At this point the script will get Virtualbox installed on your computer, or update your copy of Virtualbox if you already have it installed.

Next the script will extract the 32gb OVA file, which will take some time. This process will display a percentage to indicate how far along the extraction is. This will be the longest step in the installer.

Lastly, the installer will indicate that it has finished, and it will launch Virtualbox.

macOS

To get started, run Mac_Install.command

A terminal window will open, requiring you to press enter and then type your computer password. Please note that when you are asked to enter your password at a Terminal, there will not appear to be any activity on screen, after typing your password, hit the return key one more time.

At this point the script will get Virtualbox installed on your computer, or update your copy of Virtualbox if you already have it installed.

Next the script will extract the 32gb OVA file, which will take some time. This process will display a percentage to indicate how far along the extraction is. This will be the longest step in the installer.

Lastly, the installer will indicate that it has finished, and it will launch Virtualbox.

Virtualbox for macOS

Basic Operation

Starting the Virtual Machine

  • Open Virtualbox
  • Select "CompSci"
  • Click "Start"

Virutal Machine starting up

Stopping the Virtual Machine

  • You can always Shutdown the VM like you would your own computer, from the Start Menu, click the Power button and select Shutdown
  • Alternatively you can click the X button (Windows), or the Red button (macOS) on the corner of the VM's window and this menu will appear with the following three options: Shutdown Menu
  • "Save the machine state" which will pause the VM and save its execution state. Afterwards, you can quit Virtualbox. The advantage to this is when you later Start the VM it will resume from this state, and all of your Programs and Files you had open will be exactly where you left them.
  • "Send the shutdown signal" which is supposed to cause Windows to Shut Down normally, but is not currently functional on Windows 10 with Virtualbox.
  • "Power off the machine" which will immediately turn off the VM, this is the equivalent of pulling the power cord on a desktop computer or hard powering off a laptop, this is only recommended if you are having problems with your VM and are unable to shut it down normally.

Accessing your files

You can save files on your VM and they will persist between your sessions. There are three easy ways to get your files on and off of your VM. This fileshare allows you to access the C:\Users folder if you use Windows, or /Users if you use macOS.

The "LocalMachine" fileshare

You can access files that are stored on your computers local filesystem at any time.

  • On the Virtual Machine open the "LocalMachine" shortcut on your desktop
  • Next click on your User Account name
  • Now you can copy files to and from your User profile folder on your local filesystem LocalMachine fileshare

Flash Drives

With the default set up, at any time while the Virtual Machine is running you can insert a Flash Drive and it will mount inside the Virtual Machine, where you can access its files just like you would on any other computer.

flash drive

If you do not desire this behavior, you can disable this behavior by clicking on "Settings," going to the "Ports" tab, selecting "USB" and unchecking the box next to "All USB Devices."

turn off USB Device filter

Google Drive

Another easy option to get your files to and from your VM is to use cloud storage; we suggest Google Drive. You can access Google Drive like you normally would on your compuer, but in this case through a web browser installed on the Virtual Machine.

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