Here’s how to use virtualbox to run a virtual machine on the CS lab machines. Since the virtual disk is usually a large file (4-8GB), we use /local to store the disk image.

setting things up (assuming your username is dduck1)

Make a directory in /local for the disk, so you don’t go over your disk quota. If you use /local instead of /scratch, it will be faster, but local to the machine you are on (i.e., not accessible from all lab machines).

mkdir /local/dduck1
cd /local/dduck1

Now copy over a starting image we’ve already made. This machine will run debian 8:

cp -r  /scratch/knerr/vmdisks/debian-8-Clone  .

That command might take a few minutes to run, as the debian-8-Clone directory is about 7GB.

starting virtualbox

Start up virtualbox and add the machine you just copied:

Machine --> Add
select /local/dduck1/debian-8-Clone/debian-8-Clone.vbox
click on the new machine's icon, then hit the Start button

That should pop open a console window and you should see the machine booting. Once it boots up, log in with:

login: swatcser

The swatcser user should be able to use sudo, in case you want to add packages.

You should also be able to connect to the virtual machine with ssh and transfer files to/from with scp (in these examples, assuming your virtual machine is running on horseradish):

ssh -p 10022 swatcser@horseradish
scp -P 10022 file.c swatcser@horseradish:.

skip the GUI

You can also start virtualbox in a screen session without a GUI, so you can leave the virtual machine running, even after you log out:

screen                              # starts screen session
vboxheadless -s "debian-8-Clone"    # starts virtual machine
Cntrl-a d                           # to detach from screen session

Use screen -r to re-attach to the screen session at a later time.

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