Tag Archives: VirtualBox

Processing set up

This post is here as a reminder of what I did to setup my coding environment. If it is of any use or interest to anyone else then that’s great 🙂

First up I set up a VirtualBox VM on my desktop (from Entroware!). It is running an Ubuntu Mate 16.04 guest, but I guess that is inconsequential, as it could be running any version. It has the VirtualBox Additions installed, NAT and Bridge Adaptor networking are enabled, and a shared folder on the host has been setup.

On the guest, the shared folder is mounted using the command:

sudo mount -t vboxsf -o uid=1000 sharedVMfolder path/to/mountpoint

Anaconda Python has been installed on the guest and a new environment called spatialP3 has been created using:

conda create --name spatialP3

This is activated using:

source activate spatialP3

In that environment, a number of spatial libraries have been installed using:

conda install --name spatialP3 packagename

There were a number of version conflicts with some of the default packages, so I searched the Anaconda Cloud to find the most recent packages and installed them from the Anaconda Cloud repository using:

conda install -c conda-forge shapely=1.5.16

and similar.

To launch a Jupyter Notebook server with no local display (i.e. on the guest) use:

jupyter notebook --ip= --no-browser

Port forwarding has been set up in Virtualbox using the TCP protocol and with the host port being 8899 and the guest port being 8888 (the default for Jupyter Notebooks).

This means that you can run the notebooks from the host (as long as the VM and Jupyter server are both running) by typing the following into your browser:


or from any machine on the network by typing in the local IP address of the host machine and the port 8899. If you start them in the correct location i.e. the shared folder that was mounted in the VM, then the notebooks will be accessible irrespective of whether the VM is running, and can be part of a backup strategy for the host machine.

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Notes on PostGIS and Geoserver

This is a post to remind me of some of the things that I did to get a VM set up with a vanilla install of PostGIS and Geoserver. More will be posted once I get the extensions up and working and data into the system.

The first thing to do is get your OS set up and running nicely inside of VirtualBox or whatever VM software you use. I have been trying out a few lightweight Linux distributions recently including Lubuntu and Elementary OS. I just keep on coming back to WattOS though which is, in my opinion, one of the best lightweight distributions around. It is stable, looks clean, has a wide range of software available and for the purposes of what I am looking to do, has an intuitive GUI. I used the 32-bit WattOS 7 distribution and installed the Linux VBAdditions into the VM.


Then from inside the running virtual distribution you need to download the http://www.enterprisedb.com install file for PostgreSQL. If it needs unzipping then do so. You should end up with a filename.run file. Change the permissions to 777 or use the following command:

sudo +x filename.run

Then run the file:

sudo ./filename.run

Accept the default locations (/opt/PostgreSQL/9.3/data), set up the password that you want for the server, accept the port number (5432) and then launch the StackBuilder when prompted. All of these values can be changed depending on the type of installation that you are looking to do. In the StackBuilder choose Spatial Extensions > PostGIS 2.1 for PostgreSQL9.3 v2.1. Allow the installer to download and install what it needs to (you’ll need to enter your PostgreSQL password to verify the install). The WattOS menu should then contain an entry for PostgreSQL that includes pgAdminIII, StackBuilder and documentation.


I went through a whole load of faff trying to get a working install of Geoserver running until I decided to read the manual and saw that there was what looked like a painless way to do it. So I did it, and it was simples.

Download the relevant Web Archive file (http://geoserver.org/display/GEOS/Download) and extract it. Install tomcat:

sudo apt-get install tomcat7

Copy the WAR file into the relevant directory and it all just works:

sudo cp geoserver.war /var/lib/tomcat7/webapps



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VM mounting shared folders

Sort out all the usual settings to get a virtual machine up and running in VirtualBox.

Make sure that you install the GuestAdditions as well.

Go to the command line in the VM and type:

sudo mount -t vboxsf shared_folder_on_nonVM mount_point_on_VM

That sets up access to the data off of the VM.


Virtualbox updates

Recently I updated the version of Mint on my main desktop box. When I started adding software back in to the installation I was getting the following error when trying to run Virtualbox:


Here is the way that I managed to get it working again (thanks to the posts at http://goo.gl/2KZnHc for guidance).

The versions of Virtualbox and the extension packs that VirtualBox has installed need to match or of a lower version. To check that the versions match, do the following:

  • In Virtualbox go to Help > About Virtualbox and note the version number
  • Then go to File > Preferences.
  • In the window that opens select the Extensions tab. The version number should be the same as the one in the About text. If it isn’t, then mark all extensions and uninstall them using the button with the small red x.

To install the relevant extension pack (if you need to use USB or RDP) then go to the relevant page below and download the one that matches your Virtualbox version.







VBox argh [solved]

  • Install virtual box on Mint from latest deb file
  • Download latest extension pack
  • Double click and it installs
  • Add user to vboxusers group
  • Restart the guest

All USB errors should have stopped and all settings of the virtual machine can be changed.


Edit [17.03.2014]: on the guest type

sudo usermod -a -G vboxusers $USER

Then to check, type

groups $USER