OSGeo Live on virtual box


For those of you who still wants to keep windows as their main operating system but wants to try the goodies of Free and Open Source software for Geo (FOSS4Geo), OSGeo has many options like live DVD and virtual box VMs. All you have to do is to install Virtual Box and download OSGeo virtual machine (plus 7zip for extracting zipped file). Follow the instruction below


Download will take time as it is around 3GB (I downlaoded vdkm), extratct using the following command (if you are on windows, use 7zip GUI)

7z x software-backup/osgeo-live-vm-8.0.7z

When you will run command sudo apt-get update, password is require and it is “user” (on desktop, there is a file named passwords.txt, contains all the passwords e.g. OS-user ‘user’ has password ‘user’)

One more thing, to set screen to a reasonable size, at the end of OSGeo blog there are some commands, if they do not work (like in my case) go to  start -> System Tools -> Synaptic Package Manager and install the following packages (read my old blog about it Resize virtual machine’s desktop in VirtualBox)

apt-get install virtualbox-guest-dkms

The first package will install second package as dependencies however you have to install third package. If successful with installation, you should see a desktop like below


What it contains

  1. Libraries with paths configured (this is what you need the most e.g. gdal)
  2. Programming languages like python (with packages installed)
  3. QGIS, GRASS GIS, gvSIG, OpenJump, SAGA GIS and uDig
  4. R Statistics
  5. and many more 🙂

Trust me, for new users, the first two are very important as they reduce complexities and frustration (a big thanks to OSGeo of course ).



Resize virtual machine’s desktop in VirtualBox


I started using VirtualBox (actively) few months back, my experience with it is excellent. Before using VirtualBox, I always had issues with installing new software on my computer because I did not want the new installation/updates to mess around with my working setups. VistualBox solved all of these issues. Now, I do all of my software testing/evaluations on virtual machines even I do all of my development (which require installations e.g. geonode) or host servers on virtual machines as well (read my blog ‘Access services hosted on guest from host using VirtualBox‘). Small tweaks here and there (like the one blow), VirtualBox is an excellent solution for developers as well.

If you have noticed, Virtual Box does not show fullscreen on virtual machines (VMs) and I hate to work on small screens (even I do not work on 15 inch and went to great lengths to get a 17 inch laptop). The fullscreen mode of VirtualBox is not what I am looking for, I need a solution which utilizes the available screen size, same goes for scalemode. Searched Google and found an answer on askubuntu (http://askubuntu.com/questions/104440/how-do-you-resize-the-standard-ubuntu-desktop-inside-of-virtualbox). To summarize, need to install following packages

sudo apt-get install virtualbox-guest-dkms virtualbox-guest-utils virtualbox-guest-x11

It worked on one of my VMs but then some how on my second VM the package virtualbox-guest-dkms (and others) could not be downloaded with error 404 Not Found. Frustrated, took the task to Synaptic Package manager. I search package virtualbox-guest-dkms and istalled it (that also installed virtualbox-guest-utils virtualbox-guest-x11). Restarted my VM and it worked.

Confused between apt-get and synaptic, I searched the difference and found this answer (http://askubuntu.com/questions/76/whats-the-difference-between-package-managers)

😦 the two sound same to me. I wonder what went wrong with apt-get

Note: This might not be the proper solution, but its what I experienced and it worked for me. Enjoy 🙂