VM image

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Main Page > Projects > Vancouver Digital Archives > Archivematica > VM (Virtual Machine) image

Archivematica is distributed as a virtual appliance which integrates a number of software tools into one common virtual machine environment.

This allows it to be run on almost any workstation or server hardware without compromising the host machine's operating system or application software. At the same time, the virtual appliance is able to interact with any number of networked and/or external storage devices to allow for the flexible implementation of an archival storage and backup strategy.

Minimum hardware requirements[edit]

  • Processor: Intel core 2 or AMD Opteron
  • Memory: 512MB for the guest operating system (i.e: if the host operating system has 2GB available, 512MB needs to allocated to the guest. Depending on operating system, machines with less than 1.5GB will likely have trouble running Archivematica). Note that the default allocation setting in Archivematica is 512MB; however, the more that is allocated the better the system will run. The setting can be changed once Archivematica is imported into the virtual box.
  • Hard Drive space: a minimum of 3GB to test the system on a small scale (i.e. use the available test files or import a small set of test files); 12GB or more for larger implementations

Instructions for using the VM image[edit]

Download virtual box[edit]

Unzip Archivematica image[edit]

  • Extract Archivematica by right-clicking the tar.gz file and choosing "extract here". This should result the following being created within an archivematica folder:
    • Archivematica-0.3.5.ovf
    • disk0.vmdk

Create Archivematica virtual machine[edit]

  • Open the virtual box.
  • Click File > Import Appliance
  • Click Choose
  • Select Archivematica-0.3.5.ovf
  • Click Open
  • Click Next
  • Click Import
  • Read and agree to the Software License Agreement
  • The virtual box will open with Archivematica 0.3.5 listed on the left-hand side. Select Archivematica 0.3.5 and click Start (the green arrow in the menu).
  • The image should launch, showing you a Linux Ubuntu desktop and some of the digital preservation applications which are included in Archivematica 0.3.5.
    • You may have to login using the user name demo and the password demo.
    • If your mouse pointer does not appear to be working in the virtual machine, click the letter f while holding down the right-hand control button. Do the same thing to switch back to using your mouse pointer outside the virtual box.

Create shared folders[edit]

Creating a shared folder allows you to add files to a folder on the host machine and have them appear in a folder in the virtual machine (VM) and vice-versa. This allows the user to import files from the host environment into the virtual machine and to send files back to the host environment for archival storage.

For testing purposes you can use the files located in home/demo/testfiles. However, to test Archivematica using other files and to send files to the host environment you will need to set up a shared folder.

1. Create a folder on the host machine.

2. Set up the shared folder in VirtualBox

  • From within the Sun VirtualBox application, select the current version of the Archivematica appliance and click on the "Settings" button below the main menu bar. Note that the application must not be running in order to be able to select the settings.
  • In the Settings dialogue, select "Shared Folders" (under "Details" tab).
  • Click on the "Add Share" icon on the right side of the window (the folder with the plus sign) and navigate to the folder you created in step 1. Give the shared folder a name that VirtualBox can use to identify it. The default is the name the folder already has in the host system; note that due to Linux limitations you should create a folder name that has no capital letters or special characters (such as underscores).
  • Click OK.

3. Mount the shared folder in the VM

  • Launch the Archivematica appliance in VirtualBox.
  • If the folder you want to use as a shared folder does not already exist, open the file manager (using the Places menu in Ubuntu) and create it.
  • Open a command line interface in Ubuntu: <ctrl><alt><F1>
  • Log in as demo and use the password demo
  • Grant the demo account /root privileges by typing "sudo -s", and give the demo account password when prompted
  • Mount the shared folder by using the following command:
  mount -t vboxsf <folder name (the name you gave the folder in the Virtual Box Settings menu)> <filepath in Linux>. Example:
  mount -t vboxsf sharedfolder /home/demo/sharedfolder
  • type "exit" to exit from your root login
  • type "exit" to exit from your demo login
  • Close the command line interface <ctrl><alt><F7>

You should now be able to see and manipulate the contents of both folders from within both the host environment and the guest Ubuntu environment.

Note that if you close Archivematica by sending the shutdown signal or powering off (as opposed to saving the machine state) you will need to re-mount the shared folder(s) when Ubuntu starts again. See "Turn off virtual machine", below.

Turn off virtual machine[edit]

  • At the end of your session, turn off the virtual machine by going to Machine > Close > and selecting one of the three shutdown options. It is best to choose either "Save the machine state" or "Send the shutdown signal". This is from the VirtualBox help manual:

3.4.3. Saving the state of the machine

When you click on the "Close" button of your virtual machine window (at the top right of the window, just like you would close any other window on your system) (or press the Host key together with "Q"), VirtualBox asks you whether you want to "save" or "power off" the VM.

The difference between these three options is crucial. They mean:

Save the machine state: With this option, VirtualBox "freezes" the virtual machine by completely saving its state to your local disk. When you later resume the VM (by again clicking the "Start" button in the VirtualBox main window), you will find that the VM continues exactly where it was left off. All your programs will still be open, and your computer resumes operation.

Saving the state of a virtual machine is thus in some ways similar to suspending a laptop computer (e.g. by closing its lid).

Send the shutdown signal. This will send an ACPI shutdown signal to the virtual machine, which has the same effect as if you had pressed the power button on a real computer. So long as a fairly modern operating system is installed and running in the VM, this should trigger a proper shutdown mechanism in the VM.

Power off the machine: With this option, VirtualBox also stops running the virtual machine, but without saving its state.

This is equivalent to pulling the power plug on a real computer without shutting it down properly. If you start the machine again after powering it off, your operating system will have to reboot completely and may begin a lengthy check of its (virtual) system disks.

As a result, this should not normally be done, since it can potentially cause data loss or an inconsistent state of the guest system on disk.

The "Discard" button in the main VirtualBox window discards a virtual machine's saved state. This has the same effect as powering it off, and the same warnings apply.