Virtual appliance instructions

From Archivematica
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The printable version is no longer supported and may have rendering errors. Please update your browser bookmarks and please use the default browser print function instead.

Main Page > Virtual appliance instructions

Distribution as a Virtual Appliance

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.

  • See the software page for a full list of the tools used in each system release.
  • See the documentation page for instructions on how to use the virtual appliance to accomplish the system requirements.

Minimum hardware requirements

  • Processor: Intel core 2 or AMD Opteron
  • Memory: 1 GB for the virtual appliance ('guest') operating system, i.e: if the 'host' operating system has 2 GB available, 1 GB needs to allocated to the 'guest'. Depending on the operating system, machines with less than 2 GB total memory will likely have trouble running Archivematica. Note that the default allocation setting in Archivematica is 512 MB; however, the more that is allocated the better the system will run. The setting can be changed once Archivematica is running.
  • Hard Drive space: a minimum of 3 GB to test the system on a small scale (i.e. use the available test files or import a small set of test files); 12 GB or more for larger implementations

Instructions for using the VM image in VirtualBox

Install Oracle Virtual Box

  • Archivematica uses the Open Virtualization Format and has been tested with the free and open-source Oracle Virtual Box virtualization platform.
  • There are VirtualBox versions available for every major operating system.
    • Download and install Oracle VirtualBox: Note that if you are installing VirtualBox on Windows you will have to click through a number of warnings that you are attempting to install non-verified software.

Download Archivematica

  • Download the latest version of the Archivematica appliance.
  • Unzip the Archivematica file. This should result in the following file appearing in an Archivematica folder:
    • archivematica-0.9-beta.vmdk

Start Archivematica virtual appliance

  • Open the Oracle VirtualBox virtual machine.
  • Click New
  • Click Next
  • Set the name and type OS type (archivematica, linux-ubuntu)
  • Click Next
  • Set Memory to 1 GB or higher
  • Click Next
  • Select 'Use existing hard disk' and browse to and select archivematica-0.9-beta.vmdk
  • Click Next
  • Click Finish
  • The virtual box will open with Archivematica 0.9-beta listed on the left-hand side. Select Archivematica 0.9-beta and click Start (the green arrow in the menu).
  • The image should launch, showing you a Linux Ubuntu desktop Login screen using the user name demo and the password demo.
  • From here it is suggested that you use your external browser to access the archivematica dashboard (often available here see: Virtual_appliance_instructions#Using_SFTP)
    • Log into the Archivematica dashboard 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.
  • Congratulations, you have a running copy of Archivematica! See Documentation for instructions on how to use the software.

Import files into virtual appliance (optional)

Using SFTP

  • While in virtualbox right click the archivematica virtualmachine and click settings
  • Click the 'Network' tab
  • 'Adapter 1' should be set to NAT by default(this allows you to get to the internet), click on 'Adapter 2' tab
  • Click enable adapter and set attached to 'host only adapter'
  • Power up the archivematica virtualmachine
  • Once in the xubuntu interface goto Applications > Accessories > Terminal
  • Type the following in terminal (the password is demo) - this will take a minute and requires internet
sudo aptitude install ssh 
  • type ifconfig in terminal you should see a IP address like '' (likely eth1 interface)
$ ifconfig
eth1      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr fe:54:00:9d:92:64  
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: fe80::1c6b:7bff:fe07:ddb6/64 Scope:Link
          RX packets:24 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:45 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0 
          RX bytes:1400 (1.4 KB)  TX bytes:5815 (5.8 KB)
  • From here your machine should be connectable via SFTP. Download a SFTP client, a popular opensource option is FileZilla, which works on Linux and Windows. If using OSX cyber duck is reported to be a decent opensource SFTP client.
  • the connection information should be as follows
username: demo
password: demo
IP/Hostname: < results of ifconfig likely '192.168.56.*'
port: 22
destination folder:   /home/demo/ < if this is not set you will have to navigate to /home/demo directory 

Using Virtual Box Guest Additions

  1. Run Jockey
    sudo jokey-gtk
  2. Select Guest Additions from available drivers
  3. Restart


Turn off virtual machine

  • At the end of your session, turn off the VirtualBox 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.