This is the Herschel Observation Planning Tool (HSPOT) packaged as an OVA Virtual Machine (VM) image. The aim is to extend the usable lifetime of the software by further decoupling it from the host operating system and hardware.
The guest OS is Debian Linux with the LXDE desktop. The minimum of applications are installed as it assumed that other applications will be run on the host operating system.
The following instructions explain how to install and configure the HSPOT VM. For further information see the Quick Start Guide and the detailed HSPOT User Guide.
There are several ways to transfer data between the guest and host:
A shared folder allows data to be transferred in either direction. It also effectively increases the disk space available to the virtual machine. For details see the "Shared Folder" section below.
The networking is configured in NAT mode, allowing the guest to access the LAN and Internet via the host. This also allows the guest to connect to the host using ftp, sftp, etc.
A shared clipboard can be enabled in the VirtualBox Settings menu (General/Advanced). This allows cut-and-paste of text in either direction.
Some web browsers may unpack the OVA file rather than simply downloading it. In this case, try a different browser.
Some PCs may have virtualisation disabled in the BIOS, in which case the BIOS VT-x option should be enabled. This does not apply to AMD processors and Intel-based Macs as VT-x is always enabled. The VT-d option can also be enabled although this is probably not necessary.
The HSPOT fonts may be very small. HSPOT scales the font size according to the screen size of the computer. When it is run in a VM, the virtual desktop may be smaller than the actual screen, causing the fonts to be be scaled down. To avoid this, maximise the VM window before starting HSPOT.
If any of the VirtualBox Guest Addition features are not working, try updating to the latest version of the Guest Additions (see "Updating the Guest Additions" below). To use USB2/USB3 devices with the VM it is necessary to install the optional VirtualBox Extension Pack (see "USB Disk" below).
See the Quick Start Guide for known issues with HSPOT.
A directory may be created on the host operating system and mounted as a shared folder on the guest OS. This provides a convenient way to transfer files between the guest and host.
Note that shared folders require the VirtualBox Guest Additions, but these are already installed.
An external USB disk can be plugged into the host and mounted on the guest OS. The disk may be formatted with FAT32 or a Linux partition (e.g. ext4). Data transfer is likely to be faster with a Linux partition. Also bear in mind the 4GB file size limitation of FAT32.
VirtualBox may prompt you to update the Guest Additions. Updating isn't always necessary but should be tried if any of the Guest Addition features are not working properly.
sudo sh /media/cdrom/VBoxLinuxAdditions.run
The VM was created with VirtualBox but uses the following standards to provide compatibility with other hypervisors:
The HSPOT VM is pre-configured with the VirtualBox Guest Additions to allow simple out-of-the-box operation with VirtualBox. These provide useful features such as:
However, the Guest Additions must be removed for use with other hypervisors. To uninstall them, run the following command in a VM terminal window:
The following sections provide some notes on known issues with various hypervisors.
If the VMware import fails with a warning about OVF compliance, press "Retry" and it should work the second time.
For VMware, similar functionality to the VirtualBox Guest Additions is available from either VMware Tools or open-vm-tools. The latter can be installed by running the following command in a VM terminal window and then restarting the VM:
sudo apt-get install open-vm-tools-desktop
The OVA file can in principle be converted for Hyper-V using the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter.
However, there is a known issue with the format of the VirtualBox VMDK virtual disk files which makes this conversion fail (The disk UUID entries in VMDK file header are not accepted by the converter).