Using the virtual testing lab

A virtual testing environment has been set up for students of Professor Socha's CSS 490 class. The environment uses VirtualBox, an open source virtualization solution, running in the Drop-in Linux Lab. This document will provide only the basics necessary for using VirtualBox; for more detailed instructions on running VirtualBox, please read the full user manual.

In order to use VirtualBox on the linux lab machines, you need to be a granted access. If these instructions don't work for you, contact Josh Larios in UW1-360.


You have been assigned a machine to connect to. Please stick with the machine you have been assigned.

Please read the instructions on using tsvnc to connect to the linux lab. This is the best way to launch your environment so that you'll be able to reconnect to it later. You should have been assigned a machine to connect to for this purpose. The linux lab systems are a little underpowered, so if two people try to run virtual machines on them at once, performance will be unacceptable for both. With only one person per machine, performance will still be a little slow, but shouldn't be terrible. Please do stick with whichever machine you've been assigned.


First, make sure that “vboxusers” shows up as one of your groups when you type the groups command:

[jdlarios@uw1-320-16 ~]$ groups
users vboxusers

To set up your copy of the Windows Virtual Machine, run the command /usr/local/vm-storage/vm-setup. It will take around five minutes to finish, and looks like this:

[jdlarios@uw1-320-16 ~]$ /usr/local/vm-storage/vm-setup
Copying virtual machine (this may take a few minutes) ...
building file list ... 
9 files to consider
HardDisks/CSS-Socha Image.vdi
  4382040576 100%   17.97MB/s    0:03:52 (xfer#1, to-check=6/9)
Machines/CSS-Socha Image/
Machines/CSS-Socha Image/CSS-Socha Image.xml
       10930 100%   21.43kB/s    0:00:00 (xfer#2, to-check=3/9)
Machines/CSS-Socha Image/Logs/
Machines/CSS-Socha Image/Snapshots/
Machines/CSS-Socha Image/Snapshots/{4f05d935-e249-4f88-a2d1-81b9a75dd2ef}.sav
   321932054 100%   16.66MB/s    0:00:18 (xfer#3, to-check=0/9)

sent 4704558259 bytes  received 122 bytes  18780672.18 bytes/sec
total size is 4703983560  speedup is 1.00
... done

You may now launch VirtualBox either from the Applications -> System Tools"
menu or from the command line by typing:


If you need to wipe the slate clean and start over with a new image (if you
didn't make a snapshot before doing something destructive, say, and can't
roll back), you can re-run this setup utility.

[jdlarios@uw1-320-16 ~]$ 


To launch VirtualBox from a menu, click on Applications → System Tools → Oracle VM VirtualBox:

To launch VirtualBox from a command line, use the command:


Initial Launch

When you launch VirtualBox, you should see a window which contains a list of virtual machines available to you. It should look like this:

To start the Windows VM, make sure the “CSS-Socha Image” is selected, then click on the green arrow labeled “Start”.


Add documentation for snapshots/rollback, etc.

The best way to find something here is to use the search box in the upper right or the site index link below.

Mobile QR Link