Compute Virtual Machine Images

This page provides a virtual machine image that you can use for your computational needs in my classes.


  • 2018.1 Compute Image (OVF 1.0) (updated August 21, 2018, 2 GB, md5sum: 1377021daa17f4c96de5c86f66c5406a sha256sum: e8a47769d196ecbb9648ca5844c721e1674f2b9ec40c386dba11031af6838829) Unless you are in one of my classes, I make no promise that I will support you in the use of this machine image. You're nonetheless more than welcome to use the image, and if you find an issue, please feel free to get in touch.

Format: The image is in the Open Virtualization Format's 'OVA' variant which you can use with, for example, VirtualBox. It will likely also work with VMware. (Doesn't look like it does.)

Software: The image is based on Debian and includes lots of open-source computational software, with a slight focus on Python. Other open-source software can easily be installed using the package manager.

Host Computer: This machine image will work regardless of whether your computer runs Windows, OS X, or Linux.


  1. Download VirtualBox and install it.
  2. Download the image.
  3. Check whether the image downloaded correctly using the md5sum command line tool (Linux/OS X). On Windows, use this tool. Compare the computed checksum with the value above. Only proceed once the two match. If they don't, delete the file and retry the download.
  4. Open VirtualBox, click "File > Import Appliance", select the downloaded image and just click "Next" a few times.
  5. Once imported, double-click on the virtual machine to start using it. The virtual machine image automatically logs you in as a default user called owner. You can become root (with full control of the VM) by using sudo. To do so, you'll need owner's password, which is abc123.
If/when you would like to use the package manager ("Add/remove software" on the desktop) to install packages, make sure to click "Reload" beforehand to update the package lists. Otherwise, some packages may not download correctly or may not be found. Alternatively, you may use the command `sudo apt-get update` to update the package lists.