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Setting up a VM for building zinc

To build for a particular computer and operating system (eg 64 bit AMD running Ubuntu) it can be useful to set up a virtual machine, rather than getting a physical machine, to use as a test/build environment. One advantage of virtual machines is that with enough hard drive space you can have access to several different test/build environments from your own development machine.

We use software by vmware for creating and running our virtual machines. Vmware player is freely available but does not allow you to create a VM. I use vmware fusion for creating my virtual machines.

To set up a virtual machine, first decide on the operating system you wish to intall. Note that if you choose a 64 bit OS, your host machine must have a 64 bit chipset. It is also possible to run a 32 bit OS on a 64 bit chipset. Most modern computers are 64 bit.

If setting up a VM for creating a release version of zinc on Ubuntu it is a good idea to use the oldest still supported OS as then your build is likely to run on a wider range of linux releases. Note that Dapper Drake (6.06) was a long term support release and will be supported until June 2009. Hardy Heron (8.04) is also a LTS release but is a fairly recent release (April 08).

To create a VM, start vmware fusion, then go to file>new and follow the instructions. You will be asked to insert the install disc and then just follow the instructions.

If you have created an Ubuntu VM your next step will be to install any updates and upgrades that have been released. Before doing this it is a good idea to reconfigure your /etc/apt/sources.list file so that it points to a local mirror rather then the default sites. This will greatly increase the speed of using apt for package management. See your local sysadmin for which machine to point to.

Once you have modified your sources.list do the following:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

You are now in a position to set up your build environment for cmgui and zinc.