Live GIS Disc Quick Start

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Arramagong Live DVD

System Requirements

  • RAM: 512 Meg, preferably 1 Gig.
  • CPU: 1 GHz i686 or compatible (Intel/AMD)
  • Spare Hard Disk Space: No hard drive required.
At least 3 Gig if you wish to install the operating system.
  • Mouse: a 3-button mouse is useful, especially for Mac trackpad users.

Download the ISO Image

Download the latest arramagong-livedvd image from

On linux use:

wget<image name>.iso

Note: if your image stops half way through, you can restart with:

wget -c<image name>.iso

If the image is to be downloaded in multiple parts, then you can put it together again with 7zip on MS-Windows, or on Mac or Linux with:

cat image.iso.1 image.iso.2 > image.iso

Another way to put these together on MS-Windows without 7zip is:

Open a Command-Prompt (cmd.exe), navigate to the parts folder and type "copy /B image.iso.1 + image.iso.2 image.iso"

Burn the ISO onto a DVD

Use your favourite program to burn the ISO to a DVD.

Boot from the DVD

  • Put the DVD into your computer's CD drive, then reboot your computer.
  • If your computer is set to boot from CD (as is often the case) you should boot up into an Xubuntu system, with Geospatial applications installed. Otherwise you'll have to adjust the BIOS boot settings or press the boot menu button just after powering-up.
  • If you find yourself at a pretty login page simply press return or wait for the countdown to timeout.
  • Try out the different applications from the desktop and from the Applications → Education menu.

Arramagong Live Virtual Machine

For full project details, refer to: Live GIS Disc.

System Requirements for VM

  • RAM: 1 Gig, preferably 2Gig if you plan to run other applications as well
  • Spare Hard Disk Space: 9 Gig to install the VM (at version FOSS4G 2009 alpha 4). This will likely increase to 13 Gig. 20 if you've got it.

Install a Virtual Machine

Download a Virtual Machine player. VMWare Player is recommended as the image has been built and tested using VMWare, however VMWare is a pain to install due to all the personal details you need to enter). If you are on linux, it is much easier to install VirtualBox, and the applications work almost as well, a few window resize glitches and the like.

apt-get install virtualbox-ose

If you plan to build an image from scratch, you will need VMWare Server (and 2 Gig or RAM).

Download VM Image

Download the latest Arramagong VM from On GNU/Linux use:

wget<image name>.7z

Note: if your image stops half way through, you can restart with:

wget -c<image name>.7z

If the image was downloaded in multiple parts you must put it back together again with 7zip on MS-Windows, or on UNIXes with the command:

cat image.7z.1 image.7z.2 > image.7z

Uncompress Image

You will need to uncompress the image using 7zip. Windows installers here:

On linux:

# install
sudo apt-get install p7zip-full

# uncompress
7z x <filename.7z>

On Mac OSX:

# sudo port install p7zip
# 7za x <filename.7z>

Install in Virtual Box

  • On recent versions of Virtual Box (tested on Sun Virtual Box 3.0.2) you can add to the virtual disks catalog the vmdk image without any conversion so the only thing you have to do is create a new VM and assign the disk to it.
    • Make a New virtual machine.
    • When asked about the hard drive choose to use and existing image, in the subsequent dialogs add the vmdk you downloaded and choose it.
    • Choose your RAM, video memory and other options.
    • The image should now boot like any other Virtual Box image.

If the above doesn't work try to convert the vmdk to a vbox image

  • As the Live GIS Disc is a VMWare virtual machine, you should convert it to the Virtual Box format. There are detailed instruction at the Ubuntu wiki to convert it on a linux box.

Install in VMWare Player

Add details about how to set up the image ...


For details about how to test each application, refer to Live GIS Disc Testing and the program links in the main help page, which can be found on the Live-image's desktop.

Install to a Live USB Stick

You can install the ISO onto a USB drive. This will boot faster than the DVD and any work you do on the live system will be persistent. So you can carry your work around with you and use it on any PC you come across.

You will need a modern computer BIOS which allows you to boot from a USB-HDD device. (if not, there are alternatives, see's tutorials below)

We recommend an empty 4GB (or larger) USB drive.

Xubuntu 9.04 based LiveDVD

Xubuntu 9.10 based LiveDVD

These tutorials from give the method:


Boot with the LiveDVD and plug in your USB drive. From the main Ubuntu menu select:

Applications → System → USB Startup Disk Creator

Then choose your drive (partition actually) from the list (carefully!), select "Documents stored in extra space" and set the size to its maximum, and click "Make startup disk".

This tool wants your USB drive to start with an empty FAT32 partition.


  • The base install is compressed and static. All changes (package installs, upgrades, user files) reside in an uncompressed ext3 filesystem-file in the remaining space on the USB stick (which due to this tends to fill up rather quickly). So ultimately the USB stick isn't truly a "perpetual" install, but with careful use it could last you until the next release of the distribution is out.
  • Setting the local timezone: run the tzselect program from the terminal prompt and follow the directions.
  • Do not attempt to upgrade your kernel. You will mostly likely end up with an unbootable system. If this happens to you, you can still get your data off or attempt a manual repair. The compressed base system can be mounted with: (e.g. from the Live-DVD)
mount /media/usbdrive/syslinux/file.squashfs mount_point/ -o loop -t squashfs

and the user data filesystem can be mounted with:

mount /media/usbdrive/casper/casper-rw mount_point/ -o loop