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HomeGeant4 Virtual Machine


- Shortcut: download the Geant4 virtual machine files here.


Since 2004, the Centre d’Etudes Nucléaires de Bordeaux-Gradignan, a CNRS/IN2P3 - Bordeaux 1 University laboratory, is happy to provide free of charge and licensing to Geant4 users a Geant4 virtual machine, that is a set of files that can be used with a virtualization software (tested so far on VMware for Windows or or Mac, and on VirtualBox), containing the latest version of Geant4 with Scientific Linux as well as several utility packages (visualisation, analysis, development, ...) already installed in a fully operational environment for your system (CD-ROM, display, cable & wireless network,... no system installation required at all). Once fully decompressed, these files can be read directly by your virtualization software : launch the virtualization software, open the decompressed files and you will emulate a real Scientific Linux machine with the latest supported version of Geant4 already installed including several useful tools !

New releases of the Geant4 virtual machine are announced regularly on Twitter. Follow us with Twitter on Geant4VM.

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- Reference

Important notice: users are kindly requested to cite the following paper in their publications and communications describing research or teaching activities based on the use of this virtual machine: Int. J. Model. Simul. Sci. Comput. 1 (2010) 157–178 (link)


- What is included ?

The distribution contains the following software already fully installed for you :


- System minimum requirements

  • Windows or Linux users : desktop or laptop PC running Windows or Linux with a virtualization software installed
  • Mac users : desktop or laptop Mac running Mac OS with a virtualization software installed
  • at least 2 Go of RAM for the PC or Mac
  • 15 Go of free disk space available
  • a screen resolution of 1280 x 1024 (may be changed with root privileges)

- How to get the files ?

1. Read carefully the following README file. You may also find interesting information in the History file.

2. Make sure to have a virtualization software, such as VMware or VirtualBox.

3. Download and uncompress the following compressed file (download the .7z file and uncompress it in a same directory). This is an anonymous FTP (select "Guest" if asked). Mac users may use the free Cyberduck software if they encounter difficulties with the download. To uncompress under Windows, we recommend the usage of 7-Zip. To uncompress under Mac, we recommend the usage of the Unarchiver, freely available from the AppStore or from this link. The total compressed file size is about 3 Go and reaches 15 Go when fully decompressed.

4. Open the uncompressed file having the .vmx extension using the virtualization software (menu File and then Open) and play the virtual machine. Respond that you have copied the machine if asked. You get access to a fully functional Linux machine on your Windows PC or Mac.

6. Previous Geant4 versions remain available from this link.


- Hints

  • Depending on your country, you may need to change your keyboard settings. From your Linux virtual machine, click on the System tab (top of screen). Select Preferences, then Keyboard, then Layouts tab and select your keyboard.
  • You may also want to change the default language, in particular for menus. For this, simply logout (local1) and select the new language directly on the login window.
  • The default username account is local1 and it has the same password (see README file above at item 1).
  • You can configure entirely by your own your virtual Linux machine as root. The root password is scilinux6.4.
  • You may define an exchange directory between your Windows or Linux default installation and the Linux virtual machine containing Geant4 in the VM menu; for example, for the VMware software, do as follows :
    • Go to the Virtual Machine menu, select Virtual Machine Settings, then Options, Shared Folders, make sure the "Always enabled" option is selected, then select Add to chose a host path for a folder and give it a name like "SHARE", click Finish, then you should see the name of this directory appear in the "Host Path", then click OK
    • Under your Linux session, your exchange directory is located at /mnt/hgfs/SHARE
  • You may increase the memory size of your virtual machine, especially if your PC has a large memory size available ; for example, to do so with VMware, simply go to the Virtual Machine menu, select Virtual Machine Settings, Hardware and select the memory size you need.
  • If your machine is equipped with two processors (or more), you may choose the number of processors in the Virtual Machine menu (in the case of VMware), select Virtual Machine Settings, Hardware.
  • You may change Geant4 environment user variables by adding a .ucshrc file located in the directory /home/local1. By default, the following variables have been set to 1 : G4UI_USE_TCSH (for User Interface) , G4VIS_USE_OPENGLX (for Visualization) and G4UI_USE_QT (Qt interface).
  • You may create a new disk in your virtual machine in case you need more space for your data. All instructions are given in the above cited README file.
  • You can start OpenOffice with the soffice command

- Encountering difficulties

  • Make sure to use the latest version of the virtualization software
  • Under Windows, you may encounter problems if the disks (internal & external hard drives, USB keys...) where you uncompress your files have been formatted in the FAT32 format. Use NTFS formatted disks only (same remark for USB keys - see for eg this link for Windows or this link for Mac).
  • If OGLIX visualization windows do not refresh, add ’Option "backingstore"’ to the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file, in the Screen section.
  • If you need to change your keyboard permanently, go to the Linux System menu, Administration, Keyboard, select your keyboard. You need to specify the root password.

- Statistics

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- Acknowledgments

These files are kindly provided by Catherine Seznec, Isabelle Moreau and Sébastien Incerti at the Centre d’Etudes Nucléaires de Bordeaux-Gradignan. Suggestions are welcome.


Last update on 05/03/2014 by Sébastien Incerti.