Virtual DICE – please help us test it

We’re delighted to announce Virtual DICE. It’s like a DICE desktop, but running in a virtual machine. It’s currently in a testing phase – see below.

Everybody in the School of Informatics is welcome to use Virtual DICE, but you will need your own computer, which will need (at the last count) 35GB of free disk space, and a few free gigabytes of memory too. It will also need to be able to run virtualisation software – we’ve been using VirtualBox which runs on popular varieties of Linux and Windows and on many Macs.

It can be used whether or not a network is available.


Virtual DICE isn’t quite ready for prime time yet. We think it works, but we’d like it to be tested some more. If you’d like to try it out, please download and install it, then get in touch and tell us about your experiences. Tell us especially about anything which went wrong, and anything which you think it would be helpful to add to the Virtual DICE documentation pages. All feedback will be received gratefully, and providers of the most helpful feedback may also be given rewards in chocolate form.

To install it download a Virtual DICE image file and import it into VirtualBox.
Apart from backing up your files, it should need virtually no maintenance or looking after. If it breaks, delete the virtual machine then install another one from the downloaded Virtual DICE image file. To update it, delete the virtual machine a few times a year and replace it using a newer image file; or run a command each week to update its software selection. To backup your files, copy them to your AFS home directory.

Find out more and get your copy at the Virtual DICE documentation pages.

About Chris Cooke

Chris Cooke is a Computing Officer in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. He works in the Systems Unit and rides a very large bicycle.
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