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CSIF Computers

Last updated 10.22.2013 (Instructions for VirtualBox)

This section is specifically for integrating the 405MB MINIX 3 default installation virtual machine for use on CSIF computers

Tips and notes before starting

Since the CSIF uses NFS, it is recommended to unpack the Minix image to /tmp and point VirtualBox to use that image instead of unpacking the image to one's home directory. This reduces latency especially when recompiling the kernel. However, one must not forget to repack and save the image to their home directory after use. Otherwise, the image will be deleted after the nightly reboot. If the system is ever rebooted then /tmp is removed so it is a good idea save it to your home directory every so once in a while.

VMware Player

  • To grab the MINIX 3 Virtual Machine and put it in your CSIF home directory, execute the following commands in terminal assuming that you are logged into the CSIF computers
$ cd ~/
$ tar -jxvf /home/software/vm/minix320.tar.bz2
  • The above commands will extract the compressed files and put them in ~/Minix-book, so make sure you have at least 405MB of free space on your home directory
  1. Start VMware Player if you haven't already done so; this can be done by either typing in vmplayer in a GUI terminal, or hitting the Windows key on your keyboard that sits between the Ctrl and Alt keys, and then typing in "vmware" with no quotes before clicking on the icon labeled VMware Player
    • If you get prompted to update VMware Player, or if you are taken to a screen where it stops the VMware services, and updates components of VMware Player, then please contact CSIF Support
  2. Accept the End User License Agreement if you haven't already done so by clicking the Accept button, and then click on Open a New Virtual Machine in the right-hand side column of VMware Player's main window
    • Ignore any prompts to upgrade to VMware Workstation
  3. Navigate to where you extracted your file and into the folder named Minix-book, and there should be a Minix-book.vmx file
  4. Highlight the Minix-book.vmx file and click the Open button
  5. Highlight the new virtual machine in the left-hand side column of WMware Player's main window, and select Play virtual machine on the right-hand side column
  6. When a prompt comes up notifying you of the virtual machine being edited, clicked the I copied it... button
  7. When a prompt comes up informing you that the disk file (Minix3.vmdk) is on a remote file system, which might affect disck write performance, check the Never show this hint again box and click the OK button
Now you are ready to use the MINIX 3 virtual machine on CSIF computers


  1. Unpack /home/software/vm/minix320.tar.bz2 to /tmp or to your home directory if you prefer using the commands above
  2. Open VirtualBox
  3. Click New
  4. Type Minix3 for the name
  5. Select Other for the type
  6. Select Other/Unknown for the version
  7. Adjust memory size to 128MB. Click Next.
  8. Select use an existing virtual hard drive file
  9. Locate and select minix3.vmdk. This should be located in the extracted directory.
  10. Click Create
  11. Select the virtual machine Minix3 and click Start to start the virtual machine.
  12. Log in as root
  13. To shutdown, type “poweroff”

Now you are ready to use the MINIX 3 virtual machine on CSIF computers

Using SSH on Minix 3

By default, OpenSSH is not installed on the Minix system. To install OpenSSH, first populate the package database with the latest packages:

$ pkgin update

To install OpenSSH type
$ pkgin install openssh

Type “y” to proceed. The SSH utility should now be installed.

Repacking files into a tarball

  1. Poweroff virtual machine session
  2. Close the virtual machine
  3. cd into the parent directory of minix320
  4. Pack the folder using
  5. $ tar -jcf minix320.tar.bz2 minix320/

  6. Move tarball to home using
  7. $ mv minix320.tar.bzp ~/

Release mouse capture

  • Press the right Ctrl key to release mouse capture.