Mar 10 – 14, 2014
DESY Hamburg
Europe/Berlin timezone

VirtualBox and the Virtual Machine setup


The practical parts of the school will be performed using a virtual machine and the VirtualBox program. Please ensure that you have Oracle Virtual Box installed and running on your personal computer, prior to the tutorial. If you have questions about the installation, please ask beforehand.

You will need 5 GB of free storage for the virtual machine image. The virtual machine image will be handed out in the "Laptop preparation" session.

Creating the Virtual Machine

Start the VirtualBox GUI to create a new machine. Select "New". In the first step, VirtualBox will ask for the name of the machine and its OS. For the latter, choose Linux -> Ubuntu. In the next step, allow for 1 GB of memory usage. In the last step, select the virtual disk from the files under 'Use an existing virtual hard drive file', and open the *.vdi file you just downloaded and extracted.

Before starting the virtual machine, enter its settings and increase the video RAM size to at least 48MB (Settings -> Display -> Video). If you have more than two processor cores on your host system, allow the VM to use two cores (Settings -> System -> Processor). You must enable hardware virtualization in your BIOS to do this!

Starting the Virtual Machine

We are booting a Ubuntu 12.04 Linux. The login name is student, the password is mcschool2014.

The default keyboard layout is English(US). This can be changed using the 'Lxkeymap' program from the task ba), or, in the terminal, executing setxkbmap LC where LC is your language code (us, de,...).

Common tools which are installed include xterm, lxterminal, vi, emacs, gv, evince and firefox. If you need root privileges to install further programs of your choice, use sudo. Beware that the virtual machine is rather limited in disk space.

Running the tutorial

Instructions for the tutorial are found in the ~/tutorials/ folder of the virtual machine, and will be made available on the indico timetable.

In in the ~/tutorials/ folder on the virtual machine, there are three directories, intro/, higgs/ and boost/, corresponding to the tutorials on day one, two and three. Each of these directories is again divided into four directories herwig/, pythia/, sherpa/ and whizard/. Before starting the tutorials, please ensure that the virtual box is up to date by executing ~/tutorials/ in th terminal. Note that you can make scripts executable by running chmod +x .

For the Pythia tutorials, as well as for all of day 3, you will have to mount remotely stored event samples. To mount the Pythia (input) samples for day 1 and day 2, execute ~/tutorials/ To mount the event samples for day 3, use ~/tutorials/ . Note that this is only possible once you're in the DESY network.

On day one, please refer to the generator-specific instructions in these directories. On days two and three, please refer to the worksheets in the higgs/ and boost/ folders. Note that day three's tutorial is generator independent, and that consequently, the event generator folders are empty.