What is a Virtual Disk Image?
A Virtual Disk Image is copy of an operating system (called Guest Operating System ) which can run in your machine (called Host Operating System). Usually, the Guest OS is customized with custom programs installed on top of it. Virtualization software enables one to test another OS without the need for physically installing it in the disk or it enables one to execute certain programs which are available only for the guest OSes.
How to get the FreeSurfer Disk Image Running?
Download and install VirtualBox. Installing it usually is just a matter of double-clicking the installer and following the steps.
Download the FreeSurfer disk image. Save it to a meaningful location (e.g. ~Username/VirtualBoxImages) and unzip the file once the download is complete.
Running the VirtualBox for the first time
Start the VirtualBox Software. It should look like the image below (The left part of the window is empty because we haven't created any virtual machine).
Click New on the top left and use the following settings:
Version: Red Hat (64 bit)
Click on Next. This should bring up a slider where you'll allot the amount of memory to the virtual machine. In the case we recommend 4Gigs of RAM.
Click on Next. This should bring up a dialog box. Select Use an existing virtual hard drive file and click to folder icon to navigate to the FreeSurfer disk image you downloaded from above.
Click on Create. You are back in the main screen.
Click on Start. The virtual machine should start up after clicking OK to the various messages you'll be presented with a desktop which looks like below.
NOTE: If you recieve the following error: Failed to open a session for the virtual machine Fusion Middleware. You will need to make sure you have 'virtualization enabled' in the BIOS settings of your machine. Follow the directions on this page.
To start FreeSurfer click the Terminal icon on the desktop. To test the installation type
tksurfer bert lh inflated -annotation aparc
For the FreeSurfer disk image, the password to sudo commands / root account is simply freesurfer.
Advanced Steps ( Recommended )
Installing the Guest Additions
Guest additions enable one to do cool stuff like running the Guest OS in full screen, have a common clipboard etc. To do this, click on Devices in your main menu and then click on Install Guest Additions and Follow the instructions.
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